We need to keep asking where the gun came from, especially in situations where the shooter is carrying a loaded firearm without a license, as appears to be the case in the recent shooting of two police officers in Falmouth.
Was it initially purchased in Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine, whose laws allow easy purchase, bypassing background checks? Was the gun stolen? Was its theft reported as required? Was it acquired in a “straw purchase,” whereby someone with a license purchases guns to sell to others without licenses? Since in Massachusetts there is no limit to the number of guns a person can buy, such purchases for resale to the unlicensed are tempting. Was it owned by someone with a license to carry who was careless about access?
The Massachusetts report “Recovery of Crime Guns in Massachusetts 2016-2017” provides some answers. The Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is supporting research so we can limit the damage done through irresponsible use of guns.
Likely the first transaction for that gun was legal. Where did it go wrong? We need to hear the voices of responsible gun owners and gun shops to help ensure safe gun ownership and practices.