A local group created after an elementary school shooting in Sandy Hook remembered the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and demanded Congress come up with tighter gun laws.
The Newtown Action Alliance held a vigil at the National Shooting Sports Foundation in Newtown on Wednesday evening.
"Thoughts and prayers are not enough," Newtown Action Alliance Chairperson Po Murray said. "People are getting massacred everywhere in all public spaces. In malls, schools, music festivals it’s just, unacceptable.
The mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people and injured 489 others on Sunday hit close to home for the families who lost children and loved ones at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
"We know what their community is going throughy," Murray said. "It’s devastating."
"We’re not free in this country. In Sandy Hook, all we did was send these kids to school. In Las Vegas, those people just went to a concert," Sandy Hook resident Helen Brookfield said.
On Wednesday, the Newtown Action Alliance urged the community to call federal lawmakers to take action.
“It’s been five years and there have been 500,00 Americans that have been killed or injured since the Sandy Hook tragedy," Murray said. "If not now then when?”
Eyewitness News has reached out to the National Shooting Sports Foundation on Wednesday.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those killed and injured in the criminal attack in Las Vegas. Out of respect for the families of the victims and the law enforcement process, we are not going to comment or participate in media requests made relating to this attack," the National Shooting Sports Foundation said in a statement to Eyewitness News.
Supporters of tougher gun laws said they’d like to see a ban on assault weapons, limits on high capacity magazines and universal background checks on the federal level.
"There was a picture on the internet that was very difficult to see. It was a picture of a lot of the bodies on the field and it was really devastating," Brookfield said. "I’m so sorry that I ever saw it and that anybody ever experienced that. I want to live in a world where we’ll never see that image again."
Southbury resident Holly Sullivan is an NRA firearms instructor.
"We could be home with our children," Sullivan said. "I could be home with my daughter right now talking about loving one another, loving our country, loving the liberties that we have by being citizens here and I just think that this is a little premature at this point."
The Newtown Action Alliance held a rally in front of the national shooting sports foundation after the Pulse nightclub shooting.
While Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy said more needs to be done at the federal level. Both are also asking Congress to close loopholes for background checks.
However, the Republican leadership said it's too soon to talk about changes to legislation.
When President Donald Trump was asked about gun control, he said: "we'll talk about gun laws as time goes by."
In addition to the vigil in Newtown, vigils were held in West Hartford, Avon and Fairfield.
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