Gun reform advocates renew push on anniversary of Newtown shootings

Dec. 14, 2013 at 12:29 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Advocates seeking reform in the nation's gun laws say they have reminded Washington lawmakers they don't intend to let the issue fade away.

Activists were on Capitol Hill ahead of the anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School to pressure senators and representatives to take a new look at universal background checks for gun purchases, The Hill reported Saturday.

"Just because the background check bill didn't happen this year, suddenly everyone's saying, 'Oh, gun reform is dead," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "'It can never happen.'"

No one's saying that about other issues on which Congress has not acted, Watts added.

"It's not like people assume that people who are passionate about immigration or gay marriage are going to go away," she said. "But for some reason they always assume that about gun reform [advocates]. We're not going away."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday it was "shameful" the Senate had rejected expanded background checks and other proposals to protect children such as those at the Newtown, Conn., school.

Meeting with members of Watt's group, however, Reid said he had no more support for the background check bill than he did in April, when only 55 senators expressed their support -- five short of what was necessary to end a Republican filibuster.

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