Submitted on behalf of the Bedford Police Department
The Bedford Police Department announces that Chief Robert Bongiorno joined his law enforcement partners yesterday for the announcement of U.S. Sen. Ed Markey’s new piece of legislation that would incentivize states to adopt policies on gun control modeled after existing laws in Massachusetts.
“It was an honor to stand among my colleagues to support Sen. Markey’s sensible and comprehensive gun legislation,” Chief Bongiorno added. “The MASS Act is consistent with the rights outlined in the second amendment, and quick action by states that choose to adopt these policies will allow members of law enforcement to better protect the lives of those we have taken an oath to serve.”
Markey, along with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and police chiefs from throughout the commonwealth, gathered yesterday at the Boston Police Department headquarters in Roxbury to introduce the Making America Safe and Secure (MASS) Act.
The new legislation would authorize the Department of Justice to grant $20 million per year to states that choose to adopt Massachusetts’ laws on gun licensing, which are some of the strictest in the nation, and in turn, has led the state to have the lowest gun death rate in the country.
The MASS Act would require all gun owners to have a license and would appoint police chiefs as the licensing authority for those looking to obtain a firearm, as they are in Massachusetts. Chiefs would also have the authority to deny, suspend or revoke licenses from individuals who they deem to be unsuitable. However, those who choose to appeal such an action would be entitled to a judicial review.
States would also be required to enact a set of licensing regulations, including a thorough background check and implementation of a requirement that first-time license applicants must complete safety training and provide references.
Despite strict gun regulations in his home state — Massachusetts maintains a ban on assault weapons and recently enacted a ban on bump stocks — Chief Bongiorno supports nationwide action, noting that 25 percent of illegal firearms removed from Massachusetts were obtained in other parts of the country.