WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) ), Senator Edward J. Markey, and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) introduced the Making America Safe and Secure (MASS) Act – legislation that would incentivize states to adopt gun-licensing standards similar to those in Massachusetts, and make it harder for young people, people with mental health illness, and those with a criminal history to purchase or sell a gun. The bill encourages safety and storage standards, background check requirements, and provide states and cities with more discretion on issuing and rescinding gun licenses.
“Gun violence begets gun violence – causing intergenerational trauma that severely impacts families and communities in the Massachusetts 7th and across the country,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “By creating stricter guardrails around firearm purchasing, the MASS Act works to curb the public health crisis that is gun violence. I am proud to join in partnership with my fellow Bay Staters to say enough is enough and I look forward to continuing to advance bold solutions to the gun violence epidemic plaguing our communities.”
“Massachusetts has some of the most life-saving gun safety laws on the books, and we should encourage other states to implement our proven methods and share in our success in reducing deaths from gun violence,” said Senator Markey. “No community should have to suffer the tragedy of gun violence because of the NRA’s stranglehold on commonsense federal gun policies. Strong gun licensing rules and robust police involvement are key to the strength of Massachusetts’s gun laws, and the MASS Act will encourage other states to implement these proven methods.”
“Instead of becoming numb to the daily carnage of gun violence that plagues big cities, small towns and everywhere in between, we can change our laws to prevent guns from falling into dangerous hands,” said Congressman Kennedy. “By strengthening gun licensing requirements, enhancing red flag laws and involving local law enforcement, we can build on our efforts to protect our communities from the gun violence that has left so many families and communities shattered. Our MASS Act will make clear that we will not back down or accept that nearly 100 gun deaths a day is just the price of our freedom.”
The MASS Act is a critical step towards ending the cycle of gun violence still plaguing communities across the Massachusetts 7th congressional district. Congresswoman Pressley has also remained a fierce advocate for preventing gun trafficking from states like New Hampshire and Vermont, since almost half of all gun crimes in Boston last year were committed with guns from out of state. While the MASS Act promotes effective gun safety laws, much work still remains in order to address the root causes of violence and trauma.
“Incentivizing states to enact gun licensing programs is proven to prevent gun violence and keep communities safe,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady.“Massachusetts has provided a model for the nation on this front, and the MASS Act is a strong step towards expanding that success. We’re proud to support this important legislation, and we thank Sen. Markey, Rep. Kennedy, and Rep. Pressley for their leadership on this issue.”
“Stop Handgun Violence is proud to support the MASS Act as reintroduced by Senator Markey,” said John Rosenthal, chair and co-founder, Stop Handgun Violence. “Firearm registration and law enforcement discretion in issuing licenses is an evidence-based policy that has proven to save lives in Massachusetts and other states that have enacted similar legislation. In fact, Massachusetts gun laws have reduced the rate of gun deaths by over 40 percent since 1994 and every state with stronger gun laws has lower gun death rates than every state with lax gun laws. We applaud Senator Markey’s leadership in this effort to save lives from gun violence.”
“The Making American Safe and Secure (MASS) Act” is common sense legislation that shares best practices that all states can learn from, so that we do not have to go through senseless tragedies caused by gun violence before we respond after families suffer a needless loss,” Michael Kozu, Interim Co-Director, Project RIGHT, Inc.“We can prevent this!”