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5 years 11 weeks ago, 6:07 PM

samD

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Gov. Patrick files bill to reduce gun violence
May 6, 2009 01:03 PM By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff

Governor Deval Patrick is filing legislation today to reduce gun violence that includes a provision to restore a crime-fighting tool for prosecutors that was taken away by a court ruling Monday.

Governor Deval Patrick

The bill would allow suspects to be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing for charges that involve illegal possession, use, or trafficking of guns, the governor's office said.

The legislation would also create a new felony of using a gun while committing a misdemeanor, limit gun purchases to one per month, and require sales of guns by private parties to be recorded by licensed gun dealers.

Public Safety and Security Secretary Kevin Burke said, "We need to send a clear message … that should you use a gun in the commission of a crime … you will be punished."

The legislation was unveiled at a news conference at a Boston housing development. Others attending included Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, Police Commissioner Edward Davis, and community leaders.

The state Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday that illegal gun possession is a "passive and victimless crime." The court rejected a novel strategy implemented by Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter, who had sought to cut down on gun violence by seeking pretrial detention for every person charged with illegal gun possession in his jurisdiction.

The court said the law, known as 58A, does not include illegal gun possession on the list of criminal charges that qualify for a dangerousness hearing.

5 years 11 weeks ago, 6:17 PM

samD

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