State Politics

Students to march in Raleigh for gun safety

Students demanding gun safety laws will march down Hillsborough Street to the state Capitol on Tuesday.

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church is sponsoring the march in response to the Florida high school shooting last week that left 17 people dead.

The march will begin at the church on Hillsborough Street at 5 p.m with a remembrance of the 14 students and three adults who lost their lives. A former student used a AR-15 assault rifle in his rampage through the high school in Parkland, Florida.

About 1,000 people are expected to march from Pullen to the state Capitol, said Bryan Lee, minister to youth and their families at Pullen.

Organizers are looking for 17 students from 17 different schools to march in honor of the Florida shooting victims, leading marchers to the Capitol while holding candles.

Parkland students who survived the massacre are speaking out for tighter gun laws. Surviving students are planning a March 24 protest march in Washington, and Parkland students plan to go to their own state capital Wednesday to talk to legislators about gun laws. President Donald Trump plans to meet with high school students this week.

In recent years, North Carolina, like other states, has focused on loosening gun laws rather than adding more restrictions. Rep. Larry Pittman, a Cabarrus County Republican, has recommended arming teachers in response to school shootings.

Lee said there’s a chance to change direction now.

“Now we’re dealing with the voices who are impacted the most, and these are the students,” Lee said. “I think this is going to be a very powerful message that is going to be sent to our legislators.”

The message isn’t to take away more guns, he said, but to have regulations to increase safety.

The church is also hosting a town hall against gun violence on Thursday organized by Carolina Peace Center, Triangle Indivisible Daily Call to Action, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense.

The aunt of a Parkland shooting survivor is schedule to speak, as are two students organizing a Raleigh march.

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner

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