Markey Announces New Legislation, Efforts to Combat Gun Violence
Joined by Rep. Maloney in calling for $10 million for gun violence research in President’s Budget
Boston (February 19, 2014) – Joined by clergy, local elected officials and gun control and community advocates, today Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) announced new efforts to combat gun violence in Massachusetts and throughout the country. Senator Markey announced introduction of the “The Handgun Trigger Safety Act” to ensure that only authorized users can operate handguns. Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) introduced the same legislation in House last year.
Additionally, Senator Markey joined with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to call on President Obama to commit $10 million in his budget for gun violence research. In 2013, President Obama lifted a 17-year ban on federal gun violence research but there has been no funding specifically appropriated for the effort. Senator Markey made his announcements at Project R.I.G.H.T. Inc. in the Grove Hall area of Dorchester after participating in a community roundtable discussion.
“No one wants children to get access to a handgun and hurt themselves or others,” said Senator Markey. “In the 21st century, we should use advances in technology to our own advantage and save lives, and the Handgun Trigger Safety Act will help ensure that only authorized users can operate handguns. This is the type of gun safety legislation that everyone – regardless of political party or affiliation – should be able to support.”
“We need to study gun violence like the public health crisis it is,” continued Senator Markey. “Funding for a federal gun violence research agenda should be a permanent priority so that we no longer look back and say that we didn’t commit any resources to a cause of death that took more people last year than leukemia.”
A copy of the letter to President Obama with Rep. Maloney can be found HERE.
The Handgun Trigger Safety Act of 2014 would:
- • Authorize grants for further development and improvement of “personalized” handgun technology
- • Direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to create a safety standard for personalized handguns that all newly manufactured handguns will have to meet
- • Require that all handguns manufactured in the United States two years after the date of enactment of the bill be “personalized handguns” and comply with the CPSC standard
- • Require that any entity, whether an individual or business, selling a handgun, retrofit their handgun with personalization technology three years after the date of enactment of the bill
- • Hold gun manufacturers liable if they produce guns that do not meet the CPSC safety standard two years after the passage of the bill
Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) on “The Handgun Trigger Safety Act”:
“I commend Senator Markey for his leadership on this important issue and for taking the initiative to introduce the Personalized Handgun Safety Act in the Senate,” said Rep. Tierney. “This vital legislation, which I introduced in the House last year, harnesses the benefits of existing technology to make guns themselves safer. Personalization technology would reduce accidental gun deaths and prevent stolen weapons from being used in crimes. I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Markey and others in the Massachusetts delegation on this and other measures to curb gun violence and make our neighborhoods and our schools safer.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on the letter to President Obama on gun violence research funding:
“Gun violence costs our country an estimated $174 billion every year," said Rep. Maloney. “All we're asking for is six one-hundredths of a percent of that amount to help figure out why and prevent future tragedies. The President included this funding in his previous budget, and I hope that he will again this year. The CDC has a research plan in place. Now they need the funding to move forward.”
Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins:
“Senator Markey has a proven track record addressing gun violence and making our streets safer for our children and our families. We need an assault weapons ban, limits on high capacity magazines and the kinds of common sense solutions that Senator Markey is proposing. Families in Massachusetts know that Senator Markey is a fighter who will stand up to the NRA and work with President Obama to pass commonsense gun control legislation that makes our communities safer.”
Project R.I.G.H.T. Executive Director Jorge Martinez:
“For all those in Massachusetts who care about reducing gun violence, we know that Senator Markey will be fighting every day to keep our streets safe. Understanding the causes of gun violence is an important part of a comprehensive plan to stop the pain gun deaths are causing families and neighborhoods in Boston. I applaud Senator Markey’s efforts to ensure that the programs and institutions that serve our neighborhoods get the support and attention they need.”