PETERSON: HOUSE GUN BILL HAS “MOVED A LONG WAY” | In an effort to win support for House

Speaker Robert DeLeo’s gun violence prevention bill, House Democrats have compromised enough that
Rep. George Peterson, a Grafton Republican and leading voice in the House for gun rights activists, is
now seriously considering voting for the bill. “It’s moved a long way from the original bill that got
reported out of committee and I’m just waiting to see the final details,” Peterson told the News Service
after paying a visit to the Senate anteroom Tuesday afternoon. House leaders have said they intend to
put the gun control bill on the floor Wednesday for a vote, but after meeting with Democrats earlier
Tuesday Peterson said the bill is still being written and a Ways and Means official said it was unclear
when the final language would be ready. Asked whether he could support the redrafted bill, Peterson
said, “I don’t want to say that until I’ve seen the final language, but I’m much closer than I was before.
Much closer.” Hesitant to offer too much detail, Peterson said language that would have prohibited
anyone with a misdemeanor conviction carrying a penalty of one year of incarceration or more from
obtaining a firearm license has been dropped. “It would have opened up a plethora of different crimes
that had nothing to do with violence, so that got dropped pretty quickly,” he said. Current law prohibits
anyone with a misdemeanor conviction carrying a penalty of two years in jail or more from being
licensed to carry a weapon. Peterson said additional training requirements have also been eliminated
because they are addressed in current statute, but he is less certain about what will happen to the
controversial proposal to give police chiefs the ability to deny a firearm ID card for a rifle or shotgun
based on a new "suitability" standard. “We’ve tried to make a stab at that and tighten the language up
to some degree but it remains to be seen how that finally is going to work out,” Peterson said. 4:00
P.M.

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