Gov. Deval Patrick says his bill to help control illegal handguns has been hurt by gun lobbyists and may not even get debated.
Patrick told reporters Monday that he believes members of the House are “feeling the pressure from the gun lobby” to oppose a bill that would restrict licensed gun owners to purchasing one firearm a month and strengthen the penalties against illegal possessors of guns.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo had assured Patrick the measure would come up for a vote, but with the legislative session winding down, that prospect is looking unlikely.
The bill is designed clamp down on so-called “straw purchasers” who buy guns legally and then resell them to convicted felons and others barred from owning guns.
Opponents say the state should enforce its already-strict gun laws, not add more.