The eight-member panel was led by Jack McDevitt, a Northeastern University criminologist. It included the police chief in Natick, a former state mental health commissioner, a Harvard public health researcher, a former gang prosecutor in Suffolk County, a psychiatrist, and the superintendent of schools in Revere.

Commission members said they met 15 times over the last nine months and interviewed gun owners, gun dealers, police officers, mental health specialists, school superintendents, legislators, and parents of mentally ill children.

The report urged Massachusetts to join the National Instant Background Check System, a federal database that would allow police chiefs to screen out potential gun buyers who have been found by a court to be mentally ill. Massachusetts is one of the few states that is not enrolled in that database.