October 4, 2017

In light of Vegas massacre, DeLeo sets meeting on Mass. gun law

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Sam Doran / State House News Service

House Speaker Robert DeLeo

Massachusetts may already have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but in the wake of the concert massacre in Las Vegas Sunday night House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he’s not done trying to improve.

DeLeo told reporters he plans to meet with Northeastern University criminologist Jack McDevitt Thursday to review the impact of a 2014 gun law that included suicide prevention initiatives, firearm tracing and new background check requirements.

The meeting would not be the first between the two men this year, and stems from a $150,000 study ordered by the Legislature in the fall of 2015. “He’s going to get back to me in terms of what he sees as the strong points, weak points or any problems at all in our legislation,” DeLeo said.

DeLeo expressed pride in the state’s gun control efforts, including a ban on assault weapons, that has led to Massachusetts being one of the safest states in the country from gun crimes, but added, “With today’s action I’m not sure how much solace we can take.”

An Assumption College graduate, Sandy Casey, and a Tewksbury woman, Rhonda LeRocque, were reportedly among the 59 people killed and more than 500 injured in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night.

The deadly mass shooting immediately prompted renewed calls for Congress to consider gun control measures to keep automatic weapons like those used in the shooting out of the hands of civilians.

“I think the gun laws we have here, thanks to the work of a number of people to my right, have served the commonwealth quite well and having some of those precepts adopted by the rest of the country would be a good thing,” Gov. Charlie Baker said, standing with DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg after observing a moment of silence at the State House for the victims of the attack.

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