Traveling for tougher gun laws, remembering victims

By Jillian Marshall

August 30, 2013 Updated Aug 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" pulled into Binghamton Friday, hoping to enact background checks for privately sold guns and remember the victims of the American Civic Association shooting.

More than 8,500 Americans have been victims of gun violence since the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December 2012; each of their name was read Friday morning at Binghamton's Recreation park.

The organization aligned with the community, city council members and Mayor Matt Ryan to raise awareness about gun violence and push Congress to support a bipartisan bill to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

The group said Friday they're hoping Congress approves extending background checks to cover private gun sales in commercial settings.

No More Names says they aren't fighting to get rid of gun rights, just to add the extra step of a "common-sense background check" in the process of buying a gun. According to the organization, 90 percent of Americans support such background checks.

Georgia Lerner drove from Port Washington to be a key speaker at the press conference. Lerner's mother, Roberta King, was one of the 13 people killed on April 3, 2009, at the American Civic Association. The 72-year-old from Binghamton was teaching English for citizenship the day of the shooting.

"It was really the worst thing that has ever happened to our family," Lerner said. "My mother's death was really tragic, it was horrible, it was really indescribably horrible."

Lerner brought her daughter, Adeline Lerner, 14, to the event on Friday.

Lerner says the publicity of her mother's death pushes her and her family to stand up against gun violence.

"I try to support this with my mom and we try to work together and stop gun violence," Adeline said.

The No More Names bus tour is traveling to 25 states in 100 days and is organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

For more information on the No More Names bus tour, click here.

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