Gun rights activists converge on state capitol: ‘It’s not a seizure of guns’

Gun rights activists converge on state capitol: ‘It’s not a seizure of guns’

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A movement, growing in the state to reduce gun deaths and violence, is taking their concerns to the state legislature.

Moms Demand Action believes easy access to firearms allows the death tolls to rise.

“Sadly, two weeks prior to his death, he had found out he was going to be a father,” said Tonjula Shelby while at the State Capitol Tuesday.

The Jackson resident’s son was shot and killed in April of 2015. The death of her only child, 25-year-old Kimondra Mason, prompted her to work to change gun laws.

The 45-year-old is now a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

"He was shot nine times by an individual that was a felon," said Shelby. "I vowed on that day to be active in whatever means necessary to end the gun violence, the senseless gun violence that's occurring across the country".

The organization wants laws to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

It supports more involved background checks and Red Flag Laws or Senate Bill 2055.

Families or law enforcement would be able to intervene if someone with a gun poses a threat to themselves and others.

Mississippi Chapter Leader Mary Helen Abel is a gun owner and grew up hunting at a family deer camp, but she believes there are places and times firearms should not be permitted.

The Red Flag Law is currently in 17 states.

“It allows law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from someone who has shown to be a risk to themselves or to others and this is all done with due process,” said Abel.

Moms Demand Action Legislative Lead Patricia Ice said the goal is to prevent gun deaths and violence.

"There are due process protections built into that law so that the person who is being separated from his or her gun is allowed to state his or her case in court and allow that gun to be returned to him or her at a time when the court believes that that person is less likely to use that gun to harm him or herself or somebody else," said Ice.

The new chapter of the national organization has 400 members statewide with about 200 in the Jackson area.

According to group leaders, they support the second amendment but changes to current gun laws could keep families safer.

“It’s not a seizure of guns,” added Abel. “It is removing from a situation that is that is a dangerous firearm.”

Their agenda also includes disarming domestic abusers, restricting children’s’ access to unlocked, unsecured and loaded guns.

You can contact Moms Demand Action by going to their web site momsdemandaction.org.

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