Boston, MA- “Stop Handgun Violence is pleased and encouraged by the Report of the Committee to Reduce Firearm Violence presented to House Speaker Bob DeLeo and released today,” said John Rosenthal, founder of the 19-year-old organization.
“The Committee’s analysis of gun violence and their suggestions to strengthen existing law in the Commonwealth are both realistic and practical. The report emphasizes the link between effective gun laws here in Massachusetts and the resulting relatively low firearm homicide and suicide rates in the Commonwealth when compared with other states – even as it acknowledges that there is still room for improvement in existing Massachusetts law to further reduce preventable gun violence.
The Committee suggests that all sales of firearms (private and public) take place through a licensed firearms dealer to ensure that background checks are current and accurate. It also recommends that police chiefs have discretion for licensing rifles and shotguns – a provision, which does not exist in current Massachusetts law, and it encourages compliance with the NICS database requirements for “adjudicated” mentally ill patients. At the same time, the Committee suggests standardization and less overall licensing discretion and that Commonwealth firearm licenses should remain valid during the renewal process to accommodate administrative delays. All of these suggestions make sense and further strengthen our already best-in-the-nation gun laws.
I was pleased that the Committee took the opportunity to be bold and, yet, thoughtful and balanced in their recommendations. I hope the Legislature enacts these recommendations since these provisions will save lives and ensure that Massachusetts maintains its status as a national leader in gun violence prevention.”
Stop Handgun Violence will continue to advocate strongly for further improvements to the Massachusetts gun laws which were not among the Committee’s recommendations, including:
- Ability for the Secretary of Public Safety to add “copycat” weapons, such as the Bushmaster AR 15 used at Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, to the list of permanently banned assault weapons in Massachusetts.
- Prohibition on carrying more than one high capacity ammunition magazine.
- Limit gun purchases by individuals to one per month
Stop Handgun Violence is a non-profit organization committed to the prevention of gun violence through education, public awareness, effective law enforcement and common sense gun laws. 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.