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Panel to explore issues involving gun violence

As the national debate continues over strategies for curbing gun violence, a local panel will explore the issue from several perspectives.The forum will include insights from a local judge, prosecutor and director of an agency that advocates for children.

“We’re convening a forum to discuss the guns in our communities and in our nation,” said Paul McQuillen, upstate coordinator for New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “What we’re concerned with is the easy availability of guns and what can be done to stop it.”

The panel discussion will begin at 7 p.m. tonight (2/23) at St. Joseph’s University Church Community Center, 3269 Main Street, Buffalo. McQuillen said the theme of the meeting is prevention.

He noted that Sen. Kristen Gillibrand is sponsoring legislation that would make it a federal felony to traffic guns. Gun control advocates have criticized what they consider a major flaw in current regulations.

“Nationwide, the loopholes allow people from New York State to travel to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the Virginias and buy guns at gun shows without having to subject themselves to background checks, and then bringing them back to Western New York.”

McQuillen told WBFO he will be part of a panel that includes Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case, Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty and Child Advocacy Center Director Judith Olin.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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