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Facial recognition, gun law rewrite added to Massachusetts bond bill



Chris Lisinski

Boston, MA – Representatives voted Thursday to rework the state’s license-to-carry firearms law and to limit police use of facial recognition technology, advancing a pair of substantial criminal justice measures in the home stretch of formal lawmaking sessions.

The House added language to a $164 million judiciary IT bond bill (H 5046) responding to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling expanding gun rights and implementing recommendations from a panel that studied potential guardrails around facial recognition.

Justices ruled that New York’s requirement for applicants to demonstrate “proper cause” to obtain a concealed carry permit was unconstitutional, and while Massachusetts was not part of the case, they singled out a “good reason” section of the Bay State’s law as an analogue. The gun-related amendment (#13), filed by Judiciary Committee Co-chair Rep. Mike Day, would halve the duration of a license to carry or possess firearms in Massachusetts from six years to three years, eliminate the requirement for an applicant to show “good reason” when seeking a license to carry, and tighten other limits on who can get such a license. Anyone subject to a temporary or permanent harassment prevention order would be prohibited from carrying a firearm, which Day said would “close a loophole,” and anyone who “poses a risk of danger to their self or others” would similarly be barred. Representatives voted 120-33 to adopt Day’s amendment, with all Republicans and a handful of Democrats opposed.

The House also voted 149-4 on a Rep. Orlando Ramos amendment that he said codifies recommendations a facial recognition panel submitted in March limiting law enforcement’s ability to use biometric surveillance and facial recognition without explicit statutory authorization. Police would need a judge’s warrant, including probable cause that a suspect identified in an image has committed a felony, before they could run a facial recognition search with exceptions for emergencies and deceased individuals, Day said. Use of the technology would also be centralized and more closely tracked. Senate action on the bill appears likely next week given the strong interest in responding to the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David

    July 23, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    Thus article proffers ‘fake news’ by stating that;
    “…. a recent US Supreme Court ruling expanding gun rights … ”
    Gun rights in the United States are fully vested by the Second Amendment of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution (the ‘Bill of Rights – 1791).
    The Bill of Rights were conceived, articulated, and drafted by the Framers (James Madison, etc) as NEGATIVE Rights, meaning AFFIRMATIVE rights, meaning ‘UNALIENABLE” rights .. meaning GOD- GIVEN rights and not a guarantee originating from a Government (POSITIVE Rights); Rights from a man made government always involve political manipulation, compromise, and intervention in the private lives of citizens. The Founding Fathers/Framers fought a war to escape such government intervention and were believers in Supernatural ‘natural law’ (man is made in God’s image) and they were doing everything to create a true and free republic based on ‘natural law’. Therefore, it is false to assert that somehow the US Supreme Court recently expanded ‘gun rights’ the Second Amendment or any of the Ten Amendments can not be ‘expanded’; they can only be restricted by a tyrannical government. In this instance the US Supreme Court restrained the State New York from infringing its citizens constitutionally guaranteed second amendment right.

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