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Somerville Police Chief: Gun Laws in Neighboring States Affect Massachusetts

Thomas Pasquarello, Somerville's chief of police, said the city is aggressive about pursuing guns, but "gun control is [best] left to the politicians."

As the nation has a broader conversation about gun laws and gun control, Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello said, "Gun control is [best] left to the politicians to decide."

That said, "You have to have a consistent policy and you need to have your neighboring states in unison," the police chief said, speaking after a Board of Aldermen meeting on Feb. 14.

Of the New England states, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are "more liberal in their approach to gun control" than Massachusetts, Pasquarello said.

Sometimes, weapons from those states "fall into the hands of criminals," he said.

Pasquarello said Somerville police "look for guns on everything"—a simple traffic stop, for instance, could lead to the discovery of guns, he said.

Pasquarello said Somerville has been pretty lucky in the recent two years, a time during which five people or fewer have been shot, he said. He said that was important to note in city that's in the heart of the Boston area.

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