CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – As the nation mourns the lives lost in the deadly July Fourth Parade shooting in Illinois, a cry for gun control is once again being heard across the country.

This shooting also follows a dozen others that took place over the holiday weekend. As the conversation on gun control measures continues, here’s what western Massachusetts residents should know.

“Unfortunately in this day and age, you always have to be aware that something tragic could happen,” said Northampton Attorney James Winston.

Some of these recent shootings were carried out by gunmen who legally purchased firearms. Here in Massachusetts, there are strict licensing laws in place in an effort to ensure firearms don’t get into the wrong hands.

“Well, the state law requires somebody to actually have a license, and that licensing process is done through the local police department where that person lives and there’s a thorough application process that person has to go through at the police station to even have that license to carry,” said Northampton Attorney Winston.

This license application process involves police evaluating factors such as mental health and criminal background. Without a license, it is illegal to carry a firearm here in the Commonwealth. And although the firearm

An Easthampton resident who asked not to be named told 22News that licensing laws here in Massachusetts are some of the strictest in the country, and some say that there still needs to be more done to prevent acts of gun violence.

They told 22News “When it comes to gun control, I think that the government has to take strict guidelines and screen the people.”

Massachusetts law does allow licensing authorities to deny or revoke a license to carry if the applicant poses a risk to public safety.

Those under 21, convicted felons or someone subject to a restraining order are all ineligible to obtain a license to carry as well.