Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Massachusetts lawmakers Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reintroduced the Making America Safe and Secure (MASS) Act, legislation to incentivize states to adopt gun-licensing standards similar to those proven effective in Massachusetts. Massachusetts has comprehensive gun licensing laws and the lowest gun death rate in the nation.
Since 1994, the Commonwealth has reduced gun deaths by 40 percent. Among the most effective of Massachusetts laws are the provisions governing licensed gun dealers. Any person who sells ammunition or sells, rents, or leases a certain number of firearms in a calendar year must obtain a state dealer license. The state is required to establish standards for “prohibited individuals,” those ineligible to obtain a firearms license or firearms dealer license. Gun dealers and private sellers must record all firearms sales, leases, and rentals, and share this information with law enforcement. These dealers and sellers must also verify the validity of a firearms license before a transaction and notify law enforcement when presented with an invalid or expired license.
“Families and communities in the Massachusetts 7th and nationwide continue to face the intergenerational trauma of gun violence, and it’s long past time we address this public health crisis head-on,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “The MASS Act would create stricter guardrails around firearm purchasing to curb gun violence and save lives. I am proud to join my colleagues in advancing necessary and long overdue common-sense solutions.”
“Massachusetts has some of the most comprehensive and effective gun violence prevention laws on the books, and not coincidentally, the lowest gun death rate in the country,” said Sen. Markey. “We can make our Commonwealth’s laws the model for the rest of the nation and take the steps necessary to end the gun violence epidemic in every state across the country. We must finally put a stop to the NRA’s vise-like grip over commonsense federal gun policy, and it is my hope that the MASS Act will help loosen this control and incentivize other states to adopt Massachusetts’s life-saving gun safety laws as their own.”
“It is long past time for Congress to stand up to the gun lobby and confront this deadly crisis head-on,” said Sen. Warren. “Massachusetts has the lowest rate of gun deaths in the country and can serve as a model for the federal government to develop policies that will keep our students and communities safe.”
“As physicians, we understand the critical importance of identifying, addressing, and reversing a public health menace with urgency. Let’s be abundantly clear – our country’s deadly and all-too-frequent occurrences of firearm violence are public health crises. We support the MASS Act and appreciate Sen. Markey’s leadership in introducing legislation that will offer added protection for all of our patients, as it is becoming clearer by the hour that no person is completely immune to injury and death caused by firearm violence,” said Carole E. Allen, MD, MBA, FAAP, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society.