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Advocacy Priorities 2021-2022

We've worked closely with our leadership team, member organizations, and community members to develop our advocacy priorities for 2021-2022. We have taken a holistic approach to our advocacy, focusing on actions that will address the root causes of violence and create anti-racist system change.

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Access to Firearms

Massachusetts has some of the strictest regulations on who can own and carry a gun in the US, yet there are still too many lives lost to gun violence each year. While access to firearms is not the only driver of gun violence, we must address the proliferation of firearms and the role they play in gun violence.

  • Ghost guns - the term ghost gun refers to an untraceable firearm without a serial number, usually assembled at home with a kit purchased online or using 3D printing technology.

    • The Coalition is deeply concerned by the rise of these untraceable, unregulated firearms that can be assembled at home. We are working closely with our national partners around the recent ATF rule change

  • Crime gun data analysis - 2014's landmark gun control law required that data be collected on all guns recovered in connection with a crime. These bills would require that the more than 6 years worth of data collected on crime guns be analyzed to better understand where these guns are coming from and measure the efficacy of our gun laws.

    • H.2437 /S.1562 - An Act relative to crime gun data reporting and analysis, sponsored by Rep. Decker and Sen. Creem​

Juvenile Justice Reform

Involvement with the criminal justice system fuels the conditions that lead to gun violence: poverty, lack of opportunity, and trauma. We are focused on legislation that keeps youth out of the juvenile justice system and provides more supportive services to those that are involved in the juvenile justice system. An investment in young people is an investment in violence prevention.

  • Raise the Age - this bill raises the age at which a young person is viewed as an adult in the eyes of the criminal justice system, allowing 18-20 year olds to remain in the juvenile justice system where they receive more developmentally appropriate services that reduce recidivism and improve outcomes.

    • H.1826/S.920 - An Act to promote public safety and better outcomes for young adults, sponsored by Reps. O’Day  and Khan and Sen. Boncore​

  • Expungement - expands eligibility for individuals to have juvenile offenses on their record expunged or cleared, removing barriers to housing, education, and employment.

    • H.1531/S.980 - An Act relative to expungement of juvenile and young adult records, sponsored by Reps. Khan and Decker, and Sen. Creem

  • Juvenile diversion - expands juvenile diversion programs keeping a greater number of young people out of the juvenile justice system

    • H.1569/S.984 - An Act relative to judicial supervision to promote child well-being, sponsored by  Rep. Fluker-Oakley and Sen. Creem

Trauma and Gun Violence

Addressing trauma and other mental health issues for survivors of gun violence and their communities is a vital part of ending the cycle of gun violence.

  • Mental Health First Aid - bill is still being worked on by House counsel.

    • HD.3263 - An act expanding access to trauma informed care and mental health first aid training, sponsored by Rep. Miranda

  • Alternatives to Community Emergency Services (ACES) - establishes a pilot program for a non-law-enforcement response to mental health crises, to be implemented in and designed by communities that are overpoliced.

    • H.2519/S.1552 - An Act to Create Alternatives for Community Emergency Services (ACES), sponsored by Rep. Sabadosa and Sen. Chang-Diaz

  • Financial support for youth aging out of foster care - establishes a pilot program to provide financial support for young adults aging out of foster care, setting them up for future success.

    • HD.3261 - An Act providing for a universal basic income for youth aging out of foster care, sponsored by Rep. Miranda