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Hundreds of Michiganders against gun violence demand action after tragedy

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Students, lawmakers, and organizations against gun violence holds rally on the steps of the capitol

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Hundreds gathered on the lawn of the Michigan State Capitol to hear lawmakers, students, moms, and survivors of gun violence speak in support of new gun legislation.

An 11-bill package - which includes background checks - is making its way through the legislature.

It's already passed the House and is now working through the Senate.

The rally was organized by gun safety organization Giffords, former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords founded the organization a while after she almost lost her life after being shot in the brain during a 2011 mass shooting in the Tucson area. 

In addition, fellow Democrats and speakers were present such as: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Congresswomen Elissa Slotkin and Debbie Dingell.

As well as students, parents, teachers, hundreds of Michiganders and organizations against gun violence gathered on the steps of the capitol to not only have their voices be heard but to have their voices drive change.

Voices from all walks of life spoke to the importance of gun sense laws - ranging from high school and college students to lawmakers - all saying thoughts and prayers aren't enough action behind the push for the advancement of safe storage laws, extreme risk protection orders, and universal background checks as a part of legislation.

"I feel like people never realize it's personal until it is," said MSU freshman Asha Denny.

"I am a gun violence survivor, I go to U-of-M but my experience happened to me in my own home when I was in 2nd grade," said UofM student, Naomi Richelew.

"It's just getting closer and closer to us. I teach about 40 miles away from Oxford and it happened there. My son goes to MSU and he was a mile away from it," said James Aren, a father of an MSU student.

Supporters described the rally as - action after tragedy.

Going on to say that oftentimes people mourn the loss and then time goes on as memories fade but with the mass killings at Oxford High School last year and MSU last month - this time - a change is on the horizon.

"Now is a new day in the Michigan legislature. We have a gun sense majority for the first time in nearly 40 years," said president of Wayne State Students Demand Action organization, Megan Domprowski. "And they are finally willing to listen to us as students, as survivors, and they're finally willing to take action."

The Senate is expected to vote on the new legislation soon.

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