Newtown Families Focus on Washington

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Now that the state of Connecticut has enacted new, sweeping gun laws, Sandy Hook Promise, a group of Newtown residents, is focused on Washington to press for federal gun control legislation and some members will be making the trip to D.C. next week.

Before Gov. Dannel Malloy put ink to the paper that created the toughest gun control law in the nation on Thursday, Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed at Sandy Hool Elementary School, was thinking about national legislation.

"This makes me hopeful that despite everything we’ve been reading. the U.S. Senate will also take the time to listen to us when we go to Washington next week," she said.

On Thursday, Sandy Hook Promise wrote a letter asking Congress to act now.

The families wrote that the never imagined that they would be “enmeshed in a national discussion of gun violence,” and made recommendations in the hopes that it will prevent other families from enduring the loss they are living with.

“It is important that you understand at the outset that we believe the 2nd Amendment protects the individual right of Americans to own guns. We live in a typical American community and those of us who do not own guns have neighbors, friends or relatives who do. We believe the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and law abiding; we do not support any law that would “take” or “confiscate” guns from law abiding citizens,” they wrote. “But no rights are absolute; with all rights come responsibilities.”

The families are asking for background checks for every gun sale and that Congress limit the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

They are also asking for firearms trafficking and straw purchases to become federal crimes. 

“We are under no illusion that making these changes will end gun violence or prevent all mass shootings.  That, however, cannot be the test that determines whether America chooses to act or remain complacent.  These measures will surely save many lives.  And they will prevent other families from experiencing our grief,” the families wrote.

Before the group goes to Washington, they will rally outside Hartford City Hall this morning,  starting at 11:30 a.m.

“We have promised that Newtown will be remembered not for our tragedy, but for transformation, and you have the power to help fulfill that promise,” the letter states.

You can read the full letter on the Sandy Hook Promise Web site. 

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