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Heads of four Buffalo private schools join call for Trump to restrict access to assault weapons

The heads of four Buffalo-area private schools signed their names to an open letter from leaders of private schools across New York State asking President Trump to "address, and ultimately deny, unrestricted access to weapons and ammunition that have no legitimate sporting, recreational or protective purpose."

The letter was published Sunday in a full-page ad in the New York Times.

The local heads – Father David S. Ciancimino of Canisius High School, Bill Clough of Nichols School, Christopher Lauricella of the Park School in Amherst and Helen L. Marlette of Buffalo Seminary – were among 156 heads from around the state who put their names to the letter.

"We implore you, Mr. President and our national legislative leaders, to do everything necessary to stem this tide of senseless gun violence," they wrote in the letter published 11 days after a 19-year-old man killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The school leaders made a similar plea after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 first-graders and six adults dead.

"As the recent events in Parkland and the scenes of other mass shootings teach us, the easy and virtually unrestricted availability of highly lethal, semiautomatic assault weapons and ammunition places our schools, most especially our children, in jeopardy," they wrote. "... Never before have so many Independent School leaders in our region spoken with one voice on behalf of a single issue. We are moved to do so out of a duty to our students and all of our nation's children and we find inspiration in the voices and actions of the students who are refusing to go about business as usual. We stand ready to help this effort, and encourage our colleagues leading schools across the country to join us."

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