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Diann Slavit Baylis Gun Violence Prevention Proposal - June Press Release

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

Slavit Baylis proposes gun violence prevention measures in wake of Supreme Court decision on firearms regulation Long-time Gun Violence Prevention Activist and Attorney is Seeking to Represent Marblehead, Swampscott and Lynn in the Massachusetts House of Representatives

For Immediate Release:

Contact Angus McQuilken, 508-277-1133,

Marblehead, MA –Long-time gun violence prevention advocate, attorney and candidate for State Representative Diann Slavit Baylis today proposed a slate of proposals to address gun violence in Massachusetts, in the wake of last week’s US Supreme Court decision on firearms regulation and the adoption of a new federal firearms law that was signed by President Biden last week. Slavit Baylis is a candidate for the open State Representative seat in the 8th Essex District, encompassing Marblehead, Swampscott and two precincts in Lynn.

Slavit Baylis, who lives in Marblehead, is a long-time advocate against gun violence, having played a key role in passage of the state’s Extreme Risk Protective Order Law, also known as the Red Flag Law. Slavit Baylis, who lost someone close to her to gun violence, testified before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and spoke at state house rallies in support of the bill. In 2018, Slavit Baylis and her husband Angus McQuilken participated in the Tri-Town to Newtown ride, navigating 210 miles over three days from Massachusetts to Newtown Connecticut on a tandem bicycle to raise awareness and keep the memories of the victims of the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School alive.

Today Slavit Baylis proposed a number of measures to further combat gun violence in Massachusetts:

• Maintain and reinforce Massachusetts’ discretionary system for firearms licensing, administered at the local level by municipal chiefs of police, based on a standard of suitability after a thorough review of individual applicants.

• Utilize funding provided under the new federal law to fund a broad, statewide public awareness campaign to raise awareness of the Massachusetts Red Flag Law and how to utilize it to remove firearms access from individuals that the courts determine are an extreme risk to themselves or others.

• Initiate an inter-state compact with like-minded states to pursue a common approach to

firearms licensing based on the Massachusetts model and elements of effective laws in collaborating states.

• Pass legislation making clear that victims of gun violence can pursue liability claims against firearms manufacturers and retailers for irresponsible marketing of firearms (based on a law already adopted in New York).

• Ensure annual public reporting on statistics regarding the origin of crime guns in Massachusetts, either in collaboration with the next governor, or through legislative mandate if necessary.

• Pass a clear state prohibition on “ghost guns”, untraceable self-assembled weapons that evade tracing through the lack of a serial number.

“Discretionary licensing based on a standard of suitability, administered at the local level, is the key pillar of our most-effective-in-the-nation gun violence prevention laws in Massachusetts,” said Slavit-Baylis. “This system has been very effective in keeping guns out of the hands of individuals that pose a risk to themselves or others, and it is a key reason why Massachusetts has one of the lowest gun death rates of any state in America. Last week’s Supreme Court decision, a decision that I vehemently disagree with, did not focus on the ability of states to enforce discretionary licensing systems administered by local law enforcement, and there is nothing in that decision that requires us to move away from this proven approach to keeping our communities safe.”

Regarding the proposal for using newly available federal funds to run a public awareness campaign regarding the state’s Red Flag Law, Slavit Baylis said, “Playing an active role in the passage of this law is the legislative accomplishment I am most proud of, because this law is saving lives,” said Slavit Baylis. “The Red Flag Law will only achieve its full life-saving potential if people are aware of the law and how to utilize it, especially family members of individuals in crisis who can utilize this law to keep both their family member and the community safe. In Massachusetts, this would be the best and highest use of the new federal funding that is being made available under the recently adopted, and long overdue federal firearms law.”

Slavit Baylis is available to media upon request for interviews on the full range of gun violence prevention measures that she is proposing. Contact Angus McQuilken at 508-277-1133 to arrange an interview.

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