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Rally Calls for Background Checks for Gun Purchasers

The "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence"  bus tour stopped in Pittsburgh Friday.

The event was meant to highlight the need for laws that mandate background checks for gun purchasers. The effort comes in the wake of legislation that failed to pass in Congress.

In the aftermath of the shooting rampage at Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in December, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R) and Bob Casey (D) pushed for a bipartisan proposal that would have extended background checks to cover private gun sales.

Carlee Soto is the sister of Victoria, a teacher at Sandy Hook who perished in the attack. Soto urged Congress to get back to work on gun legislation, warning that gun violence can strike anywhere.

"I never would have thought something as horrific as the Sandy Hook massacre could happen in my state, let alone my sister's classroom," Soto said. "But gun violence knows no bounds and it poses a serious threat to all Americans everywhere, from Newtown to Pittsburgh."

Outside the Kingsley Association in Larimer State Rep. Ed Gainey pointed to straw purchases as a major contributor to illegal gun possession.

"Either we begin to take this serious, or we'll continue to have the next generation of children dying," Gainey said. "And we can't afford to have the next generation of children dying. This is not about 'God, guns and glory.' This is about 'God, our ability to live, and glory."

According to acting Pittsburgh police chief Regina McDonald, to date the city has had 32 homicides, 25 by firearms.

The even was also organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Larkin got her start in radio as a newsroom volunteer in 2006. She went on to work for 90.5 as a reporter, Weekend Edition host, and Morning Edition producer. In 2009 she became 90.5's All Things Considered host, and in 2017 she was named Managing Editor. She moderates and facilitates public panels and forums, and has won regional and statewide awards for her reporting, including stories on art, criminal justice, domestic violence, and breaking news. Her work has been featured across Pennsylvania and nationally on NPR.