Western Mass Reacts to New Gun LawsREGIONAL, Western Mass. (WGGB) — Gun laws are becoming tighter after Governor Patrick signed “An Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence” last week.
Governor Patrick’s new bill on gun safety is just another step Massachusetts is taking to curb gun violence.
On the governor’s official website he released a statement saying, “Our communities and families are safer when irresponsible gun sales and use are reduced.”
The bill builds on the most recent gun safety measures taken in 2013 after the tragic shootings that occurred in the recent years.
Its creating new firearms crimes such as assault and battery by discharge of a fire arm and enhancing the sentences of those existing firearms crimes. As well as increasing safety in schools by mandating the creation and review or school emergency response plans and direct communication with local police and fire departments.
The bill also states schools are now required to address the mental health of all students and staff in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of those unfit. The Commonwealth’s courts are also required to transmit (mental health) information the the Massachusetts criminal justice information system to be included in background checks available nationwide.
Northampton public schools Superintendent Dr. John Provost told ABC40 that he’s glad the Governor is working to protect our children and before these new laws his schools were already practicing safety drills.
“The response would be a lock down, teachers are trained to lock doors, shield students from entrances and remain there until released by first responders,” Dr. Provost said. He also added that Northampton public schools schedule regular drills all year round and will be meeting Monday (8/25/14) to nail down that exact schedule.
While many residents in Western Mass preferred not to speak about gun issues, one resident was happy to see the governor take more action.
Arnold Craven a resident of Agawam told ABC40, “The kids have to come first and they matter more than anything else, we aren’t taking guns away. Just requiring more check and balances for them to go through, anything that keeps the kids safe is the biggest priority.”