Gun Control Advocate Speaks Out Against Gun Show Planned in Manassas | NBC4 Washington

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Gun Control Advocate Speaks Out Against Gun Show Planned in Manassas

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    Gun Control Advocate Speaks Out Against Gun Show Planned in Manassas

    Gun control advocates in Virginia are responding to the recent mass shooting by asking citizens to text "#Enough" to 877-877, which the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence has set up to reach U.S. senators.

    "Every shooting [victim] is somebody's child, somebody's parent, somebody's brother, somebody's friend and we can't become numb to it," said Martina Leinz, president of the Northern Virginia chapter of the Brady Campaign.

    A mom herself, Leinz has spent most of her adult life volunteering to prevent gun violence.

    "We need to change our gun laws," she said. "We need to make it much more difficult for dangerous people to get their hands on dangerous weapons."

    She worries that gun shows -- like one planned for Manassas this weekend, which is expected to feature 175 tables of weapons for sale -- could put the weapons into the wrong hands.

    "When you talk about [the] gun show loophole, what you really mean is these big gaping holes where only people who are purchasing weapons from federally licensed firearms dealers have to go through a background check," she said. "If you buy from a private seller, online or at a gun show, you don't have to have a background check."

    Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe supports effort to close the so-called "gun show loophole."

    "Here in Virginia, as long as we have this gun show loophole, where anyone, maybe with mental illness, domestic abuse, a felon, can go to any one of these gun shows and purchase a weapon with no background checks, it needs to stop," McAuliffe said. "So many of these politicians are bought and paid for by the NRA. And they're scared to do what I think is just a commonsense -- two to three minutes, stop those with mental illness, stop those who are felons."

    But those pushing for gun owners' rights say that's the wrong message to send.

    Around guns his whole life, Greg Stone says gun control is not the answer.

    "The first reaction [after a shooting] is for more gun control; the reaction should be towards mental health. If it's a terrorist attack, the reaction should be towards better homeland security not gun control. Gun control simply doesn't work..." he said.

    Stone doesn't see gun shows as a threat.

    "A gun show such as [the one that] is going to happen in Manassas this weekend... there will be thousands of background checks done and there will be thousands of people that will pass them," he said.