McDevitt, who met with DeLeo on Wednesday, said the speaker had asked him to be “as comprehensive as I could be, to really look at the intersection of guns, mental health, and school safety, and try to act as a bit of an academic resource for the Legislature to look at what is being done around the country.”
McDevitt said he wants the commission to include members with experience in law enforcement, mental health, school and child safety, and gun licensing. He said he hoped to send out invitations for members last week, hold the first meeting shortly afterward, and report back by early summer.
The pending debate on Beacon Hill mirrors movement around the country toward tighter restrictions. Vice President Joe Biden met last week with groups from both sides of the gun-control issue — including victims’ organizations and the National Rifle Association — to craft President Obama’s response to the Newtown shooting.
“The president and I are determined to take action. This is not an exercise in photo opportunities,” Biden said.
Although Patrick has said he supports tougher gun laws, a spokeswoman would not say whether he plans to make the issue an important part of his State of the State address Wednesday.
The governor, however, “is encouraged by the growing consensus among legislators and stakeholders that we need comprehensive strategies, and we need them now,” said Chelsie Ouellette, his deputy press secretary.
In Albany, N.Y., the call for stricter gun control was loud and firm. Cuomo used his State of the State address Wednesday to propose the country’s toughest restrictions on guns, particularly on assault weapons similar to the one used by Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Newtown gunman.
“Forget the extremists — it’s simple,” Cuomo said to sustained applause. “No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. End the madness now.”
In California, broader restrictions on assault weapons and ammunition have been proposed.
In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons in schools and day-care centers.
And a large coalition of mayors, including Thomas M. Menino in Boston and Michael R. Bloomberg in New York, is pressing for tough, new laws.
In Arizona, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in a mass shooting in Tucson in 2011, has created a political action committee designed to curb gun violence.
Brian MacQuarrie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.