Some survivors of one of the deadliest school shootings in American history joined a march just outside Washington Saturday to protest National Rifle Association efforts to block gun control laws and bans on assault rifles.
The survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and staff members were killed February 14, joined the “March on NRA” at the lobbying group’s national headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.
Former fellow student Nikolas Cruz, who police said was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, has been charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder in the shooting and remains in custody in Florida.
Several students from Great Mills High School in a Maryland suburb near Washington also attended the rally. Great Mills students were pushed into the national spotlight after 17-year-old student Austin Rollins fatally shot 16-year-old classmate Jaelynn Willey and injured 14-year-old Desmond Barnes. Rollins died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a confrontation with a school resource officer.
Other anti-gun protests were planned around the country, according to the gun control advocacy group National March on NRA, which organized the events.
Protesters demanded that the Internal Revenue Service revoke the NRA's tax-exempt status, said access to downloadable blueprints for 3-D-printed guns should be prohibited, and called on lawmakers to approve tougher gun control laws.
Saturday's events were part of the "March for our Lives: Road to Change" tour, a national summer-long bus journey that honored victims of gun violence and encouraged young people to register to vote.