---- — BOSTON (AP) — The state’s top political leaders are calling on Congress to pass stricter background checks for gun buyers.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined fellow Sen. Edward Markey, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the families of gun violence victims at a rally at Faneuil Hall on Wednesday to press for tougher national gun laws.
Warren and others are hoping Congress will again take up a bill that would expand background checks to include gun shows and online sales.
Warren said other sensible measures would include better mental health care and putting limits on high capacity magazines and assault weapons. She said if a mystery virus were claiming as many children as bullets, the nation would mount a massive effort to prevent it.
“We have to put an end to gun violence,” she said. “We owe this to our children.”
Markey and others at the rally faulted the National Rifle Association for opposing what he said are even modest gun safety measures. Markey said Massachusetts has one of the lowest rates of gun deaths because it some of the toughest gun laws in the country.
“The NRA is the front group for gun industry,” Markey said.
Earlier this year an expanded background check bill sponsored Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey and West Virginian Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin failed to win the 60 votes needed to advance. That bill would have exempted sales between friends and family members from background checks.
Congressman Michael Capuano said the key to successfully pushing for tougher gun laws is to stay in the fight.
“We’re right, we know we are right, and we know America supports our position,” he told those gathered for the rally.
The event was organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Menino is co-chairman of the group with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.