Members of the new Junction City branch of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held the group’s first meeting Saturday.
Junction City resident Mary Snipes organized the meeting, after working to establish a local branch for quite awhile. Felix Snipes — Mary’s son — died after a shooting at 2306 Wildcat Lane on Aug. 31, 2018. Snipes discussed the group’s goals during the meeting, which was held at the 12th Street Community Center. She said the group will work to raise awareness for several issues, including gun violence, suicide, gender equality, domestic violence and various forms of discrimination.
“I know what brought me to this point, and I know what I have to continue to do,” Snipes said. “Since I got involved, I’m planning on being everywhere, spreading the word of what I’m doing.”
Snipes said she has recently been in contact with Shaundelle Brooks, the mother of Akilah DaSilva, who was one of four people killed on April 22, 2018, when police say Travis Reinking used an AR-15 rifle in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tenn.
“She has become an advocate for Moms,” Snipes said.
Snipes discussed some Kansas bills Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense members support, and some they do not support. They do not support House Bill 2326, which seeks to recognize all out-of-state concealed carry permits and allow those who have been licensed to carry a firearm for self-defense to do so lawfully in Kansas. House Bill 2326 was passed by the Kansas House in March, and was sent to the Senate for further consideration.
Snipes noted that Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense does not discriminate or attempt to take away people’s rights for owning guns, but focuses on gun safety.
“I have a lot of people say, ‘You’re taking away my Second Amendment,’” Snipes said. “That is not what Moms is about. We are not anti-gun.”
Snipes noted, however, that there are too many illegal guns on streets in various cities, and that many guns are unsecured in homes.
“More than two million American kids live in homes with unsecured guns,” Snipes said. “We just want to have a safe community.”
Moms Demand Action will also have an entry in the upcoming July 4 parade, Snipes said.