Mass. delegation supports universal gun background checks

“Every day that passes since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, as many as thirty-three Americans are killed in our communities by gun violence. That means that each day we are repeating the senseless tragedy that killed twenty-six in Newtown last December,” Sen. Mo Cowan (D-Mass.) said. “But, we have now a chance to finally pass commonsense reforms like universal background checks that respect and preserve the Second Amendment but also help keep guns out of the hands of those who cannot have them legally.”

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Since the mass shooting that killed 20 Sandy Hook Elementary students, Democrats have called for large gun-control reforms. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said the Senate is likely to vote this spring on gun-control measures passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Opponents of gun controls often like to say that people kill people, not the guns. Then there should be no opposition whatsoever to checking whether people are responsible enough to own a gun,” Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) said. “Along with universal background checks, we need a strong assault weapons ban and a prohibition against high capacity ammunition magazines. It's time to get these military-style weapons off our streets and to prevent deadly weapons from falling into the wrong hands."

Although the assault weapons ban looks unlikely to pass, there are some possible concessions Republicans could make on background checks and illegal gun trafficking. Some Senate Republicans have threatened to filibuster any gun control reforms that limit Second Amendment rights.

Solely Democrats represent Massachusetts in Congress.