Markey Testifies at Fall River Gun Violence Listening Tour
(BOSTON) – State Representatives Christopher M. Markey (D-Dartmouth) testified today at the Gun Violence Listening Tour the Fall River Police Department at 685 Pleasant Street in the Community Room, vowing to bring a “moderate, common-sense approach” toward legislation seeking to curb gun violence in the Commonwealth. Markey, whose district includes all of Dartmouth and portions of New Bedford, joined fellow legislators Alan Silvia (D- Fall River) and others at the fifth visit on the statewide tour organized by State Representative Hank Naughton, House chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Following the same format as the previous Listening Tours, Monday’s visit to Fall River featured local area residents, law enforcement, and active community organizations speaking on issues of gun violence and of gun rights. The stated goal of this Listen Tour is to bring together interested community members and groups to participate in an informal discussion on possible preventative solutions to the issue of gun violence. Naughton, in a recent interview with Commonwealth Magazine elaborated, saying the end result sought is “a thoughtful, deliberate, comprehensive piece of legislation that protects the public safety while not impeding on civil rights. Come September, if I can take the floor of the House and say, ‘That’s what this is,’ well, I guess I’ll have done my job. And I think we can do that, but it’s not going to be easy getting there.”
Markey, who served as a prosecutor in Bristol County for twelve years, echoed those sentiments at the Listening Tour. “The worst thing we can do as a Legislature is to rush to judgment and legislate based on emotion. The issues we face that involve guns and violence are too complicated and too important to be addressed in an irrational manner. We need thoughtful debate.” Markey said. While he acknowledged the good intentions behind many of the sixty five different bills pending before the legislature, Markey stated that the Commonwealth should focus on substantive changes, including “a gun trafficking task force, mental health waivers, and streamlining licensing procedures so lawful and qualified citizens can seek approval of a license without significant delay. It has to be a frank conversation, in which we acknowledge that our border states do not have the same strict requirements, and the illegal possession of “crime guns” in Massachusetts have a great deal to do with that.”