Gun Control Advocates Protest Senate Vote

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Gun control advocates are dealt a striking blow as the U.S. Senate votes down legislation aimed at improving federal gun laws.

But some Clevelanders are determined to fight for what they call sensible gun violence prevention measures.

Chanting “Shame on you, Rob Portman,” members of Organizing for Action took their concern for stronger gun control measures to Cleveland's Public Square Saturday.

They voiced their displeasure with Ohio Senator Rob Portman for voting against federal gun legislation that would have expanded background checks on criminals and the mentally ill.

State Representative Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) joined the group.  He said the main purpose of the gun legislation was to make it harder for people who shouldn’t have gun, to have them.

“Would it be more inconvenient for some people? Yes, of course it would have been more inconvenient.  But, if it was going to save lives and save guns getting in the hands of folks who shouldn't have them, that's an inconvenience that I think Ohioans and Americans understand needs to take place,” Foley said.

Portman said he did review and analyze the Manchin-Toomey Amendment before voting against it.

“I do not believe it would be effective in preventing the kind of heartbreaking loss of life seen in Newtown or in other recent tragic incidents,” Portman said.

Mike Dawson, owner of Five Star Firearms in Seven Hills, said guns definitely need to be out of the hands of the mentally ill. But he believes current gun laws need to be better enforced, especially when it deals with individual and internet sales.

"Just passing pistols around at gun shows is not a good idea. You can go on auction arms and buy a gun and meet a guy at Walmart parking lot and pay him for it and drive off, and that's not good because you don't know who that person is or what their intentions are with that firearm,” Dawson said.

The Organizing for Action group said it is determined to continue to fight for common sense action to prevent gun violence.

Portman said he will continue to look for solutions to gun violence.

“I do believe there are actions Congress can and should take to reduce gun violence without infringing on Second Amendment rights, and I look forward to supporting such amendments,” said Portman.

Foley said he is co-sponsor of Ohio’s Universal Background Checks legislation. He said it is similar to the Federal legislation on gun control that the U.S. Senate failed to pass.

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