Massachusetts lawmakers question gun control laws after Virginia shootings

Other states don't require permits to purchase handguns

Image Courtesy: Pittsfield Police Department

BOSTON (WWLP)—Some Massachusetts lawmakers have concerns after the shooting of a Republican Congressman near D.C. They told 22News this calls the nation’s gun control laws into question.

Although Massachusetts requires background checks for gun owners and has strict rules on sellers, other states don’t require permits to purchase handguns.

Virginia allows residents to openly carry guns without a permit and doesn’t require firearms to be registered.

Lawmakers told 22News the shootings of a congressman and 4 others in Virginia are a tragedy—one that calls for stricter gun laws across the U.S.

“In Massachusetts we’re sometimes criticized for having some of the most strict gun laws and background checks but yet we see that we don’t often have some of those instances in Massachusetts,” said State Rep. Aaron Vega, (D) Holyoke.

But others disagreed.

“Before folks go in talking about gun control and things of that nature, we should stop, pause and remember, again, that if it weren’t for people who were armed there, we’d probably be talking about a lot of dead congressmen right now,” said State Rep. John Velis, (D) Westfield.

Several lawmakers including Governor Baker have expressed gratefulness for the work of the U.S. Capitol police. According to local reports, the Capitol police returned fire with the gunman.