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Baker supports federal assault weapons ban, would advocate Mass.-style gun laws to national GOP

Governor Charlie Baker said that he supports a federal ban on assault weapons and that he would advocate Massachusetts-style gun laws to fellow Republicans in Congress.Matt Stone/Pool

Governor Charlie Baker said Wednesday that he supports a federal ban on assault weapons and that he would advocate Massachusetts-style gun laws to fellow Republicans in Congress, as Democrats in Washington renew the push for tighter restrictions following two mass shootings in the last week.

“I think what we’ve done here in Massachusetts has worked and worked well, and if I could be a voice to share that with folks at the national level, I’d be happy to do that,” Baker said in an interview with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on GBH Radio’s “Boston Public Radio.”

Asked by Braude if he supports a federal assault weapons ban, Baker responded, “Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.”

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The nation is reeling after eight people were shot to death at Atlanta-area massage parlors last Tuesday and 10 people were fatally shot Monday at a supermarket in Boulder, Colo.

Massachusetts, which bans assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and requires background checks for gun licenses, had the nation’s lowest rate of gun deaths in 2019, the most recent year for which data are available, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Tuesday, President Biden called for a national ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and for closing loopholes in the nation’s background check system after the recent mass shootings.

Baker said he didn’t know the content of Biden’s proposals well enough to weigh in, but he supports the adoption of federal gun control laws similar to those in Massachusetts, such as the state’s 2018 “red flag” law that allows police to ask a court to take guns away from a potentially violent person.

“I think what Massachusetts has done is terrific, and I would be perfectly happy to argue that a lot of that stuff would look real good in federal policy,” said Baker, who was endorsed during his last campaign by the political arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group.

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Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.