As the Massachusetts legislature convenes to open their 2023-24 legislative session today, lawmakers will once again have the opportunity to pass common sense gun safety measures. We applaud the legislature in their fight to end gun violence by allocating millions of dollars to support community-based violence intervention programs and for passing strong gun safety laws over the years. Massachusetts’s leadership in the gun safety movement has resulted in the Commonwealth having one of the lowest rates of gun deaths in the country and the lowest economic costs per capita resulting from gun violence of any state in the nation.
During the 2021-22 legislative session, Moms Demand Action volunteers pushed for legislation to crack down on ghost guns, require live fire training as part of the license to carry process, increase analysis of crime gun data, and prohibit guns in sensitive locations like polling places, government buildings, and other spaces central to democracy. After the United States Supreme Court’s harmful decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen in June – which struck down a provision of New York State’s concealed carry permitting law that required an individual to prove they had a “proper cause” to obtain a concealed carry permit – legislators passed a bill to correct some of the dangerous outcomes of the Bruen decision. However, the legislature did not pass other key gun safety bills to keep residents of the Commonwealth safe.
Speaker Mariano released a statement, pledging to pass comprehensive gun safety legislation in 2023, and asked House Judiciary Chairman Mike Day to lead the development of the bill. This year, Massachusetts lawmakers must reaffirm the Commonwealth’s status at the forefront of the gun safety movement by passing comprehensive legislation to cut off the flow of ghost guns to Massachusetts communities, strengthen and modernize the Commonwealth’s gun carry and permitting laws, and create more avenues to hold the gun industry accountable for harmful conduct.
Massachusetts Moms Demand Action volunteers look forward to partnering with the legislature, and Governor-elect Maura Healey, and community partners in the gun safety movement this upcoming session to pass comprehensive gun safety laws that will protect the Commonwealth’s communities.
Here’s what you need to know about gun violence in Massachusetts:
- In an average year in Massachusetts, 255 people die by guns and 557 people are wounded.
- Gun violence costs Massachusetts $3.5 billion each year, of which $85.4 million is paid by taxpayers.
- An average of 143 people die by gun suicide a year
- Rate of gun suicide increased 6% from 2011 to 2020
If you have any questions, or would like to request an interview with a volunteer from Massachusetts Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.