(Reuters) Jillian Soto was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a New England highway when she learned over Facebook that her older sister Vicky, a first-grade teacher in Newtown, Connecticut, had died in a shooting.

In the six months since, Soto said she has become an accidental activist for gun control measures, like expanded background checks in gun purchases, and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

Soto, who is 24, travels regularly to Washington to meet with lawmakers. Those trips continued even after April, when a background checks bill that enjoyed broad popular support failed in the U.S. Senate.

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