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Lawmaker proposes making Giffords shooting national memorial

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2014, file photo, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords pumps her fist as she testifies before a Washington state House panel in Olympia, Wash. Giffords will begin a nine-state tour in Maine on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, where she will advocate for tougher gun laws that she says will help protect women and families. Giffords, who was severely wounded by a gunman in 2011, will seek to elevate the issue of gun violence against women and push for state and federal action to make it more difficult for domestic abusers to get a hold of firearms. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

In this Jan. 28, 2014, file photo, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords pumps her fist as she testifies before a Washington state House panel in Olympia, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

A planned memorial for the victims and survivors of a Tucson mass shooting that targeted U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords could become part of the National Park System.

Congresswoman Martha McSally, R-Ariz., plans to introduce legislation to make the January 8th memorial in Tucson a permanent national memorial. She plans to introduce the legislation Friday to make the memorial an affiliated area of the National Park Service.

McSally is expected to hold a news conference on Friday announcing the introduction of the “January 8th National Memorial Act.”

The January 8th Memorial is expected to be completed in 2018.

Shooter Jared Loughner killed six and injured 13, including Giffords, who was shot in the head on Jan. 8, 2011. He was sentenced to life in prison.

January 8th Memorial Foundation Board President Dorothy Kret said the national designation would recognize that the shooting affected people outside of the Tucson community.

“This is national recognition that what happened here in Tucson didn’t only impact just Tucson. There were a lot of people all around the country, all around the world who were really impacted by this, by the fact that we lost six lives, by the fact that 19 people were injured, by the fact that an attack took place on our right as individuals to speak with our congresspeople and to have civil discourse,” Kret said.

Ross Zimmerman, whose son, Gabe Zimmerman, was killed in the shooting, said he hopes the proposed national memorial will allow people to reflect.

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