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.”

 

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