Rubio supports 'comprehensive study' of gun laws

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is open to a "comprehensive study" of gun laws, an aide said.

Rubio spokesman Alex Conant released the statement Monday, a few days after the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., that resulted in 26 dead, including 20 young children. 

In response, a number of legislators, including two Senate Democrats with "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association, have called for legislative action to enhance existing gun laws.

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Conant stressed that Rubio, often mentioned as a candidate for president in 2016, remains a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights.

"In the aftermath of the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, Sen. Rubio, like millions of Americans, is looking for public policy changes that would prevent such a horrible event from happening again," Conant said in an email to The Hill. "He remains a strong supporter of the Second Amendment right to safely and responsibly bear arms. But he has also always been open to measures that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

"The challenge with gun laws is that by definition criminals do not follow the law. For example, Connecticut's gun laws, some of the strictest in the nation, were not able to prevent this atrocity. Nevertheless, he supports a serious and comprehensive study of our laws to find new and better ways to prevent any more mass shootings."

A day earlier, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in 2013 she plans to introduce legislation re-instating a federal ban on assault weapons. Adam Lanza, the shooter in the Sandy Hook massacre, used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, according to reports.