Thank you for reading this edition of Gun Reform Roundup: the latest news from the Commonwealth, New England, and the Nation.
Here are the biggest stories this week:
1) Update on Concealed Carry Reciprocity
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to forward the dangerous Concealed Carry Reciprocity legislation out of committee, without allowing any amendments that would have kept guns out of the hands of violent criminals and domestic abusers. Its next stop will be a floor vote in the House of Representatives. Read more from Politico and watch CNN’s coverage of law enforcement leading the fight to #StopCCR.
Defeating this bill is the number one priority for our organization and every other major gun violence prevention group, including Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, and the Brady Campaign.
For your weekly action, we need you to use this form to email your Representative NOW and ask them to reject Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
What is Concealed Carry Reciprocity?
- CCR, also known as Federally-Mandated Concealed Carry, would make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places in Massachusetts.
- This bill would totally decimate Massachusetts’ gun permitting system by forcing our state to allow ANYONE who is allowed to carry a gun in their home state, to carry guns in Massachusetts, regardless of the licensing requirements in that state. We have the lowest gun death rate in the nation, thanks largely to our permitting requirements. We must not go backward; public safety requires it.
- This is not a national standard, it is a race to the bottom where the states with absolutely no permitting requirements become the law of the land.
- Even in the wake of the worst mass shootings in modern American history, Congress is still bending to the will of the gun lobby to put more guns in untrained hands across America.
- Police chiefs across our state and nearly every law enforcement agency have proclaimed opposition to this bill because of its disastrous consequences for public safety. Officers would have to become experts on licensing requirements for all 50 states, and the bill would hold officers personally liable if they question the validity of someone’s concealed carry permit. This would undoubtedly lead to some violent offenders slipping through.
- National Law Enforcement Partnership, Survivors of Gun Violence, the American Bar Association, National Faith Groups, the League of Women Voters, and 17 state Attorneys General have all written letters to Congress urging them to oppose this dangerous legislation.
2) Nationwide Vigils Planned for 5th Anniversary of Sandy Hook Shooting
Spearheaded by the Newtown Action Alliance’s National Vigil in Washington, DC, there will be vigils held to honor victims of gun violence and discuss actions to prevent future deaths. Next week will mark the 5-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, CT. Please sign up for this ThunderClap to support the vigils on social media.
A list of Massachusetts vigils can be found at the bottom of this email. There will be events in Boston, Beverly, Westford, Warwick, Northborough, Andover, Arlington, Amesbury, Natick, Topsfield, Hyannis, Williamstown, and Westfield. Some are as soon as TOMORROW!
3) Stop Handgun Violence Sends Powerful Message to Congress and Trump
Our founder John Rosenthal wrote: “We decided to send a graphic wake-up call to President Trump and nearly 300 members of Congress who have sided with the gun lobby in opposing common sense gun safety laws.”
“The invitation–sent to the White House and Congressional offices in Washington, DC–bears grim, graphic photos of the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting and reads: ‘You are invited…to wipe the blood off your hands and end mass shootings.'”
WARNING THESE LINKS CONTAIN GRAPHIC IMAGES: Read more from The Boston Globe and The Hill.
4) NPR Discusses Concealed Carry Reciprocity with Johns Hopkins Public Health Researcher Daniel Webster
This man always has very insightful things to say about public health legislation. He has done more research on gun laws than perhaps any other scientist in the world. Read or listen to the piece from NPR.
5) Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Allies Building Online Tools to Help Disarm Domestic Abusers
Nobody should have to live in fear of an armed domestic abuser. The new tools and website will launch next year.
6) CBS MoneyWatch: Gun Violence Is a Massive Financial Burden to the American People
Some estimates put the total annual cost of shootings in America to be $100 billion, while others put it even higher. More from CBS MoneyWatch.
7) Philadelphia Police Commissioner: Time to Take Responsibility for Gun Violence
Read the op-ed by Philly Police Commissioner Richard Ross: “Gun violence affects us all.”
8) Supreme Court Denies Changes to Gun Laws in Maryland and Florida
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear challenges to an assault weapons ban in Florida and an open-carry ban in Florida, leaving the law in place and protected.
9) NBC News Discusses Gun Lobby Influence on the Judiciary
“The NRA’s congressional influence is bad. Its judicial clout could be worse.” – NBC News
10) New England Journal of Medicine on Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic
The New England Journal of Medicine published a number of articles on gun violence over the past few weeks, including an analysis of firearm-related deaths and injuries and a perspective from trauma surgeons.
11) Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against the U.S. Air Force for Sutherland Springs, Texas Shooting
Read coverage from CNN on the wrongful death claim, filed by a Texas family that lost eight members, including a pregnant woman, in the Sutherland Springs, Texas mass shooting last month.
December 11, 12:00-2:00pm: Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence Presents: Northeastern Professors Jack McDevitt and Janice Iwama review and discuss their assessment of the 2014 Massachusetts gun violence legislation.
At the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, 138 Tremont Street, Boston. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending. You don’t want to miss this one!
December 16, 9:00am-3:00pm: Goods for Guns – Gun Buybacks at Various Locations in Central Massachusetts. Get gift cards for old guns and free gun locks even if you don’t turn in a gun. TOTALLY ANONYMOUS. Locations include Worcester, Barre, Charlton, Dudley, Fitchburg, Grafton, Leicester, Leominster, Millbury, Northbridge, Oxford, Rutland, Southbridge, Spencer, and Webster. See a full list of locations.
May 2018: Advocacy Training Workshop hosted by Stop Handgun Violence, Boston University Activist Lab, and M+R Labs.
2017 National Vigils for Victims of Gun Violence – Massachusetts Events
December 6, 5:30pm; Warwick, Metcalf Memorial Chapel, 32 Athol Road: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence. Hosted by Trinitarian Congregational Church of Warwick.
December 6, 7:00pm; Westford, Westford Common, 48 Main Street: Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, hosted by First Parish Church United, Live for Liv, Westford Coalition for Non-Violence, Indivisible Westford, Westford Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Temple Shalom, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
December 6, 7:00pm; Northborough, Trinity Church, 23 Main Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook
December 6, 7:00pm; Andover, Chinmaya Maruti Temple, 1 Union Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence. Hosted by North Parish of North Andover, UU.
December 10, 10:30am; Arlington, Calvary United Methodist Church, 300 Mass Ave: Remembrance for Sandy Hook Victims and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence
December 13, 7:00pm; Beverly, Ellis Square, 12 Ellis Sq.: Candlelight Vigil for Victims and Call for Action on Gun Violence. Speakers include Stop Handgun Violence founder John Rosenthal. Hosted by the Beverly Multifaith Coalition. (in case of rain, the location will change to First Parish Church in Beverly)
December 14, 5:30pm; Amesbury, Main Street Congregational UCC, 145 Main Street (at the gazebo): Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook (5:30-6:30) and Conversation about Gun Violence (6:30-7:00).
December 14, 6:00pm; Natick, First Congregational Church in Natick, 2 East Central Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence.
December 14, 6:15pm; Boston, First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, with Speakers and a Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence. Speakers include State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, author and survivor Greg Gibson, Bishop Alan Gates, and Rev. Stephen Kendrick. Hosted by Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
December 14, 7:00pm; Topsfield, The Meeting House of the Congregational Church of Topsfield, 9 E. Common Street: Newtown, An Evening of Remembrance: screening of the documentary Newtown, followed by a candlelight vigil for victims of gun violence, hosted by HUGS (Hands Up for Gun Safety)
December 14, 7:00pm; Hyannis, First Baptist Church, 486 Main Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, hosted by Cape Cod Grandmothers Against Gun Violence
December 16 & 17, time TBD; Williamstown, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 35 Park Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence
Date and time TBD; Westfield, UCC Second Congregational Church, 487 Western Ave: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence.
Thank you for reading through to the end and for your commitment to preventing gun violence. Your URGENT weekly action is to fill out this form telling your Representative in Congress that you oppose concealed carry reciprocity.
Stay safe and strong.
The Stop Handgun Violence Team