Swampscott, Mass., Selectman Barry Greenfield recently announced that state law should allow local law enforcement to enter private homes and inspect the safeguarding of guns.
Greenfield reportedly expressed concern over the Newtown, Conn., school massacre and other instances where young students have brought firearms to school. The politician reasoned that school shootings often involve children taking guns from parents who did not properly lock away their firearms.
Greenfield stated that the problem lies in the law enforcement. Police are not legally authorized to inspect the homes of gun owners to ensure that guns are being stored safely, he noted.
“We need the ability to enforce the state law,” Greenfield told Swampscott Patch. The selectman has reportedly already spoken to Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan about the issue.
The town of Swampscott currently has about 600 gun owners, reports The Blaze, and a Massachusetts law prohibits gun owners from keeping any firearm “in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.”
Fellow Selectman Glenn Kessler voiced concerns over the constitutionality of Greenfield’s proposal.
There are “civil liberty matters to consider,” Kessler told Swampscott Patch.
He added that the issue should be discussed by police, the town’s legal counsel and interested citizens before any action is taken.