PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island's congressional delegation says the Newtown massacre has galvanized efforts to reinstate an assault weapons ban and improve background checks for gun buyers.
U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline told reporters Friday that the slaughter of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a tipping point in the gun control debate.
The Democrats have long supported stronger gun laws. They say banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines could prevent further massacres while reducing daily gun violence.
They also want to require better background checks to prevent criminals or the mentally ill from buying firearms.
Langevin, a quadriplegic as a result of a gun accident, said he's optimistic the Newtown shootings could prompt bipartisan action on gun control.