Gun control advocates call for new gun laws at rallies

Tosha Pelfrey of Moms Demand Action speaks during a rally to protest gun violence n front of the United Building in Charleston, W.Va., Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (Chris Dorst/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)

Gun control advocates rallied around the country on Saturday, seeking to pressure Congress to tighten the nation’s gun laws after the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio and Northern California.

Demonstrators in Providence, Rhode Island, where several dozen people gathered. Some held signs that said, “Disarm Hate,” ”Enough” and “No One Needs a Weapon of War at Home.” In Baltimore, activists organized a march.

Protesters in Charleston, West Virginia, carried signs that called for changing Congress if it didn’t change gun laws.

Demonstrators also gathered in front of City Hall in San Francisco.

The group, Everytown for Gun Safety, announced recently that it planned to hold rallies over the weekend in every state. The group is demanding a strong federal “red flag” bill to allow seizure of weapons in certain cases and legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales.

Congress is on summer recess, but Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has asked committee chairmen to review possible gun bills for consideration when lawmakers return in September.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee announced Friday that they will be returning early to consider other gun-violence legislation. The House has already approved legislation bolstering background checks for gun purchases.

The gunmen in El Paso and Dayton killed a total of 31 people in back-to-back weekend shootings in early August that stunned the nation and revived calls to tighten access to firearms. Those shootings came days after another gunman opened fire at a festival in Gilroy, California, killing three people.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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