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Gary mayor lobbies in D.C. for gun control

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.  |  Sun-Times Media

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. | Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 18, 2013 6:50AM



Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson lobbied for gun control and expanded background checks in Washington on Tuesday with other mayors across the nation who read the names of gun violence victims in front of the Capitol.

“I actually read a name from East Chicago — Willie Cook —just by happenstance,” Freeman-Wilson said. Cook died when his vehicle was riddled with gunshots on Feb. 1 in the 3900 block of Evergreen Street in the Indiana Harbor section of the city.

The mayor lobbied with other city leaders who have joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Freeman-Wilson said she met briefly with Indiana Sens. Dan Coats, a Republican, and Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, to voice support for a measure requiring background checks for all gun sales.

By Tuesday afternoon, hope for a Senate plan that would expand the background check requirement for gun purchases dimmed. A compromise on background checks reached by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., seemed to lack a few votes for passage, Freeman-Wilson said.

Coats told her he wouldn’t support the compromise.

“My concern is gun shows, specifically, in Crown Point. I was there for a Heart Association walk and there was a gun show and they were dealing in the parking area,” she said of shows at the Lake County fairgrounds.



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