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Gov. Patrick to sign bill updating state gun laws
BOSTON (AP) -- Gov. Deval Patrick is poised to sign a sweeping overhaul of the state's gun laws.
The bill stiffens penalties for some gun-based crimes, creates a Web-based portal for real-time background checks in private gun sales, and creates a firearms trafficking unit within the state police.
It also lets police chiefs ask a court to deny firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns to individuals they feel are unsuitable.
Patrick will sign the bill Wednesday at the Statehouse.
The bill also mandates Massachusetts join the National Instant Background Check System, which requires the state to transmit information about substance abuse or mental health commitments to a federal database police use to review firearms applications.
Patrick also plans to sign an economic development bill and a $1.9 billion, four-year environmental bond bill Wednesday.