Newtown cyclists returning to Morristown on March 29, on third annual ride for gun reforms

Cyclists from Team 26 in Newtown, CT, leave Morristown en route to Washington after addressing residents about gun reform laws. Photo by Berit Ollestad
Cyclists from Team 26 in Newtown, CT, leave Morristown en route to Washington after addressing residents about gun reform laws. Photo by Berit Ollestad
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Video: Team 26 in Morristown, 2014

Cyclists from Newtown, CT, will swing through Morristown again, on their third annual ride to Washington to demand stricter gun laws in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Team 26 will stop at town hall at noon on Sunday, March 29, 2015, said Morristown Council President Rebecca Feldman.

“They’re lobbying for all of our children,” Feldman said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Crowd listens to Team 26 cyclist leader Monte Frank outside Morristown town hall. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Crowd listens to Team 26 cyclist leader Monte Frank outside Morristown town hall in 2014. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

A deranged 20-year-old gunman murdered 26 first-graders and educators before killing himself in December 2012.

“I ride to keep the promise that I made to myself in my E.R. on the morning of 12/14/12 that I would fight to prevent this from ever happening again,” Dr. Bill Begg of Newtown said on the Team 26 Facebook page.

Maura Sherlach Schwartz, whose mother, a school psychologist, was gunned down at Sandy Hook, will speak again this year, as will Mayor Tim Dougherty,  a member of the national Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.

The rally is sponsored by Moms Demand Action, the New Jersey chapter of the Million Moms March, Blue Wave NJ, and the town of Morristown.

Rally organizers are focusing on several pieces of state and federal legislation:

State Bills

S2785 – Requires criminal history record background check for rifle and shotgun purchases. Introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on March 9, 2015.  No action has been taken by that Committee.

A4218/  S2786 — Revises certain laws concerning domestic violence and firearms. These bills were introduced on Feb. 23, 2015, (Assembly) and March 9, 2015, (Senate) and referred to their respective Law and Public Safety committees.  This bill is in its early stages.  Rally organizers say New Jersey has good laws regarding domestic violence and guns; this bill would close some loopholes.

Federal Bills

On March 3, 2015, Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) re-introduced H.R. 1217  to expand background checks to all online and gun show sales.  The bill was introduced with four Republican and four Democratic co-sponsors.  The chief sponsors intend to add co-sponsors on a one Republican-for-one-Democrat basis for now. Rally organizers are asking citizens to encourage their congressional representatives to co-sponsor the measure.

Rally organizers also are asking the public to sign a petition called FINISH THE JOB, to urge Congress to require background checks for all gun sales.

team 26 sandy hook flyer 2015

PRIOR COVERAGE:

Video: Daughter of Newtown victim calls for gun reforms as Team 26 stops in Morristown

Video: Team 26 rolls through Morristown, en route from Newtown to DC, with gun control message

Video: Newtown comes to Morristown for the ‘Sandy Hook Promise’

Video: ‘My Beautiful Town’ sung in Morristown to honor Newtown victims

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