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Gun safety advocates push for universal background checks at March for Our Lives Town Hall

CBS Austin

Gun safety advocates want changes and on Saturday, they made their concerns known at a March For Our Lives Town Hall hosted in partnership with the Giffords Organization.

The town hall is part of an effort calling on lawmakers to strengthen gun laws.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett joined the event to push for HR 8, a bill that would require universal background checks for gun purchases nationwide. He said it’s just one small step in curbing gun violence, but called it a 'necessary one.'

"We all support the second amendment, we do believe you have a right to own guns, but we do believe in common sense regulations that can help save lives,” said Stasha Rhodes, engagement manager for the Giffords organization.

HR 8 was first introduced in the House Judiciary Committee Jan. 8, but it still needs committee approval before it could go to the full house for a vote.

However, it’s already gaining traction across party lines and has approval from Danielle Vabner, who lost her six-year-old brother in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012.

"For me it's so important, because I want to make sure my brother's death was not in vain and I want to make sure I save as many lives as possible too,” Vabner said.

But there are still challenges ahead.

"If it passed by a large enough margin, if it gets additional votes in the house, then we need a Parkland type effort in the United States Senate,” Doggett said.

HR 8, also known as the Bi-partisan Background Checks Act, is expected to be voted on in the house judiciary committee on Wednesday. It could go to the full house for a final vote by the end of the month.

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