Lewiston mayor joins others for gun control event

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LEWISTON — Mayor Larry Gilbert, representatives of domestic violence organizations and law enforcement officials will join families and friends of those affected by gun violence at 10:30 a.m. today at Dufresne Plaza to support a national campaign urging Congress to change the national gun background check system.

Among the participants will be Omas Samaha, whose sister Reema was killed in a gun attack at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.

“Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns,” according to a release issued by Gilbert’s office. “A centerpiece of the Fix Gun Checks campaign is a mobile billboard truck that displays a running tally of the nearly 4,000 Americans who have been murdered with guns since the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 8.”

Samaha has been traveling coast to coast with the truck since it was launched in February by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan coalition of more than 550 mayors that calls on Congress to pass common-sense laws to help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, according to the release.

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Gilbert is one of four Maine mayors who are members of the national group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The mayors of  Saco, Hallowell and Portland are also members.

More than 250,000 Americans and 2,000 Mainers have signed a petition calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to fix the gun background check system. The proposal includes two major reforms: ensuring that all records of criminals and other prohibited gun purchasers are included in the background check database, and making sure every gun buyer passes an instant background check.

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