Gun Violence Prevention

We work in conjunction with the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence to work towards creating a safer environment through regulation and other practical measures.

Working as part of this coalition, in 2014 we provided the grassroots strength to overcome the local chapter of the NRA and convince the Legislature to enact and the Governor to sign the first significant changes to our state gun violence prevention laws since 1998. This new law includes required background checks every time a gun is sold in MA; ensures that MA shares mental health records with the federal background check system; expands the suitability standard so that police chiefs can deny licenses for the purchase and possession of rifles and shotguns to people who pose a danger to their communities or themselves; and requires that data be collected about where a gun originated if it was used in a crime or suicide.

Our main goals:
 – Reduce homicides, suicides, and accidents caused by guns
 – Universal background checks
 – Lowering illegal gun trafficking
 – Increase support services for family members of homicide victims
 – Fund and support gun violence research (congress has prohibited researchers from using funds for gun violence related projects)
How we work to reach them:
 – Meeting with state and federal officials
 – Assist in  coordinating data sharing across agencies
 – Work with police chiefs to ensure data is being collected and distributed properly regarding guns used in crime and suicide
 – Propose new legislation
 – Staying vigilant to ensure legislation is being properly followed and enforced
 – Backing preventative efforts such as anti-gang programs and the creation of jobs/training for youth
 – Organizing campaigns through community organizing and outreach
 – Legislative drafting assitance
 – Increase awareness among public and elected officials
 – Collaboration with Stop Handgun Violence on an amicus brief (resulting in a positive court decision)