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Mass. Democratic Senate Hopefuls Want Tougher Gun Laws

This article is more than 8 years old.

The two announced Democratic candidates in the race to fill John Kerry's former U.S. Senate seat say they support tougher gun control measures.

U.S. Rep. Edward Markey met with gun control activists Monday to call on Congress to strengthen existing gun laws in the wake of the December massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

Markey said he supports restoring a federal assault weapons ban, limiting gun purchases to one gun per month, and requiring background checks before purchasing weapons at gun shows.

He also said a proposal that would require liability insurance for gun owners is also worth consideration.

Markey praised Massachusetts' gun laws but said state laws alone can't do enough to reduce violence when guns can be taken across state borders.

"Our communities will continue to live in a state of violence as long as we allow out-of-state guns to flood into Massachusetts," he said during a news conference with the group Stop Handgun Violence.

"We have to make sure that we now take what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and use it as a way of putting strong national laws on the books," he said.

Fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch said he supports the same gun control measures and backs what he called President Obama's "reasonable gun control recommendations."

Lynch said the gun issue is personal for him. His cousin died in 1996 after being shot nine times, he said.

"Far too many people have shared this fate over the past few years. Too many sons and daughters have grown up without mothers and fathers, and too many parents have had to go on with life mourning the loss of their children," Lynch said in a written statement.

Lynch said the only "F grade" he's been proud to receive is the one he was awarded by the National Rifle Association.

Markey also knocked the NRA, saying the initials stood for "No Rules Allowed" and "Not Relevant Anymore."

Gun rights activists have said the efforts to clamp down on firearms will inevitably infringe of the rights of law-abiding gun owners instead of going after criminals.

Kerry resigned from the Senate last week after 28 years to become the new U.S. secretary of state, succeeding Hillary Rodham Clinton. The special election to fill Kerry's seat will be held June 25.

This program aired on February 4, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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