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) CHRIS DORST

  • People hold signs protesting gun violence during a rally in front of the United Building in Charleston, W.V., Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (Chris Dorst/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP) CHRIS DORST

Published: 8/19/2019 12:11:38 AM

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.

In Providence, Rhode Island, several dozen people gathered, some holding 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.

On Sunday, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh were among the speakers planning to participate in a rally calling for stricter gun control measures.

The two Democrats planned to join the Sunday afternoon event on Boston City Hall Plaza, organized by the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Organizers are pressing Congress to pass legislation to require background checks on all gun sales and a "red flag" bill to make it easier to take guns from people who may be suicidal or violent to others.

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.

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