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Montanans Hold Sandy Hook Vigil At State Capitol

Mariah Thomas, one of the founders of the Helena Youth Against Gun Violence, speaks at a vigil held in the Montana Capitol on the sixth anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut, Dec. 14, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney
/
Montana Public Radio
Mariah Thomas, one of the founders of the Helena Youth Against Gun Violence, speaks at a vigil held in the Montana Capitol on the sixth anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut, Dec. 14, 2018.

On the sixth anniversary of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, Montana advocates for gun policy reform held a vigil in the state Capitol building to mourn the 20 students and six adult staff members who were shot and killed.

Around 50 people gathered at the giant Christmas tree in the Capitol rotunda to remember what happened at the school in Newtown Connecticut six years ago, and others like it, since. 

“We’re not anti-gun, we’re not anti-Second Amendment. There are gun owners among us. We are anti-gun violence. And pro gun safety," says Mary Linn Crouse, a volunteer for the local chapter of the national group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense.

“We gather to remember and recommit ourselves to create a culture of security and safety for all our children and youth,” she said.

This year, a group called the Helena Youth Against Gun Violence formed after 17 students and staff were shot to death at a high school in Florida.

The student-led group announced earlier this month that they’ve met with several state lawmakers from both political parties to come up with legislation to help prevent gun violence in Montana.

Helena Youth Against Gun violence says they would like to see a bill that increases the penalty for adults that leave guns in locations accessible to children.

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