BOSTON – Boston City Council President Ed Flynn and Councilor Brian Worrell held a hearing on Monday, September 18, 2023 at 10 a.m. to discuss the ordinance that they sponsored to have a study and annual report with data on the flow of firearms and information on illegal firearms recovered in the City. The hearing was chaired by Councilor Ricardo Arroyo in the Committee on Government Operations, and was attended by officials from the Boston Police Department and numerous City Councilors. The ordinance and hearing follows the unanimous adoption of a City Council Resolution declaring gun violence as a public health emergency in October 2022.
Gun trafficking and the illegal flow of firearms is a major contributor to gun violence, with the Boston Police recovering close to 900 firearms in 2022. Since 2015, there have been over 1,700 shootings recorded in the City of Boston, with more than 170 shootings in 2022. According to the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, only 10 percent of the firearms recovered at crime scenes that were traced were purchased in Massachusetts, while the rest were brought into Massachusetts from 18 other states. Having a comprehensive study and review of the flow of firearms into the City of Boston would help law enforcement and policymakers better understand the impact of illegal gun trafficking, and help us develop strategies on gun violence prevention.
At the hearing, Councilors spoke of the importance of curbing gun violence, the trauma brought on by gun violence in the community, as well as the concerning uses of 3D-printed “ghost guns” and modifiers such as switches. The Boston Police Department’s Regional Intelligence Center is responsible for collecting and tracking data on firearm recoveries, while overall number of shootings and shooting victims are trending downward, possession of firearms still remains a big concern. So far the Boston Police recovered 602 guns in 2023, 415 were crime guns, including 59 “ghost guns”. Most of the data requested in the ordinance are already collected, and the Boston Police expressed willingness to collaborate on this ordinance.
“Data on the flow of firearms will help our law enforcement and policymakers better understand the impact of illegal gun trafficking, and allow us to develop more effective strategies to reduce gun violence,” said Council President Flynn. “I want to thank the Boston Police Department for the work that they do in keeping our communities safe, and Councilor Worrell and my colleagues for their partnership on this issue. I look forward to continuing collaborating with our Boston Police, and passing this ordinance so that we can work together to stop the illegal flow of firearms into our neighborhoods.”
For more information, please contact Council President Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and [email protected].