Brown: Tucson shootings should prompt states' look at gun laws


Thursday January 13, 2011

PITTSFIELD -- U.S. Sen. Scott Brown says it's important for states to re-evaluate their gun laws in the aftermath of a man's rampage that left six dead and many others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, injured, in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday.

The junior senator from Massachusetts also said he doesn't plan to take extra security precautions.

"In Massachusetts, I know we have very strong gun laws. I've worked on them, I've supported them," Brown told reporters at a Pittsfield Rotary Club luncheon on Wednesday.

"So I'm sure Arizona and every other state is going to encourage their legislatures to look at those gun laws," he said, later adding, "I think each state should be able to go their own way when it comes to individual rights."

Following his speech to the Rotary Club, Brown responded to a reporter's question about the relative ease with which the shooter obtained the weapon and an extended bullet cartridge.

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The suspect in the shooting, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, was able to buy a Glock semiautomatic pistol at a big-box sports store despite past troubles with the law and being considered so mentally unstable that he was banned from his college campus.

"Obviously, the guy had a history," Brown said. "I feel terrible for the victims and their families."

While in Pittsfield, Brown also toured the city and visited a local home for homeless veterans without a security presence.

But a Dalton police officer did accompany Brown when he toured currency paper maker Crane & Co. on Wednesday, and two Pittsfield officers were present outside the ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel during the Rotary Club event.

Brown said he didn't ask for the extra security, and that he doesn't plan on taking additional precautions following the Arizona shootings.

Giffords continues to recover in a hospital from a gunshot to the head.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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