Take Action

Gun Violence Prevention

The lead volunteer organizer of this working group is Ellie Miller, First Church in Boston. To learn more and get involved, please contact Ellie at: elliemiller224@gmail.com

Facebook Page: Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

Website: Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

Current Projects:

  • Defending existing gun safety laws and opposing state and national efforts to undermine them.

  • Working to secure state budget funding for research on gun violence prevention

  • Ensuring complete implementation of the 2014 MA gun laws and the 2018 red flag law

  • Supporting and promoting primary prevention work, since gun violence often has roots in economic disparity

  • Supporting and promoting the work of individual Coalition member groups

While we improve our gun laws, we also need to address the root causes of urban gun violence. The Coalition is prioritizing programs that address these root causes in a variety of proven ways: Youth jobs, trauma response, and direct intervention with court involved and violence involved youth. We’re supporting state legislative funding for these agendas.

Working Group History

The Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence was born in January of 2013 as an association of local groups working to create a strong, unified advocacy for common-sense policy aimed at reducing all types of gun violence. Six years later the Coalition has over 80 member organizations. There are now seven UU churches which are members of this Coalition (First Church Belmont, First Church in Boston, First Parish Watertown, First Religious Society of Newburyport UU, Follen Church Society UU, Nantucket UU Church, and UU Society of Martha’s Vineyard.) Many individuals from these churches have been actively participating in Coalition-wide activities; and the Coalition has been supporting the GVP work done by these UU churches. Over the past year we Massachusetts UUs have held a number of vigils for victims of gun violence, hosted speakers and sponsored panel discussions on the topic of gun violence, marched, rallied, and lobbied at the Statehouse.

We’ve been instrumental in guiding important state bills into laws for improving background checks on private gun sales, tracking all crime guns by the police, and allowing broader police discretion on issuing Firearms ID cards in our Commonwealth, and making sure that Massachusetts complies with federal law in reporting information for background checks.

Through our strong advocacy, the Extreme Risk Protective Order bill, otherwise known as a red flag bill, became law. Now, family members and local law enforcement can file a petition with a judge to remove firearms from dangerous individuals.

We have managed to be strong advocates by testifying at legislative hearings, putting together strong panels to testify (survivors, doctors, religious professionals, police chiefs, students etc.,) panel discussions, educational speakers and movies, relentless leafletting, calls and letters to legislators, vigils, marches, lobbying, t-shirts, financial contributions, social media posts, and billboards, among other things.

Recent Success

Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Passes!

On July 30, 2018 Governor Baker signed H.4670, An Act Relative to Firearms, which will allow household members, or others in close relationships, and local law enforcement to file an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) petition with the court to remove firearms from dangerous individuals.  Read full post here