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After Deadly Shootings, Mass. Congressional Delegation Calls For Stricter Gun Control

Sen. Elizabeth Warrena and Sen. Ed Markey during a  Nov. 26, 2018 hearing in Lawrence, Mass. (Winslow Townson/AP)
Sen. Elizabeth Warrena and Sen. Ed Markey during a Nov. 26, 2018 hearing in Lawrence, Mass. (Winslow Townson/AP)

Members of Massachusetts' all-Democratic Congressional delegation are urging lawmakers to pass stricter gun control legislation after two mass shootings in less than 24 hours left at least 29 people dead.

Several lawmakers tweeted in support of communities reeling from the two shootings over the weekend. A gunman in El Paso, Texas killed 20 people and injured as least 26 others on Saturday morning, officials say.  A second mass shooting left at least nine people dead and 27 more injured in Dayton, Ohio early Sunday morning.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter that lawmakers should "take urgent action to end the gun violence epidemic." Warren, who is running for president, has also called for universal background checks and bans on assault weapons.

Some members of Congress tweeted at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, including Sen. Ed Markey, Rep. Katherine Clark and Rep. Lori Trahan, calling on the Kentucky lawmaker to allow gun control bills filed in the House to pass.

McConnell tweeted Saturday, expressing sympathy for the victims of the El Paso shooting. Clark replied to the tweet, saying: "Americans are dying, and you're blocking us from helping them. Who exactly do you serve?"

McConnell has said he will block any Democratic priorities that emerge from the House of Representatives. The House is currently controlled by a Democratic majority.

Speaking at a press conference Sunday, Rep. Stephen Lynch said lawmakers "have to be as actively and as aggressively engaged in fighting white supremacy as we would any other form of hate crime." He also called for stricter legislation.

"The ability of individuals to gain legal access to high capacity weapons — that has to be revisited," Lynch said. "People who have the ability to get these high capacity magazines, that has to be restricted. The ability of some individuals who are regarded as so dangerous they're on the no-fly list, yet they can still purchase weapons freely in many states — that has to be revisited."

Reps. Richard Neal, Jim McGovern, Ayanna Pressley and Seth Moulton also called for policy change.

Moulton, who is also vying for the White House in 2020, has called for stricter gun control. He says he supports background checks and banning the sale of assault weapons and the use of bump stocks. "Citizens don't need guns to protect them from government — they need the government to step up and protect them from guns," he tweeted Saturday.

With reporting from WBUR's Simón Rios

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Laney Ruckstuhl Twitter Digital Producer
Laney Ruckstuhl is a freelance digital producer.

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