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Parkland parents urge US Senate to OK gun background checks, red-flag laws

Politicians, including U.S. Reps Donna Shalala (third from left) and Ted Deutch (fifth from left), gathered in Coral Springs on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, lobbying for U.S. Senate to pass a law allowing federal background checks on gun sales. [JORGE MILIAN/palmbeachpost.com/TNS]

About 3 miles from where 17 students and staff members were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, gun control advocates – including parents of children murdered at the school – met Thursday to urge the U.S. Senate to pass background checks and red-flag laws.

“This isn’t a Republican problem. This isn’t a Democrat problem,” said Anthony Montalto, whose daughter Gina Rose was killed at Stoneman Douglas. “This is an American problem that requires collective action.”

The latest push for stronger federal gun laws comes in the wake of mass shootings at a shopping center in El Paso and a nightlife area in Dayton this month that left 31 people dead.

In February, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass legislation – the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 – that would require background checks on all gun sales.

But those efforts have been stalled in the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declined to take action. In February, the White House said President Trump would likely veto the measure which would close loopholes for certain kinds of gun sales — such as those at gun shows, over the internet or from private dealers — that are now completed without background checks,

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U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, and Donna Shalala, D-Miami, voted in February to pass the federal background check law. They were among a group of politicians, mass shooting survivors and gun control organizations that attended Thursday’s news conference at Coral Springs City Hall lobbying the Senate to take action.

Also attending were Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter also was among those killed on Valentine’s Day 2018 at Stoneman Douglas.

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© 2019 The Palm Beach Post