Senator Moore's Public Safety Legislation

S.1049- An Act relative to synthetic heroin- Synthetic heroin (acetyl fentanyl) is a newer designer drug that is said to be 5 to 15 times more potent than heroin. It is a synthetic substance with no recognized medical uses and it is often labeled as “not for human consumption” in order to avoid government regulation. This substance sits in a legal grey area since while it qualifies as an analogue of fentanyl, a large quantity of acetyl fentanyl may not be regulated if it is labeled as a product for non-human uses.  This substance has caused numerous overdoses and deaths, as many users are not aware of the substance’s extreme potency. The drug is suspected to be a significant factor in the recent rise of opiate overdoses.  In order to avoid further deaths from this substance, this legislation adds synthetic heroin to the list of Class B substances.

S.1198- An Act relative to equitable firearm license fees- This bill reduces the cost of applications for a firearm identification card or license to carry from $100 to $40.  This bill offers a more appropriate cost for the application of firearm license and identification cards. The existing fee imposes an excessive burden on citizens who wish to exercise their rights to own, carry and operate firearms.  Reducing this cost will allow for greater access and expanded participation in the constitutional rights of Massachusetts’ citizens. The bill also allocates the fee, which will be split evenly between the licensing authority and the General Fund.

S.1860, An Act to enhance public safety by providing implied consent in cases of persons operating under the influence of drugs- This legislation establishes that any driver operating a motor vehicle on a public way has consented to chemical or breath tests to determine if they are under the influence of drugs. This standard is currently applied to driving under the influence of alcohol, and is one of the most important tools law enforcement has to keep dangerous drivers off the road.  The bill maintains the current standards for testing and privacy that are already included in statute.  With the alarming rise in opiate abuse, it is more important than ever that we are vigilant of impaired drivers that endanger countless other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

S.1859, An Act relative to pedestrian safety- This legislation amends existing Massachusetts General Law, to clarify the ambiguity regarding the offenses associated with certain forms of dangerous driving. Under existing law, sidewalks are not specifically included as areas from which drivers are prohibited.  This has created a legal grey area, where law enforcement is unable to charge some drivers who engage in dangerous driving.  This grey area has even been invoked in instances where pedestrians have been seriously injured or killed by drivers who have ventured onto the sidewalk.