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Boston Herald: Deval Patrick Implores Gun Law Passage

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By Hillary Chabot

Gov. Deval Patrick said the senseless shooting death of a teenage Boston honors student this weekend should prompt lawmakers to act on a stalled measure detailed in the Herald that would target machine gun ownership.

"The tragedy over the weekend in Boston with another 14-year-old who was killed just underscores the importance of getting action," Patrick said yesterday.

The governor said he spoke with the slain teen's mother yesterday morning and told her, "It's not the order of things that you bury your own child. That a child who is doing right and is playing on the streets would be the victim of a random gunshot is not acceptable."

Jaewon Martin, 14, was gunned down Saturday as he and a friend were playing at a basketball court at the Bromley-Heath housing project.

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) is considering the legislation in light of Martin's tragic death, said spokesman Seth Gitell.

The Herald reported yesterday that licensing of the dangerous automatic weapons has skyrocketed - even though an 8-year-old boy was killed using one at a gun show more than two years ago.

Some lawmakers have bristled at Patrick's legislation, which they say goes too far and would strip law abiding gun owners of their rights.

The bill, which is in the judiciary committee on Beacon Hill, would limit gun sales to one firearm a month and ban anyone who isn't the licensed owner or a police officer from having a machine gun.

Patrick also blamed gun lobbyists for the delay yesterday. "Look, there's a lot of volume that the gun lobby has in this building," Patrick said, adding that lawmakers ought to listen to the victims of crimes instead.

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