Gun safety advocates show up in large numbers at state capitol
BATON ROUGE- For each of the past six years, 'Moms Demand Action' has spent a day at the state capitol, advocating for gun safety legislation. This year more than 100 people showed up for their advocacy day.
“The goal is to let legislators know that we're here,” said Angelle Bradford, spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense America. “Let them know that Moms Demand Action is the largest non-profit, grassroots organization focused on common sense gun legislation in the country. And we want them to meet people face-to-face and talk about the bills that are being proposed.”
Roaming the halls, waiting for a moment of legislators' time, the group is fighting an uphill battle in the state known as Sportsman's Paradise. Because many people in Louisiana like the law as it is.
“They still see it as a gun-grabbing, gun-banning kind of movement, and we're not that. So we try to take baby steps with them and say you know what we're all on the same side. We want a safe society," said Lori Strosnider, a volunteer with the organization. "We want safer schools, and this is our approach to doing it."
Following the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida back in February, the group is specifically pushing for statewide red flag legislation that would keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals. And the group’s members are using their own experiences with gun violence to make their point.
“Once they get to know us as people and see why we're committed to this mission, they're less combative,” Bradford said. “We don't approach with aggression, and so a lot of the lawmakers are listening to us or at least giving us their ear for a little bit.”
Other legislation they're advocating includes removing New Orleans from preemption, giving the city the freedom to write their own firearm ordinances and possibly causing other cities to follow suit.
“We're going to try to get New Orleans through first to see how it works, and using this as an example of success,” said Strosnider. “Further on down the line, we can try for Baton Rouge and Shreveport and other cities that are also experiencing gun violence.”