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Mass. Gov. Patrick outlines new gun control bill

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 10:29 am •  Published: January 16, 2013

Instead of writing ever-tougher licensing requirements, activists say, state and law enforcement officials should focus on keeping guns out of the hands of hard-core criminals and the mentally ill.

Patrick's bill would also:

— Require private gun sales to occur at the business of a licensed dealer so that the sale can be tracked electronically;

— Prevent the furnishing of a machine gun to any person under the age of 21;

— Establish tiered punishments for possessing different weapons on school property and give police the authority to arrest without a warrant in order to quickly diffuse a dangerous situation on school property;

— Create the crime of assault and battery by means of a firearm, assault by means of a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm and commission of a violent misdemeanor while in possession of a weapon;

— Increase the authorized minimum penalties for third and fourth offenses of illegal possession and carrying of firearms, shotguns, rifles and machine guns, and increases the maximum punishment for a second offense.

Included in Patrick's proposed $5 million for additional mental health services is $2 million for mobile crisis teams that travel to locations with individuals in crisis and provide specialized mental health service to prevent potential harm or violence by connecting those individuals with treatment.

Patrick's proposal also includes $900,000 for crisis intervention training for law enforcement and other first responders and $500,000 for the state's Child Psychiatric Access Program to help with the early diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.