SPRINGFIELD - Parents of victims and survivors in the shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas. will testify before a house committee next week as Congress debates what to do about gun violence.
The committee has started investigating five gunmakers responsible for manufacturing the semi-automatic weapons used in the shootings, where a combined 31 people were killed.
On Friday, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey tried to apply his own pressure by going right to the front door of one of the country's most famous gun makers. Standing alongside gun safety advocates, he spoke in front of the Smith & Wesson headquarters in Springfield.
"More and more mass shooters murder more and more Americans with these assault weapons in hand," Markey said. "The AR-15 style assault weapons made right here at Smith and Wesson were used in mass shootings."
His remarks come on National Gun Violence Awareness Day and just one day after President Joe Biden addressed the nation, when he called for action after the recent shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Echoing the president's remarks, Markey says now is the time to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazine, and raise the legal age limit to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 years old.
"An 18-year-old is considered an adult in the eyes of the law and should be able to do adult things, among them a purchasing a fireman," said Mike Harris, who is the Director of Public Policy for Gun Owners' Action League, the oldest and largest second amendment rights group in the state.
"Raising the age limit from 18 to 21, I don't know what that will do. Who knows if that would've prevented anything?" Harris said.
But Markey said the country can no longer wait.
"The death count is mounting. It is past time for action," he said.
During Friday's rally, Markey also called for safety training for first-time firearm applicants and holding gun manufacturers liable in being sued by family members affected by gun violence.
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