Newtown families active in gun control debate

NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Late Thursday morning the Senate rejected a conservative effort that would have blocked Congress from even talking about any gun control legislation.

Now the debate can move forward on Capitol Hill.

The plan was to protest the filibuster of gun control legislation in the U.S. Senate. They read the names of every victim of gun violence since December 14th. They took turns and it was a long list.

"I started with December 23rd and in a few pages I'm into December 24th, and I was like oh my goodness this is ridiculous, it doesn't make any sense," said Kevin Fitzgerald, of Newtown.

They started Wednesday and went all through the night on the steps of Newtown Town Hall.

"Anna Marquez Green, age 7," read Senator Richard Blumenthal.

And Connecticut's Senators read the names of the Newtown victims in Washington Thursday morning, too. They stood with families of those victims.

"Their voices need to heard and their voices are going to carry through us," said Erica Lafferty, victim's daughter.

"We're here to demand action and demand a vote and that we're allowed to have some peace of mind that our loved ones didn't die for no reason," said Jillian Soto, victim's sister.

Some of those families flew to Washington on Air Force One with President Obama after his speech Monday at the University of Hartford. At that point, Senate Republicans were talking about filibustering, or blocking, any vote on gun control. Then those Newtown families met with lawmakers.

"They spent all week fanning out across the Capitol and I think it's no coincidence that we will end this week in a much better position than most people thought we would," said Senator Chris Murphy.

The vote was close; they needed 60 votes, they got 68. This does not mean laws will change, it just means there will be a debate.
Senator Dick Blumenthal promises to push for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

A much more realistic view is that Congress may expand background checks for gun buyers.

Copyright 2014 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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