Markey Bill Aims To Expand Gun-Licensing Standards

U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey will file long-shot legislation today to incentivize other states to adopt gun-licensing standards similar to those in Massachusetts, which has the lowest gun- death rate in the nation.

At a news conference yesterday at Boston police headquarters, the state’s Democratic junior senator unveiled the Making America Safe and Secure Act, or MASS Act, which would authorize the Department of Justice to award $20 million in grants in each of the next five years to states that adopt standards already in place here.

To qualify for funding, states would have to require gun owners to be licensed and applicants to undergo a background check that would preclude them from obtaining a license if they have any felony convictions or restraining orders against them.

The odds of convincing Congress to pass Markey’s bill, however, “are beyond long; they’re slim to zero,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.

“It would have to get beyond the House of Representatives, which is going to recognize this as a political stunt and a backdoor to federal gun laws,” O’Connell said, “and the Senate is going to say the same thing.”

Read more from Marie Szaniszlo at the Boston Herald

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