48° F
Light Rain
Light Rain

Gun control supporters rally in LV and across country

Published On: Mar 28 2013 08:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 28 2013 11:13:56 PM EDT

The gun control debate continues to rage on both here in the Lehigh Valley and on the national level.

The gun control debate continues to rage on both here in the Lehigh Valley and on the national level. Thursday was a day of advocacy for supporters of stricter gun control measures. 'National Day to Demand Action' is being called the largest gun control advocacy event in history, and some local leaders joined in the demonstration.

More than 140 events were held in 29 states including two in the Lehigh Valley. Local leaders gathered Thursday to join the call around the country for new gun control measures.

"This isn't a city or suburb issue, or Democratic or Republican issue, it's just an American issue and it's a common sense issue," explained Bethlehem City Councilman Willie Reynolds.

The nationwide push was organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns along with other gun control advocacy groups.

"Congress is home this week for the holiday break, it's a time to get them in their home office," said Easton Mayor Sal Panto. "Knock on their door at their house, just let them know, call them, write them a letter."

"We're calling for our leaders to step up make their voice heard and support the vast majority of people who want these laws to protect our kids and protect our community," shared Ce-Ce Gerlach.

Newly proposed legislation in the US Senate would allow for stricter background checks. Some leaders are also calling to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, but those proposals are unlikely to make it into the federal legislation.

"We need to look out for each other, and I don't want to take away anybody's rights but I think that we all just need to work together to find some kind of common sense compromise to make the country safer," added Kristen Bruck with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Folks on the other side of the issue are firing back, saying stricter gun laws erode Americans' rights under the Second Amendment.

"You are on the wrong path to feeling safe and secure because the gun laws don't do anything to reduce crime, murder or suicide," said Jack Iannantuono with Eastern PA Firearms Coalition.

He says people who don't commit crimes will be penalized.

"United States has the highest gun ownership in the world and one of the lowest murder rates in the world," explained Iannantuono. "So it's not the guns even in our own country."

The US Senate is expected to take up gun control legislation when lawmakers reconvene in April.