Charlie Baker on Gun Control
PARAPHRASE (NECN, 1/31/2013): In response to a question about whether or not he was in favor of the federal assault weapons ban, Charlie Baker said "We've had it since 1998, and gun crime has gone up since then by a lot. If I thought it would solve the problem, I'd be all for it. I want to see the evidence." When pressed with, "So you are not in favor of a federal assault weapons ban?" Baker said, "I would like to see the evidence."
COMPARE 2010 (WRKO-AM, 10/3/2010): I'm a Second Amendment fan. Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and I do not think the answer to a lot of our problems are more gun laws. The real issue should be enforcing the laws we have and making sure that people are who are using guns illegally, who are using unregistered guns, who are using guns in the commission of a crime, those are the people we ought to be focusing our time and attention on."
A: I do not own a gun. Never needed to.
Q: Would you sign the new gun bill that the governor is going to sign today?
A: I had three wish-list items when the gun debate began. (1) that Massachusetts would connect on its background process to the mental health registry. (2) that we would enhance the penalties for crimes committed with a gun. And (3) that we would finally get serious about dealing with illegal gun trafficking. By the way, the pepper spray bit is in there too, and I support that. So I'm actually glad that we finally dealt with what I consider to be 3 of the major issues that we all face.
Q: People are concerned about the piece of the gun bill that allows police chiefs to control who can get a shotgun.
A: I actually think what they came up was actually a pretty artistic idea, which is they basically put the burden of proof on the police chief to make the case to a court that there was reason to deny someone access to a long arm permit. (WBUR)
BAKER: "You had Democratic Representative William Strauss on your show a couple of nights ago; he didn't call it a gimmick per se, but he said he didn't think it was a solution. And I actually think he is right on that."
BRAUDE: "Would you oppose that?"
BAKER: "Yeah, I don't think that solves that problem. If you want to solve that problem we should talk about expanding our background checks, which is part of what the legislature plans to debate with respect to guns. I mean, obviously, we really have to find a way to get this mental health issue dealt with, background check process, I think we have to make sure anyone with a mental health record cannot get access to a gun in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts, Delaware and Puerto Rico are joining the "States for Gun Safety" coalition--a multi-state partnership launched this month to combat the gun violence epidemic. With the addition of these new members, the coalition of states now represents over 35 million Americans and will take action to stop gun-related violence in the face of continued federal inaction.
Governor Cuomo (D-NY) said, "It's time for the horrifying mass shootings that have plagued this country for far too long to spur real action and real policy changes. Our states collectively already have better gun safety laws than the federal government, and by working together to share information and bolster enforcement, we will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and better protect our communities. If the federal government refuses to act, we will work together to enact the important reforms families deserve, and I welcome these new states to our coalition."
The three new states will join NY, CT, NJ, and RI in directing their law enforcement intelligence centers to work cooperatively to trace the use of out-of-state guns in crimes and share information in order to intercept criminals transporting illegal guns across state borders.
Additionally, the partner states will also work together to designate an institute of higher education to join the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, to fill the void left by the federal government's 1996 ban on the use of federal funds to study gun violence which has obstructed research efforts across the nation.
Building on these efforts, the states will also work to push the federal government to adopt common-sense gun safety measures. In order to protect families and communities across the region, the group will call on the federal government to swiftly enact universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and a federal waiting period between the purchase and delivery of guns.