REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE:
Safer Communities Through Preventing Crime, Limiting Access to Guns, and Addressing the Impacts of Violence
Massachusetts has a long history of national leadership on gun control. Our Commonwealth is widely recognized for having some of the toughest gun laws in the country, strengthened even further in a bill signed by Governor Patrick in 2014. In large part due to these laws, Massachusetts has the lowest rate of gun deaths among all states.
However, even one gun-related death is too many. There are also too many other tragic impacts of gun violence in our communities. The status quo is not good enough, and Massachusetts needs to aim higher in its efforts to address the root causes of violence and reduce access to guns. We need leaders who will stand strong and speak clearly about these issues. I pledge to work hard to combat gun violence across our Commonwealth.
Stopping Gun Violence Before It Starts
- Address the root causes of violence by investing in education, housing, job training, health care, and other programs that provide stability in people’s lives.
- Support community policing efforts aimed at building strong neighborhood ties and engaging high-risk youth in education and violence prevention programs.
- Expand summer job programs for at-risk youth.
- Partner with cities and towns to target gun violence hot spots, address abandoned and blighted properties, and revitalize high-crime neighborhoods to create positive development and community opportunity.
- Invest in opioid and other drug addiction treatment to reduce the incidence of gun crimes committed to feed addictions and fuel illegal trafficking.
- Support pending legislation to establish extreme risk protective orders, allowing family or household members, health care providers, or law enforcement officers or district attorneys with appropriate jurisdiction to petition the courts for a temporary order to keep firearms out of the hands of people who are an extreme risk to themselves or others.
Reducing Access to Guns and Increasing Enforcement
- Advocate for the reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban.
- Support Attorney General Healey’s enforcement of the state assault weapons ban, including “copycat” assault weapons.
- Support innovative and proven programs to get guns off the streets, such as buy backs.
- Increase enforcement against trafficking in guns coming into Massachusetts from neighboring states with less stringent gun laws and advocate against efforts to pass national concealed carry reciprocity
- Oppose legislation that would legalize gun silencers.
- Update 2014 reforms and require private gun sellers to obtain pre-sale certification of a buyer’s background check from a federally licensed dealer.
- Advocate for federal investment in technology upgrades to ensure better coordination between state and federal databases.
- Promote development and advancement in “smart gun” technologies that restrict access to only a gun’s legal owner, reducing preventable gun deaths and creating job opportunities in this emerging area.
Addressing the Impacts and Stopping the Cycle of Violence
- Improve gun safety and protect users by advocating to end liability exemptions for gun manufacturers, allowing gun regulations to be consistent with other consumer products.
- Invest in trauma relief and support services for victims’ families and affected communities to stop the cycle of violence.
- Enact comprehensive criminal justice reform, including rehabilitation and support programs for offenders, to improve their future prospects and reduce recidivism.