Sunday, May 26, 2024

081114i-Warren-TolmanThe Massachusetts attorney general, more so than any other public official, is supposed to protect our state’s consumers. After listening carefully to the Democratic candidates who seek to fill the attorney general post that Martha Coakley is vacating, it’s clear to me that Warren Tolman is the candidate most willing to use the powers of the Attorney General’s Office aggressively to protect the people of Massachusetts.

To see this, one need only examine the candidates’ approaches to the issue of whether Massachusetts should require smart-gun technology on all new guns sold in the state. (Essentially, the gun will fire only when activated by an authorized user’s fingerprints.) Smart-gun technology would have profound implications statewide and nationally in the battle against gun violence. Tolman is willing to use the existing power given to the attorney general under the consumer protection statute to implement this change immediately.

His opponent questions the attorney general’s authority in this area and would instead support the passage of legislation to make the change. Yet we saw in recent weeks that even in Massachusetts, the NRA and its local affiliate GOAL can water down legislation aimed at preventing gun violence. The simple fact is that Warren Tolman will stand up to the NRA and mandate smart-gun technology immediately because it will save lives, while his opponent refuses to do so.

That’s a difference I can vote for, which is why I’ll be voting for Warren Tolman in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary.

Steve D’Amato, public interest attorney, Cambridge