AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado state Rep. Tom Sullivan believes Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s longtime advocacy for gun control is more than just talk. He thinks Bloomberg will take what he thinks is much needed action if he is elected to the White House.

Michael Bloomberg in Aurora on Dec. 5, 2019 (credit: CBS)

The former New York Mayor announced his plan to fight gun violence at Heritage Christian Center in Aurora early Thursday afternoon.

“He’s put together an organization with a lot of great people and we are making progress,” said Sullivan, a Democrat who worked with Bloomberg to organize Thursday’s event.

Tom Sullivan (credit: CBS)

The event is taking place near the movie theater complex where 12 people died and 70 others were hurt in the deadliest mass shooting in Colorado history.

Michael Bloomberg in Aurora on Dec. 5, 2019 (credit: CBS)

“This year in the United States, 12,000 people will be murdered with illegal handguns and 19,000 people will commit suicide with illegal handguns,” Bloomberg said Thursday.

“It just has to stop. No other developed country experiences losses from gun violence like we do here in America — not even close,” Bloomberg said. “Thirty-five people a day are murdered with guns, but for too many decades politicians just ignored the problem.”

Along with announcing his policy, Bloomberg is holding a roughly hour-long discussion with gun control advocates, gun violence survivors and families of mass shooting victims. The event is not open to the public.

Sullivan’s son Alex was killed in the 2012 shooting, at what is now the Century Aurora movie theater. Since then, he has entered politics and now represents Aurora in House District 37.

“When someone says Aurora — that’s the day my son was murdered,” he told CBS4.

Sullivan says his experience of losing a family member in a mass shooting is one that’s becoming far too common in America, and it’s important that the voices of family members of survivors like his be heard.

“This gives these candidates the opportunity to actually engage with and hear the personal stories,” Sullivan said.

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