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The Hiller Instinct

Bay State Gun Laws

As Washington talks about gun control again, Massachusetts should, too.

The Bay State prides itself on having tough guns laws--"the strictest in the nation" according to one legislator--but they're not as tough as they sound.

Take the mandatory prison sentence for carrying a gun without a license.

Get caught with an unregistered gun on the street or in your car and you're going to jail for at least 18 months...AND possibly for as long as five years.

Even for gang members, that's a deterrent.

But, listen to this: if you have an illegal gun inside your home, or where you work, there's no mandatory sentence.

Maybe you'll go to jail, and maybe you won't.

Meanwhile, the illegal gun in your house won't be a problem until you use it, or threaten to...by which time it may be a little late for gun control.

I hope you think that's as dumb as i do.

It's why police can go into a Boston house and find an arsenal of illegal automatic handguns and ammunition and there won't be a minute of mandatory prison time.

Says Suffolk County D.A. Dan Conley : "that makes as much legal sense as common sense," which is to say none.

Conley has tried to close the loophole more than once, but Beacon Hill has always said no.

Now he's getting ready to ask again, and--this time--i hope the State House says yes.

That would be a change I could believe in, and a change that could save your life.