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Families of 12/14 Victims Pen Letter Urging Gun Reform

'In the midst of our anguish we have learned about the dangerous loopholes in our nation’s gun laws and we are compelled to speak out to save others from suffering what we have endured,' reads a portion of the letter.

Families of 12/14 Victims Pen Letter Urging Gun Reform

Thirty-two family members of victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy -- including 20 family members of slain Newtown teacher and Stratford native Victoria Soto -- sent a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday as they resumed their markup of gun bills. 

The family members called on Congress to require background checks on all gun sales, limit military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and make gun trafficking a federal crime.

The full letter follows, and also is attached as a PDF in the gallery right.

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Dear Chairman Leahy and Senators Grassley, Blumenthal, and Murphy:

We are 32 family members of victims who were killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 – innocent children and their educators responsibly going about their day.

No one can describe our pain and the brutal day-to-day emotions we suffer. No one can bring our loved ones back and no one from our community of Newtown, Connecticut will ever go back to “normal.”

In the midst of our anguish we have learned about the dangerous loopholes in our nation’s gun laws and we are compelled to speak out to save others from suffering what we have endured. We are writing today to express our deep conviction and support for the President’s plan to reduce gun violence in America.

Specifically we are asking members of Congress to:

1. Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America that includes
 a review of all disqualifying records and meaningful record keeping for all sales – in the same manner that Federally licensed dealers are currently required;

2. Ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines; and

3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, with real penalties for straw purchasers;

    The epidemic of injury and death from gun violence is a plague on America, especially since the toll it takes on our families is preventable. Our nation’s families deserve to be safe and free in their schools, movie theaters, workplaces and their homes. We ask Congress, in honor and memory of our loved ones, to support the measures that the President has put forward to help stem the epidemic of gun violence.

    Our precious children and family members who were so brutally murdered on December 14th deserve nothing less.

    Sincerely,

    Jackie Barden, Mother of Daniel Barden
    Mark Barden, Father of Daniel Barden

    Neil Heslin, Father of Jesse Lewis

    Veronique Pozner, Mother of Noah Pozner

    Len Pozner, Father of Noah Pozner

    Gilles Rousseau, Father of Lauren Rousseau 

    Teresa Rousseau, Mother of Lauren Rousseau

    Andrew Rousseau, Brother of Lauren Rousseau

    Matthew Rousseau, Brother of Lauren Rousseau

    Suzanne Connors, Sister of Mary Sherlach

    Jane Dougherty, Sister of Mary Sherlach

    Joseph Greene, Brother of Mary Sherlach
    Carlos Soto, Father of Victoria Soto

    Donna Soto, Mother of Victoria Soto
    Carlee Soto, Sister of Victoria Soto

    Carlos M. Soto, Brother of Victoria Soto

    Jillian Soto, Sister of Victoria Soto

    Donald Fagan, Grandfather of Victoria Soto

    Debra Cronk, Aunt and Godmother of Victoria Soto

    Robert Cronk, Uncle of Victoria Soto

    Dean Fagan, Uncle and Godfather of Victoria Soto

    Denise Fagan, Aunt of Victoria Soto

    Don Fagan, Uncle of Victoria Soto

    Linda Fagan, Aunt of Victoria Soto

    Alex Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

    Brianne Cronk, cousin of Victoria Soto

    Christopher Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

    Donald Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

    Douglas Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

    Heather Cronk, cousin of Victoria Soto

    Wesley Cronk, cousin of Victoria Soto

    Zachary Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

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