Returning this week to the role of Boston City Council president, after being unanimously elected to the position for 2013, Councillor Stephen Murphy got right down to business, announcing that he plans to take on an assault weapon ban this year.
“No sportsman or gun collector needs an assault weapon. There is no sport in using an automatic rifle,” said Murphy, an at-large councillor from Hyde Park.
The Boston City Council and Mayor Thomas Menino publicly supported a ban on assault weapons after the Newtown school shooting in December.
Gun control laws are regulated at the state and federal levels, but Murphy believes the council can effect change in three ways:
- By supporting the ban on assault weapons;
- By supporting calls for strict background checks and mental health screenings on all handguns;
- And by placing public pressure on the entertainment industry to reign in the glorification of violence.
Murphy also promised to be actively involved in the rejuvenation of the Fairmount-Indigo Commuter Rail project through Dorchester, according to a press release. Several stations along the line are poised to be activated in the coming year as Transit Oriented Developments (TODs), which will provide housing near transit stations.
“Many lower-wage jobs require workers to be in close proximity to the city, but housing and transit prices have increased while wages have remained relatively steady," Murphy said. "The TODs will meet the needs of the city workforce by providing affordable housing opportunities, increased community development, and decreased transit times.”
This is Murphy's third term as council president. In 2012, the council voted on rule changes that make the city council president position a two-year term that coincides with the election cycle. Councilors may serve multiple terms, but not consecutively, and the rules go into effect in 2014.