With the deadly shooting at a Florida school last week fresh in their minds, gun control advocates are expecting a large crowd at the Georgia Statehouse on Wednesday for their annual lobbying day.
Members from gun control advocate groups Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety hold the event annually, where they urge lawmakers to take action on changes to weapons laws.
Last year’s event brought about 150 attendees, organizers said. This year, organizers had to move the rally portion of the event outside to accommodate all of the people who plan to attend.
"Tomorrow's rally will demonstrate how so many Georgians are ready to channel their frustration and anger into meaningful action to help reduce gun violence,” said Anne Allen Westbrook, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action. “We refuse to allow our lawmakers to uphold the gun lobby's agenda while gun violence continues to threaten the lives of so many in our state.”
Gun control groups nationwide have stepped up their efforts to encourage changes to laws after a 19-year-old man shot and killed 17 people at a Parkland, Fla., high school on Valentine’s Day. Students from the school also have organized the March for our Lives rally to be held next month in Washington, D.C.
“It's long past time for us to work together on common sense solutions to combat gun violence in all corners of our society," Westbrook said.
State Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta, on Tuesday filed legislation that would ban the use of bump stocks, a mechanism that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns. State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, filed similar legislation. Oliver’s bill has yet to receive a hearing.
Wednesday’s event will begin with a rally at 10 a.m. in Liberty Plaza, before attendees will move inside to speak with lawmakers.