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Protesters hold rally outside District Heights gun shop

Protesters hold rally outside District Heights gun shop. (ABC7)

DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. (ABC7) --- Tuesday morning, protesters in Maryland called on gun manufacturers and distributors to take action to prevent gun violence, part of what they called a "National Day of Action." The group included many faith leaders.

They gathered across the street from Realco Guns. They said they chose the location because of a 2010 Washington Post investigation citing 18-years of police records that showed 86 guns sold by Realco had been linked to homicide cases. The report also found hundreds more guns sold by the shop were used in other violent crimes.

At their rally, the protesters said Realco and other gun shops can - and should - do more to prevent gun violence.

Rabbi Joel Mosbacher said, "[They can do] basic things like have security cameras, keep track of their inventory. Those things would make a dramatic change."

Staff inside the shop declined to comment for this story. But protest organizers said, when they went inside, they had a cordial conversation with a shop employee.

Rev. Timothy Tutt said, "[The employee] seemed like a really good guy. He said they're doing their part. So my question is who's not doing their part in this process because guns are still ending up on our streets."

While the protest was located near a gun shop, it was mostly focused on manufacturers.

"So we're calling on CEOs of the world's seven major gun manufacturers to explore newer, smarter, safer gun technology," Tutt said.

So-called smart guns would use fingerprints or safety features to ensure they're only fired by authorized users.

On its website, The National Rifle Association has posted this statement:

"The NRA doesn't oppose the development of 'smart' guns, nor the ability of Americans to voluntarily acquire them. However, NRA opposes any law prohibiting Americans from acquiring or possessing firearms that don't possess 'smart' gun technology."

Meanwhile, the protesters urged state and local governments to follow President Obama's lead with his recent executive action directing the federal government to study the technology, hoping it might advance to the marketplace.

Protester Esther Lederman said, "We can use the power of our purse, of our budgets, to buy guns that make sense."

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