“Red Flag” gun laws are focus of Senate hearing as activists urge Congress to act

Washington D.C.

On the day the federal government began enforcing a ban on so-called bump stocks—devices that can turn a rifle into a machine gun–America’s gun laws took center stage at the US Capitol. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “red flag” gun laws. They would allow law enforcement to confiscate weapons from people who are a threat to the community.  

Members of March for Our Lives, the anti-gun violence group formed after the Parkland, FL, High school shootings, joined lawmakers for a news conference demanding lawmakers take action. 

“We’re here today to say enough is enough,” said Eve Levenson, March for Our Lives activist.

They said it with 10-foot letters on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, spelling out “Your complacency kills us.” 

The March for Our Lives activists repeated that message during a news conference with lawmakers. 

“Mass shootings don’t end until we act, ” said Matt Deitsch, activist. 

The activists are high school and college students who know gun violence too well. They came back to the Capitol one year after the March for Our Lives protest flooded streets in Washington and around the nation. They want Congress to pass new laws to stop gun violence. 

They marked 735 mock graves, representing the number of Americans killed by guns every week. 

Red and white flowers formed a bullseye with a student in the middle.  

Jammal Levy helped design the display. He lost his best friend in a school shooting in Parkland Florida last year.  He said, “There’s a mirror on the face of the student because each grave could be one of us.” 

While the activists rallied outside the capitol, inside a Senate committee held a hearing on a new gun bill. It’s designed to temporarily take away weapons from people found to be at risk of violence.” 

Senator Cory Booker, D-NJ, said, “There is just too much carnage in our country.”

The so-called “Red Flag” laws are already on the books in more than a dozen states.

Congress seems unlikely to pass broad policy changes at the federal level.  

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