Worcester’s Petty among mayors to rally behind Healey ‘copycat’ gun ban

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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey faced a barrage of criticism in the weeks following her announcement of stepped-up enforcement of the state’s assault weapons ban, but the top prosecutor and her allies have spent the better part of the past week trying to change the narrative by highlighting support for her actions from a diverse cross-section of the population.

From U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Arizona Congresswoman and shooting victim Gabby Giffords to clergy, doctors, law enforcement, the LGBT community and citizens posting on Facebook, Healey’s team has engaged in an aggressive campaign to highlight the grassroots support behind her call for stricter gun law enforcement.

Maura Healey, surrounded by supporters at an announcement last year, is now surrounded by controversy after her "copycat gun" initiative came to light last week.

State House News Service / file

Maura Healey, surrounded by supporters at an announcement last year, is now surrounded by controversy after her “copycat gun” initiative drew a heavy wave of opposition.

“The NRA has an incredibly well-funded lobby effort. Their voice is incredibly loud even though there are so many people across the country who support common-sense control measures,” Healey said last week. “Any time you take on something as controversial as guns there’s inevitably going to be some blowback, but what’s heartening to me is seeing the widespread public support we’re receiving.”

The efforts continued Thursday, Aug. 11, when 19 mayors from across the state, including Worcester’s Joseph M. Petty, signed onto a letter voicing support for Healey’s effort to curb sales of what she has described as “copycat” assault weapons, a move that has drawn a backlash from gun owners and concerns from many members of the state Legislature.


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