CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - The question of how to deal with gun violence has been a major topic of political debate in recent months.
Massachusetts already has strict gun laws compared to other states, but some people think there are ways to make it even better.
State Representative State Rep. Harold Naughton (D-Clinton) brought his gun violence listening tour to Western Massachusetts.
He wants to craft legislation to strengthen existing laws.
"That could mean mental health aspects of the criminally or mentally ill, licensing aspects," Naughton said.
Local mayors, state representatives and law enforcement joined him at the Chicopee library to offer ideas that they think could benefit our communities.
"There are no borders for guns. They come across our borders and there's no one there to look for them, they come from Vermont, North Carolina, we get a lot of guns stolen from house breaks," said Springfield Police Deputy Chief William Cochrane.
The listening tour is an effort to prepare for future hearings on legislation filed after the Newtown Connecticut shooting.
It also comes here the same week there were two deadly shootings in Springfield.
"One murder is too much and you had a decrease in our crime rate but still that's not enough, we have to do more and it's senseless violence," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Changes to gun laws continues to be a controversial move across the country.
Chicopee's mayor Michael Bissonnette says he hopes any changes made are fair to those on both sides of the issue.
"I don't think anyone should be fearful that the government is coming to take their guns but certainly in modern society there are some regulations we'll need to implement to ensure everyone is safe while protecting our second amendment rights," Bissonnette said.
Naughton will take the tour back east before hearings on Beacon Hill begin.