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Mainers Call On Congress To End Gun Violence As Part Of National Day To Demand Action

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Releases First Ad Featuring Newtown Family Members Demanding Political Leaders Pass Commonsense Reforms

More than 120 Events Taking Place Across the Nation – and The White House – to Drive Largest Day of Advocacy in U.S. History to Address Gun Violence; www.DemandAction.org /March28

NEW YORK, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mainers gathered today in Augusta and Portland as part of the National Day to Demand Action to end gun violence as President Obama met with gun violence survivors, law enforcement officials and mothers at the White House to urge Congress to reform U.S. gun laws.  Mayors Against Illegal Guns also released the first television ad featuring family members of those killed at Sandy Hook calling on political leaders to support sensible reforms like comprehensive and enforceable background checks.   The ad can be viewed here: www.DemandAction.org/Newtown-Families

In Augusta, Mayor William Stokes and Hallowell Mayor Charlotte Warren held a press conference and petition drive while in Portland, Mayor Michael Brennan and former Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert held a press conference.

"We vigorously enforce gun crimes in Maine," said Augusta Mayor William Stokes.  "But while we have a great working relationship with federal and local partners, it is not enough to prevent out of state buyers coming into Maine to buy guns they cannot get elsewhere. We need stronger federal laws that require background checks for all gun sales and make gun trafficking a federal crime."

"Born and raised on a farm in rural Maine, I come from a family of hunters and gun owners, and I am proud of our family traditions," said Hallowell Mayor Charlotte Warren.  "I am also keenly aware of the damage these weapons can do in the wrong hands. My family honors a tradition of safe and responsible gun use. It is because of my upbringing that I support background checks for all gun sales.  Instituting background checks protects all of our gun rights. We are doing everything we can at the local level to keep families safe and healthy. We need help from Augusta and Washington to close loopholes and keep guns out of the wrong hands."

"As a former chief of police in Lewiston and US Marshall for the District of Maine, I have called for stronger gun laws to protect our citizens and our officers," said Co-Chair of Coalition for a Safer Maine and former Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert.  "As a father and a grandfather, I have called for better funding for school safety.  As a citizen of this fine state and of the greatest country in the world, I want our elected leaders to listen and act on behalf of victims of gun violence and domestic abuse. It is unconscionable that more Americans have died since 1968 from gun violence than have been killed in all of our wars."

The National Day to Demand Action – organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in conjunction with Organizing for Action, Americans for Responsible Solutions and other groups – will feature hundreds of mayors, law enforcement officials, faith leaders, gun violence survivors and family members who want Congress to take immediate action to strengthen our background check system and reduce gun violence.  The day is expected to be the largest gun violence advocacy event in history and is part of the largest field campaign in U.S. history to address gun violence.  The coalition recently announced that it is hiring dozens of organizers and opening campaign offices in ten states, including in Maine. 

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