Councilor renews call to ban firearms
By Jessica Van Sack
Monday, October 20, 2008 - Added 15h ago
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Jessica Van Sack is the Herald's Boston police bureau chief covering crime and justice. She works out of City Hall where you can send tips to

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On the heels of a horrific shooting that put three children in the hospital this weekend, city councilor Michael F. Flaherty plans to file legislation tomorrow banning armor-piercing ammunition in the Hub and closing a gun “loophole” that allows some gun-toting thugs to get a slap on the wrist.

The two home-rule petitions would require Beacon Hill approval. Flaherty is proposing a mandatory minimum of 18 months in the slammer for anyone found with an illegal gun at home or work in the Hub.

Under the Hub’s current gun ordinance, there’s no mandatory minimum penalty for illegal possession of a gun at home or at work. But for carrying an illegal firearm on the street, thugs get a mandatory 18 months.


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Flaherty filed similar legislation last year, but it languished at the State House after being approved by the City Council and signed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Flaherty now hopes the added muscle of bill co-sponsor Rep. Michael F. Rush (D-W. Roxbury) will help the proposal become reality.

The bill already has the enthusiastic support of Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, who has long supported closing the loophole, said spokesman Jake Wark.

Rep. Martin Walsh (D-Dorchester), is co-sponsoring the ammunition ban, Flaherty’s office said. Flaherty said so-called cop-killer bullets are rare on Hub streets, and the measure is pre-emptive. Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said that so far this year, at least two shootings have involved assault rifles packed with ammunition that could potentially pierce a bullet-proof vest.

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