BOSTON – Monday, May 23, 2016 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced he has been invited to the White House State and Local Gun Violence Prevention Convening on Tuesday, May 24 in Washington, D.C. The White House is convening a group of state and local elected officials from all 50 states who have been leaders in the fight to address gun violence to engage with senior Administration officials and to exchange information about steps they are taking in their communities. Boston Police Commissioner William Evans will join the Mayor at the summit.
“I am honored to accept the White House’s invitation to discuss concrete examples of how mayors can address the gun violence that plagues too many of our communities,” said Mayor Walsh. “Gun violence is one of the defining challenges of our time. We know that in order to get illegal guns off of streets and out of the wrong hands, we must work with our regional and national partners on commonsense strategies that work.”
The Mayor will participate in a morning session at the Center for American Progress about executive actions to address gun violence, and will address attendees at an afternoon session at the White House on state and local actions on preventing gun violence and domestic violence. Vice President Joe Biden will address participants at the close of the White House session.
Earlier this year, President Obama announced a series of commonsense steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands, to make communities safer from gun violence, to increase mental health treatment and reporting, and to help shape the future of gun safety technology.
Under the leadership of Mayor Walsh and Commissioner Evans, Boston is leading the charge in taking a regional approach to addressing gun violence. Last year, the City of Boston commissioned a study and analysis, tracing data from crime guns recovered by the Boston Police over a period of six years. The results reinforced the need to have collective, regional efforts to reduce the number of firearms accessible to those who wish to use them for criminal purposes. Since then, Mayor Walsh has convened four New England gun summits with municipal officials and law enforcement leaders from nearly 80 cities and towns across the New England region to share strategies to reduce gun violence and reduce trafficking of illegal firearms. To date, significant actions have been taken by cities across the region. Following Mayor Walsh and Commissioner Evans’ outreach to responsible gun owners, several cities in the region have also reached out to engage responsible gun owners on firearm storage and safety, offering guidance on recent updates to state law regarding reporting requirements for lost and stolen firearms, and in some cities, even providing free firearm locks. After the City of Boston implemented the Replica Handgun Ban in 2015, several cities in New England have begun to explore implementing similar measures. In April, Mayor Walsh announced a $25,000 grant from the Boston Foundation (TBF), that will engage the non-profit Arms With Ethics to work with Boston to lead a multi-city pilot program in the New England region to develop customized law enforcement-led projects focused on preventing the illegal flow and illegal use of guns.