Legislators discuss immigration and gun control policy

Nov 20, 2023

LAKEVILLE – A sweeping gun control bill, the immigration crisis and other hot topics were discussed during the Cranberry Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Lunch on Friday, Nov. 17.

The legislative luncheon is “one of our main events and it’s always very well attended,” said Cranberry Chamber of Commerce Business Manager Pam Dziura. “Those who attended will walk away being more educated about what’s going on in the state and in our communities.”

The lunch was attended by 12th Bristol District Representative Norman Orrall (R-Lakeville), 1st Bristol and Plymouth District Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), 3rd Bristol and Plymouth District Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) and 2nd Plymouth District Representative Susan Gifford (R-Wareham).

Cruz, Orrall, Rodrigues, Pacheco, and Gifford participated in a question and answer session where they discussed their opposition toward a sweeping proposed house bill that would expand Massachusetts gun control rules. 

The bill defines and redefines many terms related to firearms, including what qualifies as an “assault-style” weapon or a large magazine. The bill also contains provisions that would aim to restrict the availability of “ghost guns,” and it contains a provision to require gun owners to have permission from private property owners before bringing guns onto private property.

Pacheco said Massachusetts has “some of the most stringent laws and regulations in the nation,” and the proposed house bill did not have the support of police officers.

“I cannot see the Legislature passing any proposal that does not have the support of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association,” Pacheco said.

The immigration crisis that has resulted in many Massachusetts cities and towns housing migrants in hotels was also discussed at the lunch. Pacheco said that federal immigration laws were out of date.

“The vast majority of the migrants seeking asylum are here in the United States legally as a matter of federal law,” Pacheco said. “Our migrant crisis is a direct result of an outdated federal immigration system that has not been comprehensively addressed since 1986 and is in desperate need of reform.”

However, the possibility that the immigration crisis might prove helpful to businesses facing worker shortages was also discussed at the lunch. Pacheco said immigration could be an opportunity to hire new workers. 

“Every sector is looking for workers,” Pacheco said.