Tragedy struck the city of Aurora, Colo., last month when a gunman opened fire on a crowd inside a cinema. A dozen people were killed, and many more were injured.
In the wake of the tragedy, the gun control debate is gaining new steam from both sides, from Capitol Hill to pundits to kitchen tables across America.
Some say the tragedy shows the need for stricter gun regulations because James Holmes, the man charged with the killings, had purchased his guns and ammunition legally.
Others say toughening gun laws would violate the Constitution and would not prevent these kinds of tragedies anyway. Many also say the massacre was a product of Holmes' disturbed mental state and not an issue that should penalize law-abiding gun owners.
In Massachusetts, towns have guidelines they must follow when issuing gun permits. First there's a background check and safety course requirements. But also, for certain types of gun permits, there has to be a purpose besides just home safety.
"They also have to show a need for it," North Andover Police Lt. Charles Gray said. "If they want a permit to carry a concealed weapon, they have to have a reason for doing that."
And even if an applicant passes the requirements for a permit, Gray added, that permit can be taken away if they fail suitability requirements, such as having a restraining order against them.
There have been gun permit applications denied in North Andover for these reasons, he said.
The gun control debate, despite regulations and application requirements, continues to ignite passions from both sides. We want to know what people in North Andover think. Do you think gun laws should be tightened, decreased or kept the same? Discuss in the comments below.