Local News

'It's pretty scary:' Local students join national panel in call for gun safety

Posted February 20, 2019 10:27 p.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2019 10:48 p.m. EST

— The national Gun Safety Town Hall made a stop at the John P. "Top" Greene Community Center in Raleigh on Wednesday night to push for support for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, also known as HR8.

Several organizations, including the gun violence prevention organization co-founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as well as March For Our Lives, teamed up for the event, which included gun violence prevention experts and local advocates. 

The panel at Wednesday night’s event was comprised of victims of gun violence who are stopping in towns across the country to ask communities to support the bill.

The bill would require background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check system for all firearm purchases. According to the bill, the purpose of the act is to use the country's current background check process to ensure that people prohibited from possessing a gun are unable to obtain one.

It would allow extra time to allow a background check to be completed before the sale of a firearm while also prohibiting secondary gun sales that aren’t regulated.

The bill was passed last week in the House Judiciary Committee and a letter signed by 15 law enforcement leaders from across the country urged Congress to pass the bill.

Wednesday night's panel included a survivor of a campus mass shooting who is dedicating her life to fighting for gun safety. Local students also shared their feelings about the fears that come with attending high school in 2019.

“It’s pretty scary. Since we were in kindergarten, we were taught how to do lockdown drills, we were taught what to do if a ‘bad guy’ came in,” Holly Springs High School student Lauren Smith said. “I feel like we shouldn’t have to do that. My parents didn’t have to deal with that.”

The big push Wednesday night was to register people to vote for HR8 and encourage them to vote for leaders who make gun safety a priority.