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'Moms are smiling' | Anti-gun violence advocate who lost son counting sweeping gun reform an overdue victory

Marsha Wilson lost her son Sherman 8 years ago in a shooting. Since that loss, she's dedicated her time to supporting other women like her.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Sweeping gun reform legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden Saturday is the widest-ranging gun violence bill approved by Congress in decades.  

It’s giving a Memphis woman who lost her son to gun violence new hope.  

“I felt hope," anti-gun violence advocate Marsha Wilson said. "I felt a lot of hope." 

Hope is what Wilson has been fighting for.  

“It took all these mass shootings to put something in place to create some type of leverage here,” Wilson said. 

She’s not the only one saying mothers and fathers across Memphis can breathe a little easier. 

Newly passed gun reform will toughen requirements for youth to buy guns, deny firearms to domestic abusers and help local authorities take weapons from those judged to be dangerous.  

“I tell you, there's going to be some still penalties here and I love it,” said Wilson. 

In 2014 she lost her son Sherman when he was shot and killed by a neighbor. 

He died at only the age of 20.  

After Sherman’s death, his mom founded the organization Linking Hands 901, which helps support other grieving mothers. 

“Everybody who owns a gun doesn’t really know the harm that a gun can cause,” Wilson said.  

For her, the legislation’s passing is a relief.  

“I couldn’t be more joyful than to hear that—that’s some great news," the Linking Hands founder said. "I know that the other moms are smiling, and hopefully we can get some a lot of justice around here.” 

She’s hoping it slows down other shootings in the city—unifying it against killings.

“If we keep speaking unity, perhaps it can happen for us all” she said. 

The legislation does omit tougher restrictions such as a ban on assault-type weapons and background checks for all gun transactions. Still, it’s the most impactful gun measure approved by Congress since a now-expired assault weapons ban in 1993.  

RELATED: 'My heart still aches' | Memphis mother who lost son 8 years ago speaks on pain of gun violence

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