• Mass. US Senate hopefuls split on assault weapons


    BOSTON (AP) - Candidates in Massachusetts' U.S. Senate special election are offering voters a stark choice on the question of gun control.

    Both Democratic candidates, Stephen Lynch and Edward Markey, are calling for the reinstatement of a federal assault weapons ban approved in 1994.

    The 10-year prohibition on high-grade, military-style weapons expired in 2004.

    Two Republican candidates - Michael Sullivan and Gabriel Gomez - oppose reinstating the ban, saying it would infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

    A third Republican, Daniel Winslow, said he'll also defend the rights of gun owners, but hasn't said if he supports or opposes an assault weapons ban.

    The three are breaking with former Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who changed his position in January and supported a federal assault weapons ban after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

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