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.
Brave New Films
Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition
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
Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence
MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
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
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