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Activist: Congress failed on gun violence after Newtown

PHOENIX — One year after President Barack Obama pledged “meaningful action” on gun violence following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., a Valley activist said Congress has failed to act.

Hildy Saizow, head of Arizonans for Gun Safety, said some states are moving ahead with tougher gun measures and won’t be waiting on Congress.

“We have Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New York and New Jersey among others.”

Arizona legislators failed to enact any measure regarding stricter gun measures.

Saizow said 90 percent of Arizonans believe background checks should be mandatory on every gun sale and she will continue to press for that next year.

“We are divided in this country,” she said. “We know there’s a minority of people that want no changes on gun laws. A majority of people don’t want the status quo. There are places in the process where we can make a difference. Not only do we need to identify the severely mentally ill and provide services to address the problem. And others around these individuals need to do a better job of not making firearms accessible.”

All of the guns that Newtown killer Adam Lanza carried into Sandy Hook Elementary were owned and registered by his mother Nancy with whom he lived.

A ceremony to remember the 20 children and six educators killed in the shooting will be held Saturday at 9:35 a.m. at Memorial Presbyterian Church, located in Phoenix at 4141 E. Thomas Road.