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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, has been named vice chairman of a congressional task force looking at ways to reduce and prevent gun violence.

Thompson says while the country cannot sit by while deaths continue to mount, he hopes the task force’s work can produce a comprehensive approach to addressing gun violence.

Thompson says in a statement that any legislation enacted should make the country’s streets and communities safer while also protecting law-abiding individuals’ right to own firearms.

A comprehensive set of policy proposals will be released by the task force in early February.

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