Massachusetts Gun Reform: Week of 10/23

Massachusetts’ gun laws are some of the strongest in the nation. These policies, that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, have made Massachusetts the state with the lowest gun violence. However, gun-rights extremists are working every day to roll back these safety policies and oust gun violence prevention allies from elected office.

What’s happening in Massachusetts this week?

1) Mass. Gun Sense Champs Push to Fund Research on Gun Violence

United States Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Dr. Michael Hirsh, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at UMASS Memorial Medical Center, helped lead a U.S. Capitol press conference on October 18th to call for Congressional funding of gun violence research. Video of the press conference can be found here. Why research gun violence prevention? Read more here.

2) Lowell Gun-Rights Activist Petitions Council For State Review of City Gun Policy

Is Lowell’s firearm licensing policy legal? Perennial Lowell gun-rights activist and firearms instructor Dan Gannon petitioned the Lowell City Council on October 17th to send the city firearm licensing policy to the Massachusetts Legislature for review.  The Council responded by voting to send the petition to the Lowell legal department for review.

3) Sandy Hook Lawsuit Heads to Connecticut Supreme Court

Does the gun industry have immunity from law suits? Federal law provides them with broad immunity, but the Sandy Hook case could test that statute in state court. The high-profile Sandy Hook gun case is scheduled to be heard by the Connecticut Supreme Court on November 14th. The suit against Remington, filed by Sandy Hook survivors, seeks to hold them liable for the 2012 shooting of 20 first-graders and 6 adults in Newtown, CT. Briefs have been filed by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, NRA, and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) among others.

4) Who will represent Attleboro, Foxborough, Mansfield, Sharon, and Norton in the State Senate?

Gun lobby-backed candidate for State Senate Jacob Ventura was defeated in an October 17th special election by Foxborough Democrat Paul Feeney. The Bristol & Norfolk seat was previously held by Jim Timilty, who was Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety & Homeland Security and A+ graded by the NRA-affiliate Gun Owners Action League (GOAL).

5) Upcoming Events:

October 28th, 7pm: Vigil to remember victims of Las Vegas shooting in Framingham

November 2nd, 7pm: Justice and Healing; an evening with AG Maura Healey and Rev. Liz Walker in Wellesley 

December 1-3: Columbinus, a play that examines the events that led to the shooting at Columbine High School, performed at Harvard