Speaking before a group of media executives Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker spoke in favor of federal legislation that would ban people on terrorism watch lists from legally purchasing guns in the United States.
The anti-gun legislation included an expansion of background checks on gun purchases at gun shows and online, plus an increase in mental health funding.
“I’m mostly interested in what the gun laws are here in the Commonwealth, but I do think if it’s possible for somebody who’s on the terrorist watch list to buy a weapon in the United States, that should get fixed, period,” Baker said according to State House News Service.
Not long after Baker spoke, it failed in the U.S. Senate on a mostly party line vote. A similar vote that took place in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre also failed.
Baker later deflected when asked by reporters if the United States need stricter gun laws in general with a typical comment about being more focused on Massachusetts than the rest of the country:
“I’m mostly interested in what gun laws are in the Commonwealth,” he said.
Guns have neither been a major issue during Baker’s time in office nor were they a major focus of the 2014 campaign outside of one Super PAC ad that briefly touched on an assault weapons ban.
Baker has expressed support for previous efforts to toughen guns laws in Massachusetts. In 2014, Baker said he supported a major gun reform law that strengthened the state’s background check system, toughened penalties for gun law violations, and reformed the state licensing process.
Massachusetts is a may issue state and has some of the toughest gun laws in the country like restrictions on magazine capacity.
There is no major gun legislation pending on Beacon Hill at this time.
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