To Light Crowd Of Senators, Mastroianni Defends Positions On Marijuana, Gun Storage Laws

Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni faced questions Tuesday in Washington about his views on marijuana and gun safety laws. Mastroianni appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering his nomination to the federal bench.

The hearing was sparsely attended by senators, with the bulk of questioning coming from Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa. He asked about Mastroianni’s support for a gun storage law, requiring Massachusetts residents to lock up their firearms.

“In my view, the right to self defense doesn’t mean a whole if you can’t access your firearm in a real big hurry,” Grassley told Mastroianni.

In his reply, Mastroianni described why the legislature was spurred to create the law.

“There is rarely a good outcome when a youngster of teenager gets a hold of a gun, doesn’t really know how to use it and takes it out of the home,” Mastroianni said.

Mastroianni also defended his support for Massachusetts’ move – by ballot question – to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

The judiciary committee has not scheduled a vote on his nomination. He would need approval from the full Senate before taking the bench in Springfield.