It’s a predictable cycle. A mass killing is followed by calls for more federal gun control. Legislation is introduced to great fanfare, but never gets passed—and then, after another deadly shooting spree, lawmakers in Washington repeat the entire cycle once again. 

Now, Massachusetts House Speaker Bob DeLeo says that in the absence of meaningful action by Congress, the state should take action on its own. And on Tuesday, DeLeo filed a bill aimed at making Masschusetts’ already robust gun laws even tougher.  

“In the wake of some very high-profile instances of gun violence around the country, I knew we had to do something,” DeLeo said this morning during a standing-room announcement in the House Members’ Lounge.

The formal announcement of DeLeo’s bill follows Friday’s mass killings in Santa Barbara, California. Deliberation on the legislation actually began after the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings. But DeLeo says he’s also targeting the type of gun violence that tends to get less attention.   

“On May 19, an 18-year-old boy was shot and killed in Worcester,” DeLeo said as he recapped a spate of recent local shootings. “On May 21, a Wednesday night shooting in Dorchester…left a young man dead. May 19: man fatally shot Sunday morning in Roxbury.”

DeLeo’s bill features 50 separate provisions, targeting everything from gun suicides to illegal gun trafficking. It also standardizes the gun-licensing process. According to State Rep. Hank Naughton, the co-chair of the legislature’s public safety committee, that reflects a good-faith effort to work with gun owners as well as gun-control advocates.

“We had upward of thirty information meetings around this commonwealth,” Naughton said. "Anyone who claims they didn’t have input—they weren’t paying attention.”

But while Rick Swasey, the head of the Mass. Association of Responsible Gun Owners, agrees the process was exemplary, he isn’t yet ready to endorse the final product. He hasn’t yet read the full text of the bill. And he’s concerned by a provision that would force gun owners to provide a list of their weapons every six years—which DeLeo says would help keep stolen guns from hitting the streets.

“How about just asking people to inventory their firearms, and sign a statement that says, ‘I have all I’m supposed to have.’ Is that okay? That trusts the firearms to their owner, and I think that would be a lot more palatable," Swasey said

For his part, DeLeo admits his bill isn’t a panacea—noting that it won’t staunch the influx of guns from out of state. 

“The only way we’re going to be truly able to address some of those issues,” DeLeo said, “is to have legislation at the federal level.”

But until that happens, the Speaker believes, states like Massachusetts have a responsibility to do anything they can.