Kerry Introduces Bill To Strengthen Gun Laws

Published January 25, 2011

Sen. John Kerry, himself a hunting enthusiast, is taking steps to strengthen national gun laws after the mass shooting in Tucson.

Sen. John Kerry (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Sen. John Kerry

Legislation announced Tuesday would ban the possession or sale of high-capacity magazines. On Jan. 8, alleged Arizona shooter Jared Loughner is said to have used the magazine to fire 30 shots before stopping to reload.

Another  provision would ban firearm purchases at gun shows without a background check and would require registration of gun show promoters.

Said Kerry:

As a lifelong hunter, I know that no one is going to mess with the constitutional right to bear arms, but rights come with responsibilities, and criminals and the mentally unstable do not have a right to avoid background checks or carry military style assault weapons.

Massachusetts’ senior senator co-sponsored the legislation along with gun-control advocate Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

Local advocates are looking to President Obama to endorse some kind of gun control legislation in tonight’s State of the Union.

“The president has to set the tone, the goals, the programs, regarding eliminating illegal guns,” said New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang, who is also president of the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association. “I also think that, you know, the first order of business is for everyone to rally around the prohibition on the extended clips.”