This is a weird one. A new bill introduced in Massachusetts would require health care professionals to “systematically screen all patients for the presence of firearms in the home”, and offer “safety counseling” for those who test positive for gun ownership.
As bizarre as it sounds, you can read the bill for yourself.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 236 the following section:-
Section 237. The director shall establish a program for firearm screening and counseling. Such program shall systematically screen all patients for the presence of firearms in the home. The director shall, after consultation with recognized professional medical groups and such other sources as the director deems appropriate, promulgate regulations establishing (1) the means by which and the intervals at which patients shall be screened for the presence of firearms in the home and (2) guidelines for safety counseling for individuals that screen positive for the presence of firearms in the home.
SECTION 2. This section shall take effect 6 months after its passage.
Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners Action League in Massachusetts joins me on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to delve into this ridiculous piece of legislation, which is actually up for a legislative hearing next week. I keep thinking there must be something more to this bill than it appears, that it targets some specific sub-group of individuals under the care of the Department of Public Health or something like that, but honestly, I’m not seeing anything that would indicate that this is some narrowly crafted piece of legislation.
It looks instead like a demand for doctors and health care professionals to establish whether their patient owns any firearms, and if they do, provide some sort of “safety counseling”, which sounds like code for “tell them why they shouldn’t own a gun.”
The sad thing is, as nutty as this bill is, there’s a good chance that it will at least be passed by the legislature, and Governor Charlie Baker’s status as a Republican is no guarantee he would veto the bill if it got to his desk.
Jim Wallace will be back on the show next week after the legislative hearing takes place, but be sure to check out the entire interview above.
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