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The continued mass shootings in our society and in schools in particular have horrified the League of Women Voters of Montana. We watched the outspoken students of Parkland, Florida, plead for long overdue action to limit access to guns in our communities. Here in Montana, we rank sixth highest in the nation for deaths from firearms and the highest in the nation for suicides in the data for 2016 from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of suicides in Montana, 63 percent used firearms, according to data from Jan. 1, 2014 through March 1, 2016. We must be part of the groundswell of Americans demanding gun-safety legislation.

Since 1990, the national League of Women Voters has worked for revision of national gun laws. The League of Women Voters believes that the proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens. The League supports strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens.

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We have a responsibility to our children and all other citizenry to ensure a safe environment in which they can live productive and peaceful lives.

This letter is signed by League of Women Voters Montana President Nancy Leifer and Helena Area League of Women Voters Co-presidents Barbara Harris and Claudette Morton.

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