Local lawmakers seek support for president's gun control actions - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local lawmakers seek support for president's gun control actions

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A day after the president signed an executive order for tighter gun control, Connecticut lawmakers called on Congress to save lives.

Rep. Elizabeth Esty urged her colleagues to support enforced background checks at gun shows and for internet sales.

Esty spoke on the House of Representatives floor on Wednesday. She encouraged fellow lawmakers to stop being silent.

While President Barack Obama pushed for more control before, she felt this time could be different.

"The families from Newtown keep at it everyday," Esty said. "They get up everyday. I can do it too."

Esty called it a club that no one wants to be a part of. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting happened in her district.

She said the club is growing. Many of her colleagues experienced gun violence in their own communities.

Thirty-three thousand people die every year from gun violence, more than those killed in car accidents, according to experts.

"We are not prone more to violence, but we are the only advanced country on earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency," Obama said during an address on Tuesday.

The president said he felt we have become numb and have accepted the violence. He also said that since Congress has failed to even debate the issue, he signed an executive order to enforce existing laws.

Stores that sell guns must be federally licensed and perform background checks.

However, hundreds of thousands of people are able to buy weapons at gun shows and over the internet even if they're convicted criminals.

"I don't know how long it's going to take but it's going to happen from the pressure from below," Esty said. "The American people insist that this is not acceptable."

Obama's plan set up a task force to look at gun sales over the internet. He said 20 to 40 percent of gun sales are done online.

Several Sandy Hook families have been in Washington D.C. They said they were invited by the president. They'll be attending a town hall meeting on gun violence on Thursday night.

Eyewitness News will have an update on that meeting after it happens.

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