Sandy Hook Parents Gather in Carson City to Support Gun Bill - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sandy Hook Parents Gather in Carson City to Support Gun Bill

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Victims of mass shootings-- from Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut to the shooting that injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona-- came to Carson City on Tuesday to show support for Senate Bill 221. The bill, if approved would require criminal background checks for all gun sales in Nevada.

Gilles Rousseau told of his connection with the Newtown shootings. "I'm here on behalf of my daughter, Lauren Rousseau, who was murdered 5 months ago on December 14th, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary school. She was doing what she loved, teaching young children," he said.

Neil Heslin came across the country as well. "My name is Neil Heslin. My son is Jessie Louis. He was 6 years-old, killed in Sandy Hook Elementary school on December 14th, doing what he should have been doing. He was in his first grade classroom," said Heslin.

Retired Army Colonel Bill Badger tackled the gunman who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. "There were 12 folding chairs set up in front of the Safeway, right up against the wall. He started walking right down along there shooting people at point blank range," said Badger.

Democratic Senator Justin Jones of Las Vegas sponsored SB-221. "Whether it's from Sandy Hook, Tucson, or just down the street at the IHOP, hear their personal stories about why it's important to implement extended background checks in the state of Nevada," said Jones.

SB 221 is generating a lot of discussion down at the legislature, with some lawmakers saying they need to pass a bill that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are mentally ill. Others say they don't want to act too quickly and pass a bill that tramples on the rights of law abiding citizens.

Senator Michael Roberson, a Republican from Las Vegas took up some of those issues at a Senate Finance Committee hearing. "I think there's serious concerns at this point about passing those into law based on the lack of effectiveness and a lack enforcement and the undue burden on the rights of law abiding citizens in this state," he said.

Republican Senator Ben Kieckhefer of northern Nevada also had questions about records that might be associated with the expanded background checks for people with permits to carry concealed weapons. "We create an almost de facto registry by having a dealer maintain those records. The feds are supposed to destroy those records. We've seen recently the feds don't always do everything they're supposed to do."

SB 221 passed out of the senate committee meeting Tuesday and will be up for a floor vote on Wednesday.

Written by Jennifer Burton

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