The Massachusetts Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government sent Boston’s Senate Bill 969 (asking for allowance of pit bull regulation despite state law prohibiting it) “to study.” This means it is likely that the bill will make no further progress this legislative session.
Pit Bulletin Legal News attended the hearing on Bill 969 and testified against it. In preparation for the hearing, PBLN sent out an exhaustive Freedom of Information Act Request, which resulted in the production of two documents which showed overall bite counts went up after Boston began its breed discriminatory legislation. The only person who testified on behalf of the bill was the Director of Boston Animal Control. He provided no statistics, bite counts, or any data of any kind. His rational for supporting the law was so “we can get the bad guys.” The inference was that having pit bull regulation would give police probable cause to go after gang members and other criminal elements in the community. Sorry, but that’s not a legitimate legal reason.
Please contact both your state senator and state representative and ask them NOT to support S. 969. The bill, text below, would allow cities and towns to enact ineffective breed-discriminatory legislation, which focuses on preventing dog bites based on how certain dogs look, not how they act. Even though it was initiated by Boston, the bill would allow BDL anywhere in the state.
S. 969, An Act relative to Dangerous Dogs in Cities and Towns
SECTION 1. Subsection a of section 157 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 31 of chapter 193 of the acts of 2012, is hereby amended by inserting in the first paragraph, after the world “dog”, in clause ii, the following:-
Unless municipal attack data indicates a specific breed may be deemed dangerous.
SECTION 2. Subsection c of section 157, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting in the last paragraph, after the word “breed”, the following:-
Unless a city or town deems a specific breed to be deemed dangerous through analysis of municipal attack data and by a majority vote of the city council with the approval of the mayor, in the case of a city with a Plan A, Plan B, or Plan F charter; by a majority vote of the city council, in the case of a city with a Plan C, Plan D, or Plan E charter; by a majority vote of the annual town meeting or a special meeting called for the purpose, in the case of a municipality with a town meeting form of government; or by a majority vote of the town council, in the case of a municipality with a town council form of government.