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Student-Led Activists Rally For Gun Control

March For Our Lives

Carmel High School junior Zoe Koniaris speaks to the crowd during the second annual March For Our Lives Indiana at the Statehouse. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Student-led gun control organizations like We Live Indy and Students Demand Action gathered at the Statehouse Saturday.

They asked federal lawmakers to support the universal background check bill H.R. 8, which is now in the U.S. Senate after passing the House.

Carmel High School junior Zoe Koniaris says she’s hopeful.

“I think change is being made. And I hope in like, 10 years or so, this issue will have like been settled as best it can be,” Koniaris says.

Similar legislation to H.R. 8 in the state legislature failed to get a committee hearing. Ed Smith, the president of Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence, says they didn't have a chance.

"These bills were dead on arrival. These lawmakers turned their backs on Indiana students," Smith says.

Multiple speakers, like Olivia Carlstedt, were connected to the school shooting in Noblesville last May, where a student opened fire in a science class last years. She is a freshman at Ball State and helped launch the school's chapter of Students Demand Action.

“What happened in our school was unacceptable and it should not happen anywhere else,” Carlstedt says.

Activists say the nationwide student-led movement for gun control will not go away. Columbus East High School senior, Christian Omoruyi  says he hopes lawmakers know that.

“I hope that they take away that the young people of our country are not disconnected from our discourse. They are not standing idly by,” Omoruyi says.

Speakers addressed gun violence at all levels, from school shootings to domestic violence.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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