Washington gun safety advocacy groups demand change after Uvalde shooting

OLYMPIA, Wash. — It’s been a longtime goal for local advocacy groups to reduce gun violence, but after the tragedy in Uvalde, they feel like they still have much more to do.

Both Grandmothers Against Gun Violence and Moms Demand Action are national groups that have local chapters advocating for better gun laws.

After the Uvalde school shooting, one grandmother who’s part of the group says she was heartsick. She thought “here we go again.”

Both groups are continuing to work with state lawmakers to reduce gun violence. Grandmothers Against Gun Violence started because of the Sandy Hook shooting, with a passion that they needed to do something.

They’ve contributed to Washington’s ban on high-capacity magazines and not allowing firearms in public gatherings like board meetings and public protests.

While they’ve helped pass laws over the years, one grandmother says she thought they were on the right path.

“I actually cried. I could cry right now, just thinking about it,” said Sharon Friel, member of Grandmothers Against Gun Violence. “Just thinking what is wrong with our country? That people have to have guns, knowing that guns can kill. It was just a heartbreak.”

Their goal is to make it as difficult as possible for someone to carry a gun, and making sure people are storing them safely, especially if a child is in the home.

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence says it’s continuing to push a U.S. House Bill where a parent could face criminal penalties if a gun is not properly stored.

“We thought we had different regulations in place. Today is a very, very bleak day,” Friel said.

The group says they are also finding other ways to push the gun violence prevention movement, as they feel they can’t rely on only legislative solutions anymore.

READ: Elected leaders react to school shooting in Uvalde, Texas