Forum at Loft Cinema focuses on gun safety and mental health - Tucson News Now

Forum at Loft Cinema focuses on gun safety and mental health

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tuesday night's discussion at Loft Cinema on protecting the community started with Living for 32, a documentary by a Virginia Tech survivor. 

Since the January 8th, 2011 tragedy in Tucson, a few new city laws here aim to make some changes even in the face of state and federal opposition.

Those new laws are:

- Background checks for sales on city property

- Owner notifies police of missing/stolen firearm within 48 hours

- Police can test someone with a gun for alcohol

As for the film and discussion, Colin Goddard recounts his recovery after being shot at Virginia Tech, how easy buying semiautomatic weapons is, and how the shooter, despite mental illness, legally bought guns.  Goddard's flight was delayed by weather so he wasn't at the screening. But January 8th survivor Pam Simon and others recounted how that tragedy has affected many lives in the aftermath and the need to seek reform.

Congressman Ron Barber has said background checks is where Congress should focus.  The effort has support and opposition.

"We're not interested in restricting their rights. We're really just interested right now in making sure that people who shouldn't have guns can't get them by simply walking over to somebody who's willing to sell one. And that's where we are today," said Maddy Urken, with Tucson Community Against Gun Violence.

"(Jared) Loughner had a background check. He passed it with flying colors. Background checks are totally ineffective at keeping the wrong people from getting guns, because either they're going to past about background check because they've never been adjudicated or they're going to get it through other means," said Charles Heller, communications director for

Arizona Citizens Defense League, Inc.

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