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editorial

Police chiefs need discretion to deny guns to dangerous people

Lawmakers shouldn’t let the gun lobby wedge itself between the police and public safety.

AP/file

Lawmakers shouldn’t let the gun lobby wedge itself between the police and public safety.

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In a crippling of legislation meant to keep firearms out of the hands of disturbed and dangerous people, the state Senate Thursday stripped out a House provision that gives police chiefs the same discretion to deny permits for shotguns and rifles as they have for handguns. The language, which enjoys support from many in law enforcement, provides for a modest level of community-level scrutiny; local authorities often have useful information about which people pose credible risks to others or themselves. The provision should be reinstated in conference committee. Lawmakers shouldn’t let the gun lobby wedge itself between the police and public safety.

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