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Activists in Rockville call for an end to gun violence


A protest sign. (Photo: ABC7)
A protest sign. (Photo: ABC7)
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (ABC7) -- Dozens of activists braved the cold Sunday night in Rockville for a rally calling for an end to gun violence.

Among the speakers was Cathy Mitchell whose son Billy was murdered in 2011. He was trying to defend a woman who was being attacked in Northwest D.C. She said the man who shot and killed him was already on probation for multiple gun violations.

"Because the system we have is lax...he could continue a violent gun spree," Mitchell said.

Many of the speakers called for the passage of laws held up in Congress including tougher background checks, permits for gun buyers and not allowing anyone on the terror watchlist to buy guns.

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said:

"There are some common sense legislative things we can do that will not impact the 2nd amendment...or law abiding citizens in the least."

A handful of pro-gun rights activists showed up at the rally to hear what was being said. Some told us they agreed that states should work harder to toughen mental health checks on gun buyers, but that they disagreed with most other points.

"The worst thing that came out of this was using the no-fly list as a way to ban people from purchasing firearms...because there's no due process to get on that list," said Dan Blasberg, president of "Maryland Shall Issue."

Meanwhile, speakers encouraged rally goers to lobby their lawmakers for tougher gun laws.

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"Our job and our responsibility is not to be silent. We are going to work until these laws are changed," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) Montgomery County.

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