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Massachusetts Joining Interstate Gun Safety Coalition

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a panel on the opioid crisis, at the National Governor Association 2018 winter meeting, on Saturday in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a panel on the opioid crisis, at the National Governor Association 2018 winter meeting, on Saturday in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Gov. Charlie Baker says Massachusetts is joining the "States for Gun Safety" coalition, which includes New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The states in the coalition will share information on people who have been disqualified from owning a gun. They will also coordinate on tracking and intercepting illegal guns.

Massachusetts gun control advocates say they're encouraged the state is entering into a multi-state effort to fight gun violence — but they are now calling for more aggressive actions.

Massachusetts Parents United Founder Keri Rodrigues told WBUR Sunday she wants Baker to use his influence in the Republican Governors Association to push for a national ban on the AR-15 — the gun used in the Florida school shooting.

"I want to see more than just joining the coalition, I want to see him engaged, I want him taking real action steps so this is addressed," Rodrigues said. "We can't just sit around and have conversations and talk and offer our thoughts and prayers anymore."

Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners' Action League, said Sunday that Massachusetts' willingness to share information on people who were denied access to guns raises privacy concerns because of state law.

"You don't have to be a criminal or someone who's mentally ill to be denied your firearms license because a local chief can deny you for virtually no reason," Wallace said. "So are those people being included in those lists?"

Baker spokeswoman Lizzy Guyton said in a statement the administration "will join the gun safety coalition to enhance the strong gun control measures already in place" in Massachusetts. Guyton said "Massachusetts public safety officials are currently working with coalition members" on the plan's specific requirements.

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Bob Shaffer is a producer in WBUR’s newscast unit.

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