• Proposed gun legislation sparks protest on Beacon Hill


    BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) Hundreds of people joined a pro-guns rally held on Beacon Hill Saturday.

    The rally, hosted by the Gun Owners' Action League, was held for what the group calls "unconstitutional events" that took place in New York state, as well as gun control legislation recently proposed by Gov. Patrick.

    Organizers called on gun rights activists to contact Gov. Deval Patrick and other Mass. officials to say the, "new control legislation will do nothing to stop crime, or lower crime statistics, it will only continue to heap punishment on law abiding gun owners by further restricting and controlling what we can lawfully purchase, possess and do."

    Gov. Patrick unveiled a bill on Wednesday that would tighten access to high-powered rounds of ammunition, create four new types of firearms-related crimes and mandate buyers to undergo background checks before purchasing weapons at gun shows. It would also restrict gun owners to purchasing one firearm a month.

    The bill would also allow Mass. courts to send all relevant mental health records to the state's criminal justice information system so the federal government could include this information in a national gun license registry. Patrick said that would bring Massachusetts into compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

    The bill includes $5 million for Department of Mental Health programs, including training teachers to recognize symptoms of mental illness in students.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have also been vocal about their hopes for stricter gun regulation on a national level.

    Lawmakers across the country have pushed for tighter gun laws after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The push has caused an outcry among gun rights advocates who say state and law enforcement officials should focus on keeping guns out of the hands of hard-core criminals and the mentally ill.

    Gun owners in New York also planned to rally at the state capitol in Albany on Saturday. This week, New York passed the nation's toughest assault weapon and magazine restrictions.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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