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Nashvillians add voices to push for gun control

12:44 PM, Jan 27, 2013   |    comments
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By: Brian Haas

Moms and dads on Saturday pushed strollers and led dogs around Sevier Park in a rally for stricter gun control.

The newly formed local chapter of Million Moms for Gun Control brought out more than 75 people to the park on only a few days' notice. The chapter, which was founded just about a week ago, joined other groups throughout the nation Saturday in rallying for bans on military-style rifles and large-capacity magazines and for increased background checks for gun buyers.

"Our objective is to find the common ground. It's not just about gun violence, it's about mental health, public safety," said Melanie Fields, founder of the local chapter and a gun owner herself. "We think more people agree than disagree. We think there's a lot of misconceptions, that we're trying to take away people's guns. They ought to be well regulated."

People at the rally held aloft signs that read "Protect children, not guns" and "Support Feinstein," referring to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposal to resurrect the 1994 assault weapons ban. Fields said the group supports President Barack Obama's proposal to require background checks on all gun sales (currently only gun store sales require them), to ban military-style rifles such as the AR-15 and magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.

Maralie Exton said she was particularly worried about military-style weapons remaining legal.

"I see no logical reason for anyone outside of the military to have an assault weapon," she said.

Contact Brian Haas at 615-726-8968 or bhaas@tennessean.com.

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