With a stroke of his pen, Governor Deval Patrick tightened state gun laws Wednesday. Highlights:
►Massachusetts will join a national database for criminal and mental health background checks.
►Schools will be required to develop plans to address students’ mental health needs.
►Police chiefs will have the ability to go to court to keep rifles and shotguns out of the hands of people they deem dangerous.
These provisions will be added to the state’s already tough laws, which include the following:
►A ban on semiautomatic assault weapons.
►Strict licensing rules.
►A ban on anyone convicted of a violent crime or drug trafficking from carrying or owning a gun.