AN OPEN LETTER ASKING GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER

August 11, 2016

A COALITION OF NEARLY 30 GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ORGANIZATIONS SIGN AN OPEN LETTER ASKING GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER TO SUPPORT ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY’S ENFORCEMENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN

NEWTOWN, CT & BOSTON, MA – Last month, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey took a very bold step by announcing that she will be stepping up enforcement of her state’s long-standing assault weapons ban. Massachusetts is one of just seven states with such a ban, but for many years, the gun industry has been defying the ban by manufacturing copycat assault weapons that are nearly indistinguishable from the weapons used in Orlando, Newtown, San Bernardino, Aurora, and other mass shootings. There were 10,000 of them sold in Massachusetts last year alone.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who initially supported Attorney General Healey’s action, is now starting to question the AG’s right to enforce the intent of the copycat provision of the assault weapons ban. Therefore, gun violence prevention organizations are sending the following open letter to the Governor:

Dear Governor Baker,

We are writing to ask you to stand with Attorney General Maura Healey in her effort to enforce the Massachusetts assault weapons ban, which has been in place for 18 years.

As you know, AR-15 style assault weapons have killed hundreds of people in mass shootings across the country, including in Orlando, Newtown, Baton Rouge, San Bernardino, and Aurora. In the wake of these tragedies, we’ve witnessed too many empty expressions of sympathy, and too few elected officials who have had the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and actually do something.

In Massachusetts, Attorney General Healey has quickly and decisively curbed the sale of these deadly military-style weapons. She should be applauded for carrying out the will of the people.

Let us be very clear: if we prevent the Attorney General from taking action against the sale of copycat assault weapons, the ban means nothing. We might as well get rid of it.

We were deeply disappointed to see you question the Attorney General’s action, which has finally given Massachusetts residents the full protection of the law.

Claims that her notice is unclear or that the Attorney General lacks authority to enforce this state law are the products of a wealthy and powerful gun lobby that does not speak for the vast majority of Americans, who overwhelmingly support banning assault weapons.

We aren’t talking about hunting rifles or handguns here. We’re talking about weapons of war that have been used — time and again — to commit acts of mass atrocity. If you do not stand with Attorney General Healey, you do not stand with us.

Sincerely,

Brave New Films

Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition

Ceasefire Oregon

Ceasefire Pennsylvania

Chelsea Collaborative

Colorado Ceasefire

CREDO Action

Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence

End the Madness

Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence

Gays Against Guns

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence

Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence

GunControlToday

Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence

MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

MomsRising.org

National Cathedral Gun Violence Prevention Group

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Medical Council on Gun Violence

Newtown Action Alliance

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence

Northwest Corner Committee for Gun Violence Prevention

Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence

One Pulse for America

Parents for Public Safety

Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence

States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Stop Handgun Violence

The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus

Violence Policy Center

 

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The Newtown Action Alliance (www.newtownaction.org) is a grassroots organization formed after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It works to make America’s children, families, and all citizens safer through legislative and cultural change that will reduce gun violence in our nation.

Stop Handgun Violence (SHV) is a Massachusetts based non-profit organization committed to the prevention of gun violence through education, public awareness, effective law enforcement and common sense gun laws. SHV has been the lead advocate in Massachusetts for enactment of the most effective gun violence prevention laws and first in the nation consumer protection regulations. The organization does not seek to restrict Constitutional rights, but advocates only for common sense legislation that will help save lives. For more information, go to www.stophandgunviolence.org

AMERICANS KILLED BY GUNS SINCE THE MASSACRE AT SANDY HOOK

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