MTPR

Helena Youth Against Gun Violence

A Helena Youth Against Gun Violence meeting, Dec. 5, 2018.
Courtesy Helena Youth Against Gun Violence

A bill that a group of Montana high school students wrote to try to reduce gun violence in the state was killed in a Senate committee Thursday.

It was written by Helena Youth Against Gun Violence, which formed in response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting in which 17 people were killed in February of 2018.

Hand gun.
(PD)

Legislation from Helena high school students attempting to reduce gun deaths in Montana has passed out of the House. Now that it’s before the Senate, it looks significantly different than it used to, after it was changed in order to win approval from some conservative lawmakers.

A Helena Youth Against Gun Violence meeting, Dec. 5, 2018.
Courtesy Helena Youth Against Gun Violence

Helena high school students who organized to do something in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting 13 months ago presented a bill to Montana’s House Judiciary Committee at the capitol Tuesday.

"We’re not expert lobbyists, nor are we supporting any particular agenda or organization. We’re just students who saw an issue in our community and decided something needed to be done," says Clara McRae, a senior at Capital High School and co-founder of Helena Youth Against Gun Violence

Students at Capital High School in Helena walk out of class March 14, 2018 as part of what they call a memorial for the Parkland shooting victims and other gun violence victims.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

A week after 17 people were shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students in Helena formed a group to talk about gun violence.

It’s now a year later and The Helena Youth Against Gun Violence have introduced a bill into the 2019 legislative session they say will help prevent gun deaths in Montana.

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

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. 

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