Boston, Mass., October 10, 2023 – Today, the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, GIFFORDS, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action – part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, Brady, and Stop Handgun Violence issued the following statements applauding the introduction of comprehensive gun safety legislation titled An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws by the House Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary Michael Day.
The measure will take forward-thinking steps to ensure people carrying guns in public receive rigorous safety training, update Massachusetts’ assault weapons prohibition and ensure that it is enforced, prohibit ghost guns, keep guns out of sensitive public spaces including schools and government buildings, promote innovative and emerging gun safety technologies, and more.
Sean Holihan, GIFFORDS State Legislative Director:
"Massachusetts has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country, but must address growing problems like ghost guns and last year’s Supreme Court decision. This package of gun safety bills will not only address these new issues but also strengthen Massachusetts’ existing laws. GIFFORDS applauds Chairman Day for introducing this critical legislation and we urge the legislature to quickly pass it.”
Ruth Zakarin, Executive Director, MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
“Massachusetts communities continue to be traumatized by gun violence, and we have too many families in the Commonwealth grieving the loss of loved ones. Gun violence is an incredibly complex issue, one that requires a comprehensive and multilayered response. This bill provides just that, strengthening a variety of policies along with tackling new issues that need immediate attention. We are grateful to Chair Day for his work on this legislation and look forward to working with our state leaders to ensure its passage.”
Kris Brown, President of Brady:
"Reducing gun violence requires a comprehensive approach, and this package of bills contains numerous policies that will ensure that Massachusetts families are better protected. In particular, designating government buildings, polling places and schools as sensitive places and expanding dealer oversight will help stop the cycle of violence and prevent gun violence before it begins. We applaud Chairman Day for introducing this life-saving legislation."
Lynn Grilli, Co-Chapter Leader of Massachusetts Moms Demand Action:
“Our Commonwealth has led by example, demonstrating strong gun laws work and save lives– but as guns continue to be the leading cause of death among children and teens in the country we must do more to address the gun violence crisis. This comprehensive bill equips Massachusetts with the tools and resources necessary to save lives before tragedy strikes. We strongly support this important bill and are grateful to Chairman Day and Speaker Mariano for their steadfast leadership in the fight against gun violence. We urge Representatives to join us in support and bring it to the House floor for a vote.”
John Rosenthal, Founder and Chair Stop Handgun Violence:
“As promised, House Speaker Mariano and Representative Day have taken action to renew the omnibus gun safety bill. By closing dangerous loopholes, this legislation will help keep guns out of the hands of people who are legally prohibited from buying firearms. These bills will absolutely save lives and endless grief without any inconvenience to law-abiding gun owners like me. They will also continue to make Massachusetts the safest state with the most effective gun violence prevention laws and lowest gun death rate in the nation.”
An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws would:
Improve firearm dealer inspections by requiring the Massachusetts State Police to conduct inspections of local gun dealers.
Strengthen Massachusetts’s assault weapons prohibition by expanding it to cover more firearms and facilitate the enforcement of the prohibition.
Raise the age for possession of a semi-automatic long gun (rifle or shotgun) to 21.
Expands current prohibitions on devices that increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearms.
Create a special legislative commission to examine the funding structure for community-based violence prevention services in the Commonwealth, ensuring that it is both impactful and equitable.
Direct the Department of Criminal Justice Services (CJIS) to collect and analyze a wider range of data on firearms and firearm crimes, and regularly make that data available to the public.
Address the growing problem of ghost guns by requiring all firearms manufactured, assembled, possessed, purchased, or transferred into Massachusetts to be serialized, so law enforcement can trace them if they are used to commit a crime.
Strengthen the state’s concealed carry laws in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision.
Strengthen the existing extreme risk protection order law to include by expanding the list of individuals eligible to file an ERPO to include licensed healthcare providers, school administrators, and employers.
Establish a commission to study and report on the feasibility of microstamping and smart gun technology, with a report due in September of 2024.
GIFFORDS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, GIFFORDS shifts culture, changes policies, and challenges injustice, inspiring Americans across the country to fight gun violence.
Moms Demand Action is the nation’s largest grassroots volunteer network working to end gun violence. Moms Demand Action is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization with nearly ten million supporters and more than 700,000 donors. Moms Demand Action campaigns for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families, educates policymakers and parents about the importance of secure firearm storage and works to create a culture of gun safety through partnerships with businesses, community organizations and influencers. There is a Moms Demand Action chapter in every state of the country and more than 700 local groups across the country. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction, on Twitter at @MomsDemand and download our DemandAction app at https://momsdemandaction.org/app/.
The Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is a grassroots coalition of more than 125 member organizations, working to address the root causes of gun violence in the Commonwealth. The Coalition has been working to end gun violence for more than ten years, and was instrumental in the passage of the 2014 landmark gun reform legislation, as well as 2018’s extreme risk protection order law. The Coalition works to end gun violence through education, advocacy, community organizing, and coalition building. Learn more at www.mapreventgunviolence.org.