Elizabeth Warren vows to back gun regulation measures in Senate

Boston-01/18/13- Mayor Thomas Menino and US Senator Elizabeth Warren discussed a gun-violence prevention agenda at the Parkman House. . Warren addresses the media after they talked. Globe staff photo by John Tlumacki (metro)
Mayor Thomas Menino and US Senator Elizabeth Warren discussed a gun-violence prevention agenda today at the Parkman House.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

US Senator Elizabeth Warren joined Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino today to press for stricter gun control and throw her support behind three Senate bills that are expected to be filed next week in a flurry of legislative responses to the massacre in Newtown, Conn.

“We owe it to our children to start,” Warren said at a news conference at the Parkman House, the city-owned Beacon Hill mansion where Menino is convalescing after his recent illness.

On Dec. 14, a lone gunman with an assault rifle and two pistols killed 20 first-graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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Warren said she will co-sponsor bills to require a criminal background check for every gun sale, make gun trafficking a federal crime, and ban assault weapons across the nation.

“Responsible gun ownership has a reasonable place in this country,” Warren said, flanked by Menino. “But no one needs military-grade assault weapons, and no one needs Rambo-style high-capacity magazines to protect a family or to hunt game.”

Menino, who co-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006 with Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, said lawmakers and the public must follow up the outrage over the Newtown shootings with tough, lasting action.

“Now’s the time to turn words into action,” said Menino, who called for Governor Deval Patrick to appoint a gun-control advocate as interim senator to replace John F. Kerry, who has been nominated to be secretary of state.

Menino lashed out against the National Rifle Association, which fiercely opposes any new restrictions on gun rights, including a reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

“Time is of the essence. There are those who are going to try to delay, water down, and stand in the way of gun reform,” Menino said. “We will not allow one organization to hijack our government.”