On October 24th, while attending the 25th anniversary of the Stop Handgun Violence (SHV) celebration, Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo, was presented with a leadership award for his work on gun safety legislation. Since DeLeo has been the Speaker, Massachusetts has passed three sweeping, nation-leading gun safety laws including the historic legislation passed in 2014 as well as laws in 2017 and 2018. DeLeo’s push for gun safety has allowed Massachusetts to continue being the state with the lowest gun death rate.
Under DeLeo’s leadership, Massachusetts laws close gun sale loopholes, help schools adopt safe practices, and address the root causes of gun violence, supporting and expanding prevention efforts while addressing behavioral health and socioeconomic inequity particularly in urban communities. Massachusetts is also the first state in the nation to ban bump stocks, which is what was used in the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Because gun violence takes a disproportionate toll in urban neighborhoods, particularly on young people of color, the House has invested $20 million in gun violence prevention programs for youths in areas with high rates of violent crime.
In 2018, and as part of a bi-partisan partnership, Massachusetts passed legislation to prevent individuals who pose a risk from owning or possessing a firearm, known as an Extreme Risk Protection Order. The state’s budgets include measures to facilitate meaningful coordination with law enforcement and improve access to critical mental health services, including an investment in pre-school through grade 12 mental health grants.
“I am proud of the work Massachusetts has done to lead the nation in gun safety legislation,” said DeLeo. “Our measures save lives and help to keep our communities safe. Other states look to our policies as a national model, and I look forward to continuing our leadership role on these important issues.” SHV is a Massachusetts based non-profit organization that strives to prevent gun injuries and death through education, public awareness, policy and community activism. Founded in 1994 by John Rosenthal and the late Michael Kennedy, SHV made its mark with its provocative Mass Pike billboard campaigns that have been on display for the past 25 years. Showcasing photographs, images, statistics and facts about the epidemic of gun violence in our country have been front and center on one of the state’s most populated toll roads.