One year after Parkland, Minnesota students push for reforms to stop gun violence

February 14, 2019 06:20 PM

High school students and advocates of gun control reform lobbied lawmakers at the Minnesota State Capitol Thursday.

It came on the one-year anniversary of the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.


During a press conference, high school senior Muna Galbayte said she wants to feel safe when she goes to class.

"I wish I could stop being afraid, but no one has been able to tell me that I'm safe at school and that is terrifying," she said.

RELATED: Parkland school shooting 1 year later: A time to remember the victims

Galbayte helped organize the March for Our Lives event in St. Paul last spring. Hundreds of other students from Minnesota loaded into buses and went to Washington D.C. for the national march.

During those rallies, students called for gun control legislation.

Supporters of gun control like Athena Aitkins said that while students lead the fight for reforms, parents and adults also need to join in the effort.

"Teaching our children to hide from active shooters is solving the wrong problem because people who are prohibited from having guns shouldn't be able to get one," Aitkins said

RELATED: Gun-seizure laws grow in popularity since Parkland shooting

But opponents of gun control legislation said lawmakers should focus on bills related to school safety.

"The reaction (to Parkland) has been gun control bills," said Rob Doar of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. "These bills wouldn't have prevented the tragedies."

Two DFL-sponsored bills are expected to be heard in committee by the end of the month.

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Kirsten Swanson

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