Charlie Baker

Gov. Baker: Washington Should ‘Look to Massachusetts' for Gun Reform Guidance

"Leaders in DC should look to Massachusetts as a nation-leading example to see that bipartisan gun reform is not only possible -- it works," the governor said Tuesday on Twitter

Getty Images

In the wake of mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York, and other recent gun-violence incidents, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker issued a public plea to leaders in Washington, D.C., to look to Massachusetts as an example that bipartisan gun reform works.

"Over decades in Massachusetts, Republicans and Democrats have worked together to enact several common sense gun reform bills, and Massachusetts has seen very low rates of gun violence as a result," Baker said on Twitter. "The mass shootings that keep on happening in this country are unacceptable, and they should be unacceptable to Washington, DC, too. Leaders in DC should look to Massachusetts as a nation-leading example to see that bipartisan gun reform is not only possible -- it works."

State lawmakers from Massachusetts are also offering to serve as a resource to their counterparts around the country.

Rep. Marjorie Decker, the House chair of the Public Health Committee and a key player in recent gun legislation efforts, is circulating among her House colleagues an open letter to legislators in other states, inviting them to "look towards Massachusetts as you reimagine your gun laws in a way that is respectful of the needs of your communities."

"In the notable absence of national measures, the Massachusetts Legislature has demonstrated its commitment to responsible gun safety measures by implementing common-sense laws," the letter says. "Over the past decade especially, we broke the mold by refusing to kowtow to national pundits on either side of the aisle."

Laws Decker cites include the 2004 ban on "military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazine," a 2014 package that among other measures gave police chiefs more discretion over gun licensing, a 2017 ban on bump stocks and the 2018 "red flag" law allowing family members to petition courts to suspend gun ownership rights of someone they believe to be a danger.

Representatives have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to sign the letter. Speaker Ron Mariano has already added his name.

Baker said he has also recommended to his fellow governors that they "look at the Massachusetts laws and make some decisions of their own based on those."

"I tend to try and give them as broad a commentary on it as I can, because I don't want to prejudge whatever they think might make the most sense with regard to whatever else they might already have in place," he said. "But I think it's undeniable that the laws we have here work pretty well."

State House News Service contributed to this report.

Contact Us