Local mayors join campaign to end gun violence

March 28, 2013 10:17:28 AM PDT
The national debate over gun control took center stage in the Triangle Thursday.

Gun control groups in 29 states, including North Carolina, held rallies as part of a national push for an end to gun violence.

After the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut - where 20 first-graders and six educators where shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December -- some members of Congress have vowed to take action.

They are now set to debate a bill that will expand background checks on people who buy guns in an effort to crack down on gun trafficking.

Several local mayors joined in a day-long campaign at Thursday's Mayors Against Illegal Guns event at Durham city hall.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell and Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt are standing behind New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's push for gun safety and have appeared in television and online ads supporting the effort.

"Our appeal is directed to, specifically, at this time, to those congressional representatives from North Carolina, who are in a position to enact federal laws to address the issue of the use of illegal guns," Bell said.

Supporters said the push is key to keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

However, opponents, including the National Rifle Association, have said it only slows the process down for law abiding buyers. They also argue that we already have background checks in place.

A vigil will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Raleigh for people who say they are taking a stand against gun violence.

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