Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society supports ‘An Act Modernizing Firearms Laws’

Massachusetts Medical Society supports ‘An Act Modernizing Firearms Laws’

The gun violence epidemic is an untenable public health crisis. The physicians of the Massachusetts Medical Society have long advocated for policies that will protect our patients from firearm injury and violence and advance firearm safety, informed by our unique experience treating victims of gun violence and the cascading impact on victims and communities.

Our advocacy is guided by the principles of reducing the number of deaths, disabilities, and injuries attributable to firearms; making firearm ownership safer; and promoting education relative to firearms, ammunition, and violence prevention for physicians, other health professionals and the public. These principles underpin our support for “An Act Modernizing Firearms Laws.” The proposal brings forward several meaningful and impactful changes that align with our established organizational policy and, most importantly, will further protect patients and communities in Massachusetts.

Specifically, the Medical Society strongly supports updates around extreme risk protection orders, a legal tool that has been proven to save lives and preclude those who may harm themselves or others from accessing firearms. Notably, the bill adds medical professionals to the list of those in Massachusetts who can seek an emergency petition order, while ensuring important legal protections for petitioners.

In addition, we support provisions that address loopholes regarding assault weapons, decrease the manufacturing of and prevalence of “ghost guns,” and elevate standards of safety training for gun owners.

Firearm violence is as serious and deadly a public health crisis as our nation has endured in recent history and we must respond accordingly and urgently. Passage of this legislation furthers the Medical Society’s goal of protecting our patients and our communities by enacting meaningful change to stem the preventable loss of life from gun violence. The Medical Society looks forward to working with the legislature to reduce firearm violence.

-Barbara S. Spivak, MD, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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