The local chapter of a national organization is taking action against gun violence. A group of 150, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, just returned from Nashville where they met with lawmakers hoping to stop several bills from passing.
Moms Demand Action says it is not an anti-gun group. They believe guns should be in the right hands and used in the right way.
“In America, 13-million children witness gun violence every year. That’s just simply unacceptable,” said Shannon Dixson.
Dixson is one of nearly 200 volunteers dedicated to the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. There are about 500 volunteers statewide.
The Memphis group just returned from Nashville after meeting face to face with lawmakers about stricter policies when it comes to owning guns.
“We think conceal carry permits are valuable,” said Kat McRitchie, keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. “I think when you start talking to people about gun sense policies and just what’s really going on, people on both sides of the aisle can find agreement.”
McRitchie is also a volunteer. She says the group is fighting three bills regarding permit-less carry, which would reduce the fine and eliminate jail time for a gun owner who doesn’t have a permit. Another bill, the proactive alert bill, would prevent mentally ill people who fail background checks from getting a gun illegally. The last bill the group is fighting is arming teachers with guns.
“We find it completely unacceptable to arm teachers. Our children deserve better solutions,” said McRitchie.
Moms Demand Action say they’re not an anti-gun group, they just want gun owners to be responsible. They say the reaction from lawmakers was positive and encouraging.
“I’m absolutely convinced that if we all show up, persist, if they are expecting us all the time, that they will do something. That’s what it takes,” said Dixson. “It doesn’t mean we’re coming for all your guns. That there’s responsible gun ownership as an owner you have responsibility.”
Dixson says while she was advocating for gun sense policies in Nashville, an incident happened at her home in the Evergreen Historic District in Memphis.
“Some men shot at police officers and they then got lead on a high-speed chase that ended up with their car hitting my house,” says Dixson.
Dixson says the suspects had guns and we’re shooting at police. Her husband and several neighborhood children witnessed the incident. Thankfully no one was hurt. But Dixson says this is an example of how dangerous guns can be when they end up in the hands of dangerous people.
The house bill regarding arming teachers with guns was delayed two weeks, so Moms Demand Action plans to fight the bill when it comes up again.