BOSTON (AP) -- House Speaker Robert DeLeo has unveiled long-awaited legislation designed to further tighten the state's already strict gun laws.
The bill would for the first time give local police chiefs the ability to deny firearms licenses for rifles or shotguns based on suitability standards and extend federal restrictions for firearm acquisition to the state level.
The measure would also require background checks for private gun sales and require Massachusetts to join a national instant criminal background database.
The bill mirrors many recommendations made by a task force headed by Northeastern University professor Jack McDevitt that was created after the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
DeLeo and other lawmakers said the bill would improve on Massachusetts' already strong gun laws while also protecting the rights of lawful gun owners.