In March, House Speaker Robert DeLeo estab­lished an advi­sory group to study ways to strengthen the state’s gun laws. That group, led by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity researcher and asso­ciate dean Jack McDe­vitt, has met reg­u­larly in recent months and said Friday it will submit its rec­om­men­da­tions by year’s end.

We took a com­pre­hen­sive look” at ways to reduce gun vio­lence, McDe­vitt said.

He said the panel, which included law enforce­ment offi­cials, edu­ca­tors, and clin­i­cians, met with a variety of groups and sur­veyed research about gun use.

McDe­vitt said the group would seek to pre­vent dis­turbed indi­vid­uals from obtaining weapons without dis­cour­aging them from seeking treat­ment. Studies have not shown a link between mental ill­ness and increased use of firearms, he noted.

Mass­a­chu­setts, he said, has low gun own­er­ship rates and a far lower gun homi­cide rate than most of the rest of the country. Still, there were 122 gun homi­cides in this state in 2011, McDe­vitt said.

That number is way too high,” he said. “Our com­par­ison shouldn’t be with other states, but with other indus­tri­al­ized nations” with lower rates.

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