San Diego

Student-Led Gun Law Forum Draws Attention of State, Federal Leaders

The number of mass shootings so far this year have outpaced the number of days on the calendar, and on Friday a student-led anti-gun violence group brought together local, state and federal leaders to talk about what can be done.

The student group Team Enough had a great turnout at the Encinitas Community Center. There were plenty of people from the community present and a full panel of government leaders was on hand.

"I've just been calling our congressmen, constantly, all the offices, just emailing them back and forth just trying to get every level of our government here,” student Stephan Abrams said.

While most know how politically charged the conversation about guns can be, the student forum was about the young people and the world they hope to grow up in.

"We see our siblings in elementary school, middle schools and high schools, and there’s a target on their back,” one student said.

Congressman Mike Levin (D-49) attended the forum and talked about some of the legislation that has passed in the wake of recent mass shootings.

"Earlier this year we passed HR8 which was historic legislation to expand background checks on all gun purchases,” Rep. Levin said.

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear was also on the panel.

"We are thinking of violence as normal and that is too bad because the freedoms in America are one of the things we love about being American and we want to protect those freedoms,” Mayor Blakespear said.

State Assemblyman Todd Gloria was also present.

Students wanted their elected officials to hear their side of the argument, and also wanted to hear about what’s being done because pretty soon their votes will count.

"It's clear that, you know, a lot of the elected officials won't do it for us so we have to make a change. If they're not gonna do it, we are gonna have to do it,” student Stephen Baker said.

At a nearby gun shop, employees told NBC 7 they believe expanding background checks to include mental health is something everyone should agree on.

At the moment there are two bi-partisan supported bills before congress that would extend the length of the background check period and include private firearms sales.

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