House Speaker Robert DeLeo, regarded as the most conservative Democratic leader on Beacon Hill, ventured into one of the most divisive political issues in American politics on Tuesday by unveiling what he is calling gun violence legislation.
DeLeo’s bill, based on the recommendations of a commission he appointed last year, eschews more radical approaches to gun control floated on Beacon Hill after the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings in favor of incremental changes across a wide variety of fronts. DeLeo said he hopes to win passage of the legislation in the House and then in the more liberal Senate in the two months remaining in the current legislative session. He said it would be fitting if the bill could be the final piece of legislation signed by Gov. Deval Patrick before he leaves office.
DeLeo shied away from using fiery rhetoric, at every turn adopting a tone that underscored the need for changes while respecting the rights of gun owners. Asked if his bill would give Massachusetts the toughest gun control laws in the nation, he said he was seeking “the most effective gun laws in the country.”