Wednesday, August 28, 2013
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Advocacy group calls for stricter gun background checks
NYACK – The Hudson Valley chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held an unconventional demonstration Tuesday, selling lemonade on Nyack’s Main Street to raise awareness and support for tighter firearm background checks.
Joined by visiting state and federal representatives including State Senator David Carlucci (D, Nanuet), Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D, Suffern) and U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D, NY17), the advocacy group sold the beverages in a symbolic effort to turn the “lemons” of federal inaction on background check legislation into “lemonade.”
“We think there should be a background check for every gun purchase, including private sales and gun shows,” Moms Demand Action member Gina Daschbach said.
Moms Demand Action was formed in response to the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and the failure of federal background check legislation in April. Speakers at the event were universally supportive of recent New York State regulations such as the SAFE Act, particularly Lowey, who has been part of a coalition of federal lawmakers looking to renew the push for background checks.
“We have got to get this done and get it done now,” Lowey said.
Assemblywoman Jaffee, who voted for the SAFE Act, lauded the law she helped to pass, but emphasized further gun control reforms on a federal level were no less critical.
“We passed this groundbreaking legislation in New York which truly was a step forward in protecting our communities, but we can’t stop there,” Jaffee said. “We need to move on and get to the federal level and pass legislation at least for background checks.”
While the group does not oppose gun ownership, it has a stated set of goals, which includes background checks, an assault weapons ban, product safety oversight and child-safe gun technology, tracking of large ammunition sales and bans on online sales.
The group also promotes gun safety and awareness for regular citizens, emphasizing a need for responsible gun ownership and safe, secure use of firearms.
“We need to talk about, ‘Do you keep a gun in your own home and do you keep it secure?’” Daschbach explained. “That just needs to become part of a very common, natural conversation.”
The organization had grown significantly since the Newtown tragedy in December 2012, now with 100,000 members in almost 100 chapters covering 40 states.