Two Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 200 others and have sparked renewed debate about gun control and gun safety have cast a spotlight on the city’s gun laws.
Key points:A law passed in Boston in March, requiring a background check for anyone seeking to purchase a gun, was amended in April, with stricter rules on who can buy gunsA state judge ruled that the state was in violation of federal gun laws, prompting the city to appeal.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is defending the law, saying he will not allow anyone to be barred from owning a gun due to their mental health.
But some local residents say the new rules don’t go far enough, and they have called for more restrictions.
“This is a tragedy that happened in the city of Boston, and this is a gun control bill that will do nothing to make our streets safer,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement on Sunday.
“We are going to have a citywide lockdown, and our police department will be out on the streets, with armed police officers on the beat.”
The city’s new gun laws went into effect on April 22, when the city council passed a measure to require a background-check check on any prospective gun buyer.
The city’s law was later amended in May to ban guns from private sales to anyone under 18 and banned guns from owning people who had been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and barred people who have been convicted of domestic violence from owning guns.
“Any individual with a history of domestic or intimate partner violence, or those with a domestic or romantic relationship with someone with a psychiatric or mental health disorder, will not be permitted to purchase firearms,” the revised law states.
The law also bans people from buying or transferring a gun in Massachusetts if they have a history or have a current felony conviction in the state, or if they are prohibited from owning firearms under the state’s gun law.
In April, the state of Massachusetts joined a coalition of states and cities, including Washington, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and Arizona, that issued an executive order to impose strict gun control measures after the Boston Marathon bombing.
The city has now added a new gun law requiring background checks on all gun sales.
“I am confident that our new law will help prevent another tragedy like the one in Boston,” said Boston Mayor Marty Wade.
“Bostonians are the most gun-owning in the country, and the city is in a better position to protect our families and our neighborhoods, and we must do everything we can to ensure that gun laws in our communities are reasonable and consistent with the Second Amendment.”
But the Boston Police Department has said that it does not want to be a city that puts the needs of criminals over the safety of the community.
“The police are our first responders, and that is what they are supposed to do, protect our citizens and protect the city,” Chief John McCarthy said on Sunday, after Boston Mayor Walsh issued an impassioned plea for gun control.
“But it is the Second Amendments, and it’s the right of all citizens to own firearms.”
Boston’s police department is working to ensure the safety and security of its residents, Walsh said, and “the first priority is the safety.”
The law on background checks also comes after a string of recent mass shootings in the United States, with the deadliest one occurring in Las Vegas on Sunday when 20 people were killed and more than 500 injured by a gunman with a semi-automatic rifle.
In June, a gunman killed five people and wounded dozens at a country music festival in Las