SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- National gun violence activists took their fight to Springfield and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, they spoke with a group of state legislators who filed a bill that would ban the manufacturing of high-capacity and assault weapons in the state.
State lawmakers and these activists said that these types of weapons can't be sold in Massachusetts legally, so they question why they’re allowed to be manufactured in the Bay State and sent around the country.
“If you can't sell weapons here, why should they be made here to kill innocent Americans elsewhere?” asked John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence.
Gun activists and state lawmakers tried to strike firearms manufacturers’ with words with legislation filed Tuesday that would prevent companies like Springfield-based Smith and Wesson from manufacturing high-capacity and assault style weapons in Massachusetts.
People who lost loved ones in mass shootings placed the blame on manufacturers who make guns in states, like Massachusetts, with strict firearm laws, but then export them elsewhere.
“She was killed by an AR-15 that was made by Smith and Wesson in Massachusetts. My daughter was shot six times,” said Sandy Philips, whose daughter was killed in the Aurora, CO movie theater shooting.
Western Mass News spoke with State Representative Bud Williams, one of the state lawmakers who filed the legislation.
“Assault weapons are banned. You can’t buy them. Assault weapons, you can’t own…so it could’ve been a little loophole that they can still manufacture them in Massachusetts and we’re trying to address that,” Williams explained.
Williams wants to act fast. Smith and Wesson’s sales went through the roof this year alone, boasting a gross margin increase of 14 percent. While he said it’s not his goal to stop companies from earning money, he wants to protect lives first, as mass shootings continue across the country.
“40-something in the last month? Just outraged,” Williams added.
We reached out to Smith and Wesson for more information on their manufacturing operations when it comes to these high-capacity and assault-style weapons. We have not yet heard back.