Mass. To Join States' Info-Sharing Gun Safety Coalition

Feb 26, 2018

Gov. Charlie Baker says Massachusetts is joining the "States for Gun Safety" coalition, which includes Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.

In a statement Monday, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said Delaware and Puerto Rico also joined the coalition.

The states in the coalition will share information on people who have been disqualified from owning a gun. They will also coordinate on tracking and intercepting illegal guns.

Massachusetts gun control advocates say they're encouraged the state is entering into a multi-state effort to fight gun violence — but they are now calling for more aggressive actions.

Massachusetts Parents United founder Keri Rodrigues told WBUR Sunday she wants Baker to use his influence in the Republican Governors Association to push for a national ban on the AR-15 — the gun used in the Florida school shooting.

"I want to see more than just joining the coalition," Rodrigues said. "I want to see him engaged. I want him taking real action steps so this is addressed. We can't just sit around and have conversations and talk and offer our thoughts and prayers anymore."

Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners' Action League, said Sunday that Massachusetts's willingness to share information on people who were denied access to guns raises privacy concerns because of state law.

"You don't have to be a criminal or someone who's mentally ill to be denied your firearms license, because a local chief can deny you for virtually no reason," Wallace said. "So are those people being included in those lists?"

Baker spokeswoman Lizzy Guyton said in a statement the administration "will join the gun safety coalition to enhance the strong gun control measures already in place" in Massachusetts.

Guyton said "Massachusetts public safety officials are currently working with coalition members" on the plan's specific requirements.

This report was originally published by WBUR.