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Democratic senators rally gun legislation support as bipartisan talks begin

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Democratic senators rally gun legislation support as bipartisan talks begin
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., spoke at a press conference and rally Thursday at the Capitol to support anti-gun violence legislation in the wake of the Uvalde Texas mass shooting. Pool File Photo by Susan Walsh/UPI | License Photo

May 26 (UPI) -- Democratic members of Congress joined anti-gun violence activists for a press conference and rally Thursday at the Capitol in Washington D.C., ahead of bipartisan talks on possible gun legislation.

Students Demand Action activist Addie Hernandez said students "from California to Texas to Vermont" are walking out of classes Thursday to demand action on anti-gun violence legislation.

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"Gun violence has made me fear. I fear losing a loved one. I fear being the loved one lost," she said. "I fear for the Latinx community. I fear for the Black community. I fear for every community and for every student living in this country. I fear for every person living in this nation."

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said Democrats are talking with Republicans in Congress in an effort to find common ground on gun legislation.

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"Today we will be engaged in bipartisan conversations to try to find a path forward," Murphy said.

He said the talks will be facilitated by a popular uprising of citizens who support action to curb gun violence.

"We know what can save lives. Universal background checks can save lives. Red flag statutes - taking away a firearm from someone who shows they are dangerous to others or themselves," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

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He said gun violence is going to be on the ballot in November and he said Democrats need to make it a decisive issue.

"The Republican Party is in a vise-like grip of the NRA. They do whatever the NRA tells them to do," said Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

Blumenthal said what the American people want is for NRA to stand for Not Relevant Anymore in American politics.

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Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., said his two youngest children are the same age that could have been in the Uvalde, Texas classroom.

To his GOP colleagues, Blumenthal asked, "How is this acceptable? How are you not outraged? We're outraged!"

Padilla said putting more guns in schools isn't the answer to gun violence in schools.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said it's a good thing that Republicans are talking to Democrats on possible gun legislation.

But she said they need to have a change of heart on the issue.

"If there isn't a change in their heart we will vote in Congress and we will march all the way to the ballot box and vote," Klobuchar said.

She said poll numbers show massive public support for gun background checks and the Republicans are looking at those numbers.

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