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Gun control rally in Indianapolis targets Sen. Coats

Brandon Smith
Indiana Public Broadcasting

The sister of one of the Newton, Connecticut, school shooting victims is calling on Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) to support new federal gun laws.  It was part of a nationwide bus tour featuring families of gun violence victims that stopped in Indianapolis Friday for a rally.

It’s called the No More Names tour – a 25 state bus tour urging people to support efforts to end gun violence, calling out members of Congress who voted against recent gun control measures such as universal background checks.

Carlee Soto’s sister, Victoria, was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary who was shot and killed while shielding her students.  Soto says she’s hoping to open people’s eyes to the problem of gun violence in America.

“I think people see these mass shootings and after a few months start to forget and don’t realize that this is a huge problem and until it touches you personally, you’re not really aware of what’s going on and you don’t really care too much.”

She says Coats let down Hoosiers when he voted against an amendment expanding background checks. 

Coats spokesperson Tara DiJulio says the problem is not that there are too few background checks but that the current system misses too many people.  She says Coats supports alternative legislation that would fix the existing background check system while also addressing mental illness in the criminal justice system and improving school safety. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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