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Growing chorus calling for stricter gun control measures after Florida school massacre

Activists planning 'lie in' at state Capitol
Posted at 7:42 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 21:43:25-05

DENVER — In the wake of the deadly Florida shooting - activists are calling for stricter gun measures nationwide.

But a new ABC News poll released Tuesday shows there's a split on gun control measures, but more broad support for mental health reforms.

Meantime, here in Denver, activists are planning a "lie in" on Wednesday at the Colorado State Capitol building.

It's unclear how many students and others will participate.

"We don't have to live like this,” said Jessica Pettigrew with a group called Moms Demand Action. “And our children don't have to die like this."

While many are calling for an assault weapons ban after what happened in Florida, Pettigrew is simply advocating for stiffer background checks and magazine limits.

“I think we have new research that shows by limiting capacities and high capacities we can actually decrease the number of deaths in shootings - like the one in Parkland," Pettigrew said.

But Ricardo Laurenti sits on the other side of the issue. He, for one, remains a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

“The point of the 2nd Amendment is that if civilians need to form a militia, they have the ability to do so and they can overthrow the government," Laurenti said.

In Colorado, a number of gun control measures passed in the Democratic-controlled legislature following the Aurora Theater shooting.

John Morse was the Senate president at the time.

"It seems like since then, the events have gotten bigger and the change has gotten smaller,” said Morse.

Morse lost his seat after leading the charge for those changes. He lost in a recall election, the first-ever in Colorado.

“I regret nothing about what we did in 2013, and would do it again in a New York second," Morse said. "If a politician or two loses their seat because they stood up to keep people alive, I think that's something to be proud of."

Two other Democratic lawmakers lost their seats, as well.

For moms like Pettigrew, it's an issue that hits close to home.        

"When I think about my 4-year-old doing lockdown drills at his school - I think it's not fair. I think it's not right and I think we've failed our children if we fail to address this," said Pettigrew.