August 4, 2014: The Massachusetts legislature approved a bill on Friday to overhaul existing state firearms laws to, amongst other things, provide for stiffer penalties for gun-related crimes. The bill (H4376) would also provide police chiefs the ability to petition a court to deny firearms identification cards (a prerequisite needed to purchase rifles and shotguns) to individuals they believe to be unsuitable to possess firearms. H4376 also provides for the creation of a web-based portal, to be maintained by the state Executive Office of Public Safety, which would permit real-time background checks in private gun sales. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has seven more days to decide whether or not to sign the bill into law. A copy of H4376 can be found here.