Four of the five candidates in Massachusetts' special U.S. Senate election say they are encouraged by a compromise Senate bill that would subject more firearms buyers to federal background checks and toughen laws against illicit gun trafficking.

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch said he would vote for the bill and will continue to support what he called ``common sense measures to reduce gun violence.'' Fellow Democratic Congressman Edward Markey said the bill is an important first step but doesn't go far enough and should include a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Republican candidates Gabriel Gomez and Daniel Winslow have both said they would vote for the Senate bill. Republican hopeful Michael Sullivan has criticized the proposal, however, casting it as a feel good measure which will do little to prevent future killings.