Mass. lawmakers hear testimony on state's gun laws


BOSTON (AP) — Hundreds of people have packed a Statehouse auditorium for a hearing on proposals aimed at strengthening the state's gun laws.

The Legislature's Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security has been holding meetings around the state in the aftermath of the shooting last December that killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Parents of two children who died in the massacre were among those who testified on Friday, urging Massachusetts to take "common sense" steps to strengthen what already are among nation's most stringent gun laws.

Gov. Deval Patrick asked legislators to allow Massachusetts to share mental health records with a national criminal background check system.

Groups representing gun owners urged the panel not to infringe on Second Amendment rights or penalize law-abiding citizens.