Amherst Select Board considers gun-control effort 

Staff Writer
Published: 8/26/2016 2:26:33 AM

AMHERST — The Select Board on Monday again will consider formally joining and endorsing principles outlined by a national gun-control organization.

After the board held off on a vote in June to sign onto the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a program of Everytown for Gun Safety, the topic is back on the agenda.

The request comes from the Board of Health, whose chairman, Marco Boscardin, told the Select Board that such a decision would make Amherst’s voice louder and more influential on national policy related to guns. The health board spent several months studying the topic of gun violence and how it relates to health matters.

The Select Board has gotten reaction both in support of joining, as a common-sense way to reduce violence, and opposed to joining because of  concerns that the group targets law-abiding residents who own guns.

Select Board member Constance Kruger, who was the lone vote in support of joining in June, said she is appalled by gun violence and that she continues to believe the measure would be a positive step.

“I don’t think joining a group or signing a petition does that much, but it can help a little bit,” Kruger said.

In addition, by joining, Amherst would stay informed about what is happening in Massachusetts and surrounding states related to guns, Boscardin said.

The Select Board has already shown support for efforts to promote gun safety by extending background checks and punishing those who traffic in illegal guns, which are among principles promoted by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.




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