Families urge gun policy change on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Families who have lost loved ones in mass shootings gathered on Capital Hill Monday where they urged Congress to expand background checks to include anyone buying a gun, anywhere.

The Brady Bill became law back in 1993, well before there were online gun sales. In fact, advocates of expanded background checks say 40-percent of all gun sales in this country now take place without a background check.

"I was shot in my leg and my hips and in and out of my shoulder. I have a metal rod in my left leg. Three bullets with me today," said Colin Goddard, survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007. Now, he's fighting to save the lives of others.

"It's quite simple. We just want to know that a background check is done before a gun is sold to somebody. Simple as that."

Current background checks have gaping loopholes. They're not done on anyone buying at a gun show, online or through an unlicensed dealer.

"Our daughter was shot six times with high velocity bullets. The kill shot as they say went through her left eye. And left a five inch hole in her skull. And blew her brains out. That's what we live with every single day. That's my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night," said Sandy Phillips, mother of Jessica Ghawi, a victim in the Aurora, Colorado shooting.

"Everyone should be afraid of that because if he can do it, a terrorist can do it, a domestic abuser can do it."

Jessica Ghawi's killer bought 4,000 rounds of ammunition online.The families want Congress to vote on closing the loopholes.

"That is the one way that we can stop it immediately. For Congress to stand up, get off their duffs and take a vote. If they take another vote, it'll pass," said Lonnie Phillips, Ghawi's father.

Several states have moved ahead where Congress has stalled. Oregon just became the 18th state in the country to require background checks on all handgun sales.Two years ago, the measured failed to pass through the Senate and never came to a vote in the House.

For more information on the organizations that hosted Tuesday's event, visit Moms Demand Action or Everytown For Gun Safety.

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