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Activists to Rally Behind Gun Violence Prevention Legislation at Capitol

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EAST SACRAMENTO -- Inside an East Sacramento community center Sunday dozens with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America were preparing for their annual rally to be held Monday on the Capitol steps.

"We have Moms Demand Action volunteers from all across the state," said Wendy Wheatcroft with the Moms Demand Action California chapter.

The group was part of a grassroots movement of women and men fighting for public safety measures to stop gun violence.

The organization is planning to meet with lawmakers to advocate for gun violence prevention measures for their annual advocacy day while supporting Assembly Bill 1603.

"The bill that we are going to be pushing is called CalVIP," Wheatcroft told FOX40. "It’s actually a budget bill and it’s the first time any state will be asking for a budget of this type."

Wheatcroft says CalVIP, which stands for California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program, supports community-based violence intervention programs that can help reduce gun violence in California's hardest hit neighborhoods.

The group says the program is underfunded. So they're asking the state to increase funding by $30 million annually.

"Traditionally, California gives a $9 million budget for these violence intervention programs and $9 million is not enough," Wheatcroft said.

Mia Porter, from Los Angeles, flew in to share her personal story with the group.

"I had lost my brother over 25 years ago to suicide by gun," Porter said.

Porter says she was also a victim of gun violence. Now, she’s joining forces with women across the country and demanding more funding for programs to help others standing in her shoes.

"It’s all about taking action," she said.

The group is expected to return to the Capitol Monday around 10 a.m. as they kick off a rally. They’re scheduled to meet with lawmakers throughout the day.

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