Thank you for reading this mid-week edition of Gun Reform Roundup: the latest news from the Commonwealth, New England, and the Nation.
Before we get into the HUGE gun reform news this week, a quick reminder that you can still make a tax-deductible contribution to Stop Handgun Violence in honor of Giving Tuesday! Click here. Any amount that is meaningful to you will make a big difference.
Here are the biggest stories this week:
1) House Judiciary Committee to Mark Up Dangerous Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill at 10:00am TODAY (11/29)
TODAY at 10:00am, the U.S. House of Representatives is moving forward with dangerous Concealed Carry Reciprocity legislation at a mark-up hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. Defeating this bill is the number one priority for our organization and every other major gun violence prevention group, including Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, and the Brady Campaign.
For your weekly action, we need you to use this form to email your Representative NOW and ask them to reject Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
- CCR, also known as Federally-Mandated Concealed Carry, would make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places in Massachusetts.
- This bill would totally decimate Massachusetts’ gun permitting system by forcing our state to allow ANYONE who is allowed to carry a gun in their home state, to carry guns in Massachusetts, regardless of the licensing requirements in that state. We have the lowest gun death rate in the nation, thanks largely to our permitting requirements. We must not go backward; public safety requires it.
- This is not a national standard, it is a race to the bottom where the states with absolutely no permitting requirements become the law of the land.
- Even in the wake of the worst mass shootings in modern American history, Congress is still bending to the will of the gun lobby to put more guns in untrained hands across America.
- Police chiefs across our state and nearly every law enforcement agency have proclaimed opposition to this bill because of its disastrous consequences for public safety. Officers would have to become experts on licensing requirements for all 50 states, and the bill would hold officers personally liable if they question the validity of someone’s concealed carry permit. This would undoubtedly lead to some violent offenders slipping through.
For more, read our blog post about Concealed Carry Reciprocity and don’t forget to take this easy weekly action.
2) ICYMI – Boston Herald Opposes Silencer Deregulation in Massachusetts
In a stunning editorial, the Boston Herald sided with Stop Handgun Violence founder John Rosenthal over gun industry lobbyists in the debate over whether to lift Massachusetts’ ban on silencers. We are so thankful for their words in support of public safety.
The Herald quoted Rosenthal’s testimony at the November 16th Public Safety Committee hearing: “Don’t be fooled by thinking that somehow the silencer bill is a hearing protection act. It is not. I can tell you as a gun owner who has hunted, nobody hunts or shoots at a range without hearing protection. It’s a fraud being played on you guys and across the country.”
3) Nationwide Vigils Remembering Victims of Gun Violence
As we near the five-year anniversary of the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, vigils are being planned in honor of victims of gun violence at locations across the nation. Scroll to the Upcoming Events section at the bottom of this email for information about Massachusetts vigils. Please sign up for this ThunderClap to support the vigils on social media.
4) Johns Hopkins University Releases Report on Concealed Carry Facts and Fictions
According to the gun lobby, carrying concealed weapons allows potential victims of crime to defend themselves. But is that how it works in reality? Read the report.
5) NPR: What If We Treated Gun Violence Like a Public Health Crisis?
NPR and All Things Considered did a piece on why many physicians and public health officials have called for gun violence in the United States to be addressed as a public health crisis comparable to a disease outbreak. They also delve into the hurdles–the will and the funding are just not there. But the public health community agrees they should be.
6) North Shore Public Health Officials on Gun Violence Crisis
In a letter to The Salem News, public health officials from Saugus, Hamilton, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Salem, Swampscott, and the Essex County Board of Health have joined the chorus calling for a public health approach to the gun violence epidemic. The Salem News ran a great story on their commitment to safety in Massachusetts.
7) Worcester Surgeon and Gun Violence Prevention Advocate Dr. Michael P. Hirsh
The Worcester Telegram and Gazette published a lengthy interview with Dr. Michael Hirsh as part of their Sunday Sit-Downs series. Dr. Hirsh co-founded the Goods for Guns gun buyback program, which has had great success in Worcester. He believes doctors belong in the middle of the gun reform debate.
8) NBC News: States, Cities Shame Congress by Banning Rapid-Fire “Bump Stocks”
NBC News ran a national piece on Massachusetts’ swift passage of a ban on bump stocks after their high-profile use in the Las Vegas Strip Massacre. Congressman Seth Moulton and state Rep. David Linsky are highlighted in the piece.
9) U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to Discuss Bump Stocks and Background Checks
While the House Judiciary Committee starts to consider the most dangerous bill of the year, concealed carry reciprocity, this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss bump stock regulation and reporting to the NICS background check database in a meeting on December 10th.
10) U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Gun Lobby Case Against Maryland’s Assault Weapons Ban
The Supreme Court passed on an opportunity to review Maryland’s assault weapon ban, upholding the decision of a lower court that the ban is constitutional. This is a major victory for the assault weapons ban in Massachusetts. Read more from the Washington Post.
11) CBS News: Donald Trump, Jr. Met Russian with Ties to Kremlin at NRA Event
The gun lobby has been wrapped up in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. CBS News confirmed that Donald Trump, Jr. met with Alexander Toshin, deputy head of Russia’s central bank with reported ties to organized crime, at an NRA event in May 2016. The meeting with Toshin took place less than three weeks before Trump, Jr.’s meeting at Trump Tower for “dirt” on Hillary Clinton that sits at the center of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
December: Worcester Gun Buyback
December 6, 6:00pm; Westford, Westford Common: Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, hosted by First Parish Church United, Live for Liv, Westford Coalition for Non-Violence, Indivisible Westford, Westford Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Temple Shalom, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
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 13, 7:00pm; Beverly, Ellis Square: Candlelight Vigil for Victims and Call for Action on Gun Violence, hosted by the Beverly Multifaith Coalition (in case of rain, the location will change to First Parish Church in Beverly)
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 through to the end and for your commitment to preventing gun violence. Your URGENT weekly action is to fill out this form telling your Representative in Congress that you oppose concealed carry reciprocity.
Stay safe and strong.
The Stop Handgun Violence Team