26 Cyclists Pedal to D.C. From Newtown for Gun Control Push

By Jeff Saperstone
|  Saturday, Mar 8, 2014  |  Updated 3:59 PM EDT
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A bike ride to Washington DC to promote changes in gun laws.

A bike ride to Washington DC to promote changes in gun laws.

Twenty-six cyclists began a 400-mile journey from Newtown, Conn. to Washington D.C on Saturday morning to push for tougher gun control laws.

"There's just so much at risk and the 30,000 gun deaths a year is unacceptable," said Monte Frank.

Frank is a Sandy Hook father who began this movement following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"What happened down the road from me forced me to take action," he said.

Last year, Team 26 made the same journey to our nation's capital.

A expanded background check bill was brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate but didn't get enough votes to move forward.

"We don't know how long it's going to take but we do know our cause is just, it is right, and it will happen," said Rep. Elizabeth Esty, whose district includes Newtown.

Gun rights supporters say new gun laws won't make a difference and only punish law abiding citizens.

Rep. Esty said expanding background checks makes common sense.

"I think it's going to take persistence and we're seeing that in the riders who are riding 400 miles," she said.

That 400-mile journey began Saturday at 8 a.m. in Newtown, Conn. with a rally. Riders planned to stop in Ridgefield; Greenwich; Harlem, N.Y.; Morristown, N.J.; Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Frank acknowledged that a background check bill may take years to become law but he's willing to keep at it.

"I'm just not willing to sit idly by and allow this tragedy to define me, define my town and to define my community," he said.

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