A student paints a sign to be carried at the “March For Our Lives” gun control protest in Los Angeles
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to take part on Saturday in a nationwide student-led protest for gun control called “March For Our Lives.”
Here are five key dates leading up to what is expected to be the largest demonstration for tougher gun laws in a generation:
– February 14 –
Nikolas Cruz, a troubled former student, shoots dead 14 students and three adult faculty members with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Arrested shortly after the shooting, the 19-year-old could face the death penalty.
– February 17 –
Emma Gonzalez, an 18-year-old Stoneman Douglas senior, captures national attention with a fiery speech at a rally for gun control in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “We are going to be the last mass shooting,” she says. “We are going to change the law.”
Under the banner #Enough and #NeverAgain, Stoneman Douglas students the next day announce plans to organize a nationwide protest for gun control, the “March For Our Lives.”
– February 21 –
US President Donald Trump meets at the White House with survivors of the Parkland shooting and suggests arming teachers and “very strong” background checks for gun purchases. The proposal to provide teachers with guns is roundly rejected by teachers’ unions.
Within days Trump is accused of backpedaling on the pledge to expand background checks.
– March 9 –
Florida Governor Rick Scott signs a bill backed by relatives of Parkland school shooting victims that restricts access to firearms and paves the way for some school staff to be armed.
The law raises the minimum age to purchase firearms in the state from 18 to 21 — a move opposed by the powerful National Rifle Association — bans modification devices that make a semi-automatic weapon fully automatic and increases mental health funding.
– March 23 –
The US Congress passes a spending bill that includes modest measures aimed at reducing gun violence. The move falls far short of calls by gun control advocates for steps like a ban on assault weapons and expanding background checks for gun purchases to include private sales.
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