Boston Globe, June 2022
After 26 students and teachers were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, Massachusetts expanded its already far-reaching gun safety law. Following a mass shooting in Las Vegas—the deadliest in US history—it was the first state to ban bump stocks. And when a teenager killed 17 people at a Parkland, Fla., high school, lawmakers here embraced their own “red flag” statute. Tragedy has regularly proved to be an accelerant for change in Massachusetts, pushing state policymakers to tighten their already strict gun laws at a time when major federal changes have regularly stalled and Republican legislators in other states loosened theirs.
Now, in the wake of horrific gun violence in Buffalo, Uvalde, Texas, and elsewhere, activists and state officials are pointing to Massachusetts as a model, arguing that its rules weaving together background check mandates, far-reaching prohibitions, and local licensing standards should be a guide—if not for Congress, then other states.