Oct 26, 2023 | SHV Response to Mass Shooting in Lewiston, Maine
Boston, MA – Last night, there were two active shooting incidents in the city of Lewiston Maine at Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant. City officials report that as many as 22 people have been killed and 50-60 more injured so far. Images released of the suspect, identified as Robert Card of Bowdoin, was seen holding an AR 15 military assault weapon with high capacity ammunition magazines designed to kill as many civilians and police as possible without having to reload. The shooter is still at-larger and the number of dead and injured is likely to rise.
The suspect has undergone firearms instructor training and has a history of mental illness and was admitted to a mental health facility this summer. Background checks, renewable licensing by local Chiefs, Extreme Risk Protective Order, and any number of other common sense gun laws like Massachusetts has proven to save lives could have prevented his legal access to deadly concealed and military assault weapons used yesterday.
Every state with lax gun laws has higher gun deaths rates than every state like Massachusetts with strong gun laws. Maine requires hunting licenses and limits the number of ammunition rounds to protect animals (3 for Duck and 5 for Deer) but no license or limit for hunting humans. Maine has no criminal background check for all gun sales including concealed firearms and assault weapons and since 2015, allows “permitless” concealed carry of weapons. The Lewiston Police Chief has been quoted as saying, fist fights have now become gun fights.
The Gun Violence Archive reports 565 mass shootings in 2023; that is many more than days of the year. Guns are the leading cause of death for children in America, 2,590 killed in 2021. Over 1.5 million Americans have lost their lives to largely preventable gun violence since 1975, more than in all 30 developed countries combined
This is a uniquely American manufactured public safety crisis that can easily be prevented. For decades, Congress and many state legislatures have prioritized blood money campaign contributions from the uniquely unregulated gun industry, and self-service vs public service and public safety. Unlike for toy guns and teddy bears, there are no consumer safety manufacturing or marketing standards for real guns that have resulted over 48,000 gun deaths a year, there are no federal background checks required in 32 states for easily concealed handguns and military assault weapons, the weapon of choice for mass shooters. In Massachusetts, our effective gun violence prevention laws and consumer protection regulations, which are very similar to automobile safety laws, have effectively reduced the rate of gun deaths by 40 percent since 1994. The Commonwealth consistently has the lowest gun death rate in the nation and if replicated could prevent over half of the 48,000 gun deaths without any inconvenience to law abiding gun owners.
Oct 19, 2023 | House passes H.4135 An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws
Boston, MA –“We applaud the Massachusetts House for passing H.4135, an Act Modernizing Firearm Laws” said John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence. “These bills will save lives without any inconvenience to law-abiding gun owners like me. They will also continue to make Massachusetts a national model as the safest state with the most effective gun violence prevention laws and lowest gun death rate in the Country.”
We commend the persistent leadership of House Speaker Ron Mariano and Chair Rep. Michael Day for sponsoring H.4135 which will close dangerous loopholes exploited by criminals and are very proud of the majority of House members that supported it. 68% of Massachusetts residents recently polled by Everytown support strengthening gun safety laws; 84% support restrictions on ghost guns; and 67% support prohibiting guns in sensitive places such as schools and polling places.
We strongly encourage the MA Senate to join the House in passage of H.4135 this session.
Oct 5, 2023 | Stop Handgun Violence Supports the Massachusetts Omnibus Bill, An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws
Boston, MA – Stop Handgun Violence, a Massachusetts based non-profit committed to preventing gun violence through education, public awareness, and common-sense gun law advocacy, today praised legislation filed by Representative and Joint Committee Chair on the Judiciary Michael Day – An Act Modernizing Firearms Laws, HD.4607.
“As promised, House Speaker Mariano and Representative Day have taken action to renew the omnibus gun safety bill. By closing dangerous loopholes, this legislation will help keep guns out of the hands of people who are legally prohibited from buying firearms,” said John Rosenthal, Founder and Chairman of Stop Handgun Violence.
“This common sense gun violence prevention bill would also ban untraceable ghost guns, simplify and improve upon existing laws such as our assault weapons ban, and expands protections related to the Extreme Risk Protection Order and carrying firearms in sensitive places. These bills will absolutely save lives and endless grief without any inconvenience to law-abiding gun owners like me,” Rosenthal said. “They will also continue to make Massachusetts the safest state with the most effective gun violence prevention laws and lowest gun death rate in the nation.
We thank Speaker Ron Mariano and the House leadership team for their ongoing commitment to life-saving gun safety legislation that will make the residents of the Commonwealth safer and prevent access to guns by children, criminals and others prohibited by law from buying them. Since 1994, our gun safety laws and regulations have reduced the rate of gun deaths in the Commonwealth by 40 percent. If every state replicated our effective gun laws and regulations, we could prevent over half of the average 48,000 American lives lost to gun violence each year without banning most guns.”
July 10, 2023 | Op-Ed Demanding an End to Military Assault Weapons in the Civilian Market Supported by Hundreds of Public and Private Sector Leaders Nationwide, Including Current and Retired Law Enforcement Officers in 13 States
Boston, MA – More than 350 people representing law enforcement, gun violence survivors and families, faith leaders, policymakers, labor unions, business leaders, medical professionals and educators signed onto a powerful opinion column in today’s Boston Globe calling on Congress to ban civilian access to military-style weapons and large-capacity magazines.
Written by Stop Handgun Violence founder John Rosenthal, the article is signed by nearly three dozen current and retired police, sheriffs and members of law enforcement from several states including Massachusetts, Louisiana, Kentucky, Florida, New York, Mississippi, Arizona, Maryland, California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Washington state, as well as Washington, D.C.
The op-ed article points out that, “These high-powered firearms and military ammunition rounds are also specifically designed to penetrate soft body armor, outgun police officers, and kill as many people as possible without the need to reload. By contrast, typical law enforcement service weapons are handguns with 15-round ammunition magazines, and officers — and those they seek to protect — are placed at great risk when forced to reload.”
June 27, 2023 | SHV Supports the Massachusetts Omnibus Bill, An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws
Boston, MA – Stop Handgun Violence, a Massachusetts based non-profit committed to preventing gun violence through education, public awareness, and advocating for common-sense gun laws, today praised legislation filed yesterday by Representative and Joint Committee Chair on the Judiciary Michael Day (An Act Modernizing Firearms Laws, HD.4420).
“I applaud House Speaker Mariano and Representative Day for their proactive leadership. The proposed omnibus gun safety bill will close dangerous loopholes, making it harder for prohibited gun buyers from accessing firearms,” said John Rosenthal, Founder and Chairman of Stop Handgun Violence.
“It will also ban untraceable ghost guns, further clarify the law relative to already-banned assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines and, most importantly, save lives and continue to make Massachusetts the state with the most effective gun violence prevention laws and lowest gun death rate in the Nation,” Rosenthal said.
“The Commonwealth continues to be a leader in gun violence prevention. Our proven gun safety laws and regulations save lives – without banning most guns,” he added. “Since 1994, we’ve reduced the rate of gun deaths in the Commonwealth by 40 percent. If every state replicated our effective gun laws and regulations, we could prevent over half of the average 48,000 American lives lost to gun violence each year without banning most guns.”
June 20, 2023 | MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Stop Handgun Violence, Moms Demand Action, GIFFORDS , and Brady mark Gun Violence Awareness Month
Boston, MA – The MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and Stop Handgun Violence, along with national partners Moms Demand Action, GIFFORDS and Brady will mark Gun Violence Awareness Month and the one year anniversary of the SCOTUS NY Bruen decision. The groups will hold a joint press conference on the steps of the Massachusetts State House at 24 Beacon Street highlighting the impact that gun violence has in the Commonwealth and the urgent need for continued action.
Press Conference Details:
When: June 22nd, 2023 at 10:00am EST
Where: Steps of the Massachusetts State House at 24 Beacon Street
Who: MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Stop Handgun Violence, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Teen Empowerment, Moms Demand Action
“Gun violence continues to be an urgent issue in Massachusetts, with 45 residents shot and killed so far this year. Every shooting is a stark reminder that we need to do more to prevent the trauma of gun violence. From strengthening our policies to increasing our investment in community based solutions, we must do more to ensure that every person in every zip code is safe from the threat of gun violence.” – Ruth Zakarin, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
“As gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children and teens, the lack of Congressional action to treat this worsening health crisis in our country is unacceptable. On Gun Violence Awareness month, we are reminded that we must rise to demand more from Congress.” – Sonya Y. Coleman, Executive Director of Stop Handgun Violence
“As we mark Gun Violence Awareness month, GIFFORDS is proud to stand with our local and national partners in Massachusetts in the fight to save lives from gun violence. Too many families and communities are devastated by the trauma and loss of the gun violence epidemic and we must continue to work together to do everything we can to address this crisis.” – Joe Platte, State Legislative Manager, GIFFORDS
“Gun violence impacts every corner of our society, and even states with strong gun laws like Massachusetts are not immune. This Gun Violence Awareness Month, Brady is calling on state and federal lawmakers to take greater action to protect our families and communities and end these uniquely American tragedies. Everyday of inaction leads to more tragedy and unnecessarily deaths.” – Kris Brown, President, Brady
“Daily gun violence continues to tear our communities and families apart and we have already experienced 300 mass shootings just this year in the U.S. As we commemorate National Gun Violence Awareness Month, and one year since the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, we remain committed to working with legislative champions and fellow gun safety advocates to pass common-sense gun safety laws and support community violence intervention programs working to reduce gun violence in our communities,” – Lynn Grilli, a volunteer with the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action
April 3, 2023 | MFOL Student Activists and Survivors #ProtectKidsNotGuns Rally at Harvard University
Cambridge, MA – On Tuesday, April 4th, gun violence survivors, student activists, and the Harvard and Cambridge community at large will come together in the wake of another school shooting to demand Congressional action to address the gun violence crisis in our country. As long as DC lawmakers continue to prioritize guns over lives, no place and no one is safe. We stand in solidarity with Nashville and all communities traumatized by violence to protect kids NOT guns.
WHERE: Widener Library Steps at Harvard Yard, Cambridge MA
WHEN: 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Congressional Leaders and Officials are invited to attend.
Confirmed speakers include: David Hogg, CJ Hoekegan, Ruquan Brown, Professor Cornell Brooks and Yael Cushman.
March 27, 2023 | SHV Response to Nashville, TN School Shooting
Boston, MA – This morning, three 9 year old students and three staff were shot dead at the Covenant Grade School in Nashville, TN. This is America’s 90th school shooting this year per the K-12 School Shooting Database. The TN shooter, who was a former student and heavily armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun, was shot dead by the police.
It is once again more clear that we, as a country, are failing to protect our children’s lives. It’s also clear that state gun safety laws matter. In 2021, Tennessee had the 10th-highest gun death rate in the country. Tennessee’s lax laws include no criminal background check required for private gun sales, including for assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines; no age limit for possessing a firearm; no gun owner licensing; and no requirement to report lost and stolen firearms.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts, with its sensible firearms laws, ranks 50th in the nation for gun deaths per capita and had a nine percent drop in gun deaths per capita between 2020 and 2021, according to 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Massachusetts has reduced the rate of gun deaths in the Commonwealth by 40% since 1994 and has continually proven that gun safety laws and regulations save lives and countless grief – without banning most guns.
The time for national action is past due. Congressional paralysis to enact meaningful gun safety legislation has resulted in record-high deaths from firearms. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been 129 mass shootings so far this year. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens for the last two years. While Congress continues to protect the powerful gun lobby and uniquely unregulated gun industry, we are failing to protect our most vulnerable and precious citizens.
March 21, 2023 | Join The Stand for a Safer Tomorrow
BOSTON, MA – 5 years ago, students marched, but the fight isn’t over. On Saturday, March 25th at 1:00 pm at the Parkman Bandstand in the Boston Common, students from Emerson College are organizing a rally to let lawmakers know that they have had enough and that their voices will not go unheard.
“Since 2018, there have been over 380 school shootings reported. When students decided to make a stand five years ago after the Parkland massacre, Stop Handgun Violence (SHV) rallied with them.” said Sonya Coleman, Executive Director of SHV.
“Now gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens. We need Congressional action to treat the health crisis of gun violence in our country. We will join the stand for a safer tomorrow.”
Speakers at this event include: Student Activist and Sandy Hook School Survivor CJ Hoekenga; MFOL Organizer from Highland Park Rachel Jacoby; Policy & Advocacy Manager from the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute Pace McConkie; Director of Pediatric Trauma Services at Mass General for Children and co-director of the MGH Gun Violence Prevention Center Dr. Peter Masiakos; Community Organizer of MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence Angelica Fontes; Executive Director of Stop Handgun Violence and Board Chair of States United to Prevent Gun Violence Sonya Coleman; and an impact performance by Emerson Transforming Narratives Of Gun Violence Initiative.
February 15, 2023 | Massachusetts Ranks 50th with the Lowest Gun Death Rate in the Nation
New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Report shows the Commonwealth’s per capita gun deaths dropped by 9 percent
Boston, MA – Massachusetts ranked 50th in the nation for gun deaths per capita and had a 9 percent drop in gun deaths per capita between 2020 and 2021, according to 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released today,
“We know gun laws save lives. Massachusetts has consistently remained in the lowest three state rankings,” said John Rosenthal, Founder and Chairman of Stop Handgun Violence, noting that even isolated Hawaii’s 2021 gun death rate ranked higher, at 49th in the US while New Jersey ranked 48th. “As an urban state with the most effective gun safety laws, we treat guns like automobiles including renewable licensing, first in the nation consumer protection regulations for the gun industry and the most comprehensive assault weapon ban. It is no coincidence that once again we have the lowest gun death rate in the nation.”
“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reported that 50% of guns traced to crimes in the Commonwealth come from states with lax gun laws; including 40% from neighboring New Hampshire alone. If every state enacted Massachusetts effective gun laws, gun deaths in the Commonwealth would be even lower.”
“Massachusetts has continually proven that gun safety laws and regulations save lives and countless grief – without banning most guns,” Rosenthal said, “Massachusetts’ common sense gun safety model has been enacted on a bipartisan basis and resulted in a 40 percent reduction in the rate of gun deaths in the Commonwealth since 1994. If every other state followed suit, we could prevent over half of the average 45,000 American lives lost to gun violence each year. Gun violence prevention is not theoretical – it’s a choice. If urban Massachusetts can do it, every state can do it.”