Anti-gun activists target Toomey to demand ban on assault weapons

Demonstrators marched to the office of Senator Pat Toomey on Wednesday to press for his support of a bill banning assault weapons. 

Paul Kurtz
May 16, 2018 - 1:21 pm
Anti-Gun Activists

Paul Kurtz | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Hundreds of demonstrators marched to the Old City office of Senator Pat Toomey on Wednesday to press for his support of a bill banning assault weapons. 

Members of various activist groups joined forces with members of the clergy, relatives of shooting victims, trauma room doctors and just plain fed up folks.

"I just couldn't take it anymore," said Scott Robinson, a Chestnut Hill resident. "Shooting after shooting after shooting. It was just too much."

Protest organizer Shane Claiborne says gun violence is a tragic personal issue for many of those on the march.

"We've got the names of hundreds of people who have been killed written on t-shirts to say every one of these lives lost is a child of God, and the weapon of choice of mass shooters are these assault rifles,"  Claiborne said. "That's what they keep using over and over."

An assault weapons ban may be too much for Toomey, who plans to reintroduce a bill to expand background checks on gun purchases. But Claiborne is hoping this action will convince the senator to rethink his position.  

"We're not here to antagonize. We're here to invite him to do something right," Claiborne said. "And this is a softball pitch and he can bat it out of the park. If he agrees to ban assault rifles then we'll turn this protest into a party."