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by Judy Antell


When the Million Mom March was founded in 1999, the national grassroots organization was focused on a Mother�fs Day march the following year. The Washington, D.C., march attracted more than 750,000 people,peaceably demonstrating for stronger gun laws. More than that, it galvanized a movement that continues today, a group that has since merged with the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Members of the Million Mom March have also joined New Yorkers Against Gun Violence to lobby the City Council on two bills. These bills will hold gun manufacturers responsible for the illegal trafficking of firearms. The bills, Intro 208 and Intro 210, pressure gun manufacturers to follow a specific code of conduct including: - Not selling weapons to dealers who have sold more than 20 weapons in any 12-month period in the past five years that have been used in crimes or illegally possessed. - Not selling weapons at a gun show without a background check and unless all other sellers at the gun show also conduct mandatory background checks. - Only selling to dealers who maintain a fixed address for their store, an electronic database including specs of all guns held in inventory or for sale, and the names and registrations of all gun buyers. - Providing full access of records to law enforcement and government regulators. - Limiting purchases by any person to one weapon per 30 days. - Implementing a security plan for securing weapons in transit. Under Intro 208, New York City government will use its position as a major purchaser of guns for its law enforcement agencies to encourage gun manufacturers to comply with these standards by only purchasing firearms from companies in compliance. Under Intro 210, a gun manufacturer will be liable to the City of New York for a civil penalty and punitive damages if a city employee is killed or injured with a weapon produced by the manufacturer and used by a person not lawfully authorized to possess the weapon. This liability will not apply to manufacturers who comply with the standards. Million Mom March, whose mission is �gdedicated to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in their communities�h is planning its next march on Washington in May, 2004. To get involved, or for more information, visit www.millionmommarch.com.


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