NEWTOWN, Conn. (WGGB) – Dozens are demonstrating outside a firearms trade organization, urging changes in wake of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school last year.
Some Newtown residents have been holding a demonstration outside the headquarters of the National Shooting Sports Foundation for the last several weeks.
The foundation’s mission, according to their website, is to “promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports,” and represents more than 8,000 “manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers” from across the country.
In response to the bi-partisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns declaring Thursday “National Demand Action Day,” members of the Newtown Action Alliance are joining those residents in pushing for new gun control measures and reforms.
“I’m still traumatized having 20 little boys and girls killed a mile from my home and 6 lovely teachers, brave teachers. I don’t want their deaths to have been totally in vain and the legislature is 100 days out and the legislature hasn’t moved,” says Gordon Stroughter, who supports stronger gun legislation.
The alliance, which was formed following the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, is an all-volunteer group “working tirelessly to take and accelerate ethical actions, legislatively or otherwise, which reduce gun violence and death, both near and long term,” according to information on their Facebook page.
“I have siblings that go to schools here. It’s a small and close knit community. I want everyone to be safe. The politicians aren’t taking action, aren’t voting. They need to listen to the people, not the gun company,” adds Brady Eggleston, who also supports new gun controls.
The National Sports Shooting Foundation has urged for changes in the nation’s instant background check system, but has expressed concerns over so-called universal background checks and background checks for private transactions.
The NSSF is also calling on supporters to contact their federal and state legislators to “urge them to protect your right to own and use the firearms of your choice for personal protection, target shooting and hunting” and voice concerns over what the foundation calls “severely restrictive gun-control legislation” that has been proposed across the country.
“What I’d like to see done is mental health. This boy was in clear need, especially with the things released today. His mother just let him do whatever he wanted to do. I have sons, they all shoot,” says Donna Raab, who is against new gun controls.
Gordon James adds, “I think they are misguided. I think they are going the wrong direction trying to change the wrong things. I think what we ought to change is our attitude toward criminals.”
Thursday’s demonstration comes hours after dozens of pages of search warrant documents related to the shooting were released by Connecticut prosecutors.