• Lawmakers seek study on Mass. gun laws


    BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts already has some of the nation's toughest gun laws, but legislative leaders see room for improvement.

    House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Wednesday asked Jack McDevitt, an associate dean at Northeastern University, to lead a special commission on gun violence, with a possible focus on keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

    McDevitt said the recent killings of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., has galvanized interest in protecting innocent people from gun violence.

    DeLeo said the commission's findings could lead to new legislation in the coming months.

    Senate President Therese Murray also said Wednesday that she has discussed possible legislation that would address gun violence "without demonizing the mentally ill."

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