WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –President Obama got letters from these kids pleading for change, and today during his speech, he promised he’d deliver. Taking swift action since the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT one month ago, President Obama is the first president to take on the issue of gun control in 20 years.
Many of the measures in his proposal, including ordering federal agencies to have more info available for background checks, don’t need backing from lawmakers. “This is about putting into law some rationality, some common sense,” said Congressman. Jim McGovern.
Locally, Governor Deval Patrick is following suit, filing a bill to strengthen already tough state gun laws. That includes setting aside $5 million for the Department of Mental Health Services to help train teachers to recognize those types of illnesses in students, and limiting firearm purchases to one a month. “What you want to emphasize here is cooperation. Without any desire to take guns away from sportsmen, hunters and legitimate collectors, this is about those who would perpetrate violent crime based upon a shoddy procurement opportunity,” Congressman Richard Neal stated.
Not everyone agrees with the new proposals. Philip Marcil, Manager at West Springfield’s Guns Inc., and feels that the weapons aren’t necessarily the problem. “I don’t agree with it. He needs to address the storage. He needs to address the accessibility to those that are unlicensed that are doing the shooting. It has nothing to do with the guns,” Marcil said.
Marcil also says that there also aren’t enough police officers to keep guns out of criminal hands.
In his proposal, President Obama included funding for community grants to do just that.