Massachusetts Gun Reform: Week of 11/13

Greetings Advocates!

The biggest story this week is the public hearing this Thursday, Nov. 16th at 11am in State House Room A-1 in Boston. There will be testimony for dozens of gun-related bills at this hearing, and we need activists like you to show up in large numbers. If you can’t attend, scroll down to make calls and sign our letter to the committee.

Come to the hearing!

Thursday 11/16, 11:00AM, State House Hearing Room A-1

Wear orange!

The NRA’s Massachusetts affiliate GOAL will certainly be showing up, and if we don’t match their numbers, we could see the legalization of silencers and even less oversight on gun manufacturers.

If you can’t make it to the hearing, please take a few minutes to call the Committee. Call 617-722-1485 (Senate Chair Mike Moore) and 617-722-2230 (House Chair Harold Naughton). Here is a sample script of what to say:

“Hi, my name is [Your Name] from [City or Town]. I am calling to tell the Public Safety Committee that I support S1292 introduced by Senator Cindy Creem. This bill aims to track illegal trafficking of firearms by collecting and reporting data on multiple-gun purchases in Massachusetts. Please report S1292 out favorably. I oppose S1317 and S1340, which would lift the ban on silencers in Massachusetts and urge you NOT to report these bills favorably. Same with H1284 and S1326 which I also oppose, and would give weapons manufacturers immunity to the Attorney General’s consumer protection regulations aimed at deceptive trade practices. Thank you.”

Thank you for taking the time to support gun violence prevention! You can also sign this letter to the Committee in support of Senator Creem’s data collection bill.

Here are the biggest stories this week:

1) Mass. Legislature to Hear Gun Bills

As mentioned, the Massachusetts State Legislature will hear dozens of gun-related bills at a Hearing of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. Please attend the hearing on Thursday at 11am in State House Room A-1 and #WearOrange! Details here. Please also sign our letter of support for Senator Creem’s data collection bill.

2) Divesting From Gun and Ammunitions Manufacturers

The New York Times published a piece about divesting from gun manufacturers, featuring an interview with Stop Handgun Violence Founder John Rosenthal. John said it best at the end of the article: “Why don’t these funds just call these investments what they are: merchants of death.”

Locally, Stop Handgun Violence has been pushing for a boycott of Shaw’s, Star Market, Osco Drugs, and Steward Healthcare (including St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center), because these companies are owned by Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus also owns Remington and Bushmaster, manufacturers of handguns, ammo, and assault rifles. Click here to read more and print a letter to take to your local Shaw’s or Star Market.

3) A Veteran’s Perspective on Assault Weaons – U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton

“There’s simply no reason for a civilian to own a military-style assault weapon. It’s no different than why we outlaw civilian ownership of rockets and landmines. Thankfully, Congress has the ability and authority to eliminate the civilian sale of these weapons of war. We have before, and we should again.” Read more of the article by Congressman Seth Moulton.

4) Concealed Carry Gun Mayhem in Haverhill

“Two Haverhill men – one charged with shooting another man in the foot out of jealousy, and the other accused of threatening his family with handguns – both continue to be held without bail as dangers to society pending their next court dates.” Read more here.

5) Tip O’Neill on Guns – Inaction Can No Longer Be an Option

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts wrote a blog post about gun reform in the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Las Vegas.

6) Speaker DeLeo and SHV Founder John Rosenthal Discuss Gun Reform

The two progressive powerhouses from Massachusetts spoke with Jim Braude of WGBH News about the possibility of gun reform. Video and article here.

7) Giffords Law Center Sues ATF to Uncover Extent of NRA Influence

“The Trump Administration has chosen to fight transparency rather than reveal how it is prioritizing the gun lobby over public safety,” said Giffords’ legal representation. Read more here.

8) Researchers at UCSF on Impact of Gun Laws on Domestic Violence

“State laws prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence-related restraining orders from possessing firearms and requiring them to relinquish firearms already in their possession resulted in lower firearm-related intimate partner homicide rates.” Watch the presentation here.

9) Faiths United Demands Action in Congress on Gun Violence

“Fifty religious organizations sent a letter to congressional leaders Thursday demanding lawmakers take action on gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at a Texas church last week.” Read more here.

10) Worcester Semi-Annual Gun Buyback Program

The next gun buyback in the City of Worcester will be held in December. Stay tuned for more details! Read about the program here.

Upcoming Events:

THIS THURSDAY, November 16, 11:00am; MA State House Room A-1: Hearing on Gun Bills with the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security

December: Worcester Gun Buyback

December 6, 7:00pm; Northborough, Trinity Church: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook

December 10, 10:30am; Arlington, Calvary United Methodist Church: Remembrance for Sandy Hook Victims and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence

December 14, 6:15pm; Boston, First Church in Boston: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, hosted by Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

December 14, 7:00pm; Hyannis, First Baptist Church: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, hosted by Cape Cod Grandmothers Against Gun Violence

December 16 & 17, time TBD; Williamstown, St. John’s Episcopal Church: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook

Date and time TBD; Amesbury, Main Street Congregational UCC: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook

Date and time TBD; Church on the Hill (MAUCC): Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook

Spring 2018: Advocacy Training Workshop hosted by Stop Handgun Violence

Thank you for reading and for your commitment to preventing gun violence. Please attend the Public Safety hearing as your weekly action! If you can’t attend, make the calls (above) and sign the letter.

Stay safe and strong.

The Stop Handgun Violence Team