BOSTON (WWLP) — Nearly 1,000 mayors across the country have joined "Mayors Against Illegal Guns." The Massachusetts members of the coalition are joining the effort to demand that Congress pass a bill requiring background checks on every gun sale in America.
“That’s the problem, you need nationwide legislation. You can’t just spot check this, Massachusetts has tough stuff, you go to New Hampshire they have lenient, Maine has lenient and things like that,” said Boston Mayor Tom Menino.
“We do have some strict laws here, however we are asking Congress to force some nationwide changes. It’s very easy to cross the borders and then bring that gun back into Massachusetts,” said Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong.
On a state level, lawmakers are supporting the mayors by filing even tougher gun legislation. Natick Representative David Linsky says there’s strong support in the Legislature for his bill that requires gun owners to disclose their mental health histories and purchase liability insurance.
“Public opinion polls show that an overwhelming majority of people in Massachusetts and nationwide support stricter gun control measures,” said Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick).
But Republican lawmakers say Massachusetts already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation – And the solution is not stricter laws, but better enforcement.
“We have Bartley-Fox law, which requires a one year mandatory sentence for illegal gun possession. It’s not enforced, it’s not used,” said Rep. Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton).
Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield, Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke and Mayor David Narkewicz of Northampton are part of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but could not make it the event in Boston.
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