BOSTON - Senator Ed Markey, joined by Boston police officials, the mayor and Moms Demand Action, announced new federal gun safety legislation Monday.
He was joined by Boston's Police Commissioner, police chiefs and gun safety advocates to announce his proposal to counter gun violence across the country.
Markey says the bill would incentivize other states to adopt gun licensing standards, like the ones in Massachusetts.
"Our gun safety bills are a model for other states and I believe for the United States Congress to follow," said Markey.
Pointing to the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, and a need to stop illegal guns, and reciprocity legislation that would allow gun owners from less restrictive states to come into Mass.
The bay state has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country -- with the lowest gun death rate.
Markey said he was confident he could get the Making America Safe and Secure or Mass Act passed on a divided Capitol Hill.
"What we don't need are President Trump's misguided proposals to help arm teachers in our schools and or a new federal commission headed by Betsy DeVos," said Markey.
Among the many provisions, the Mass Act would require first-time gun license applicants to complete a safety training and provide references. It would also give local police chiefs the power to approve or deny all gun licenses.
My bill — the Making America Safe and Secure Act, or MASS Act — will authorize the Department of Justice to make grants totaling $20 million in each of the next five fiscal years to states that implement and maintain comprehensive licensing standards for gun owners and dealers.— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) March 12, 2018
"If we have those handful of people be treated the way they should have been treated, we're not having this discussion," said Jim Wallace, Founder of Gun Owners' Action League, or GOAL.
While Markey received praise in Boston Monday, the Gun Owners' Action League says the bill misses the mark.
"Why aren't we talking about people with severe mental health issues walking amongst us?" said Wallace.
Wallace says if you compare Mass. to Vermont, with very few gun laws, fatality figures are comparable.
Longtime activist John Rosenthal from Stop Handgun Violence says it's not good enough.
"After every mass shooting we hear, oh it's not guns, it's mental illness. No. Every country has mentally ill people, we just happen to arm them with military-style assault weapons," said Rosenthal.
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