SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Student advocates, gun violence survivors and locals rallied outside the California State Capitol in Sacramento to demand action on gun safety legislation. Friday's rally is part of a national movement called March For Our Lives.
Five rallies were held across the nation this week.
March 24 marks five years since the March For Our Lives movement began following the shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school that killed 17 students and staff.
While advocates acknowledge there has been progress over the years, they say more work needs to be done.
"These rallies are here to say that we're still here, we're still fighting and we're pushing for local legislation here in California because we know that local advocacy is some of the most impactful ways to get movements going," said Ezri Tyler, a national organizer with March For Our Lives.
One of the speakers at the rally was Jim Klipfel, a teacher at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita in Southern California. In 2019, two teenagers were killed and three others wounded at Saugus High School by a 16-year-old student before taking his own life.
"It has been a long and slow recovery for us," said Klipfel.
He said they are still recovering from the trauma and pain from the shooting.
Klipfel acted as a first responder that day to help save the lives of students.
"Unfortunately, we were one of many and it continues to grow, the count of these school shootings," he said. "Anything we can do to help people recover and prepare and move forward and move the needle on preventing other tragedies like this."
Organizers acknowledge California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, but say more work needs to be done.
They're pushing for the passage of California Senate Bill 2 which would set stricter conceal carry requirements.
But Second Amendment rights advocates are speaking out about the bill.
"SB 2 is a challenge and its a challenge because in many cases it allows both the state or more in particular local municipalities to create a hodgepodge of random restrictions and requirements," said Craig DeLuz, spokesperson for the California Republican Assembly.
DeLuz expressed concerned about how the requirements would impact holders of concealed carry permits.
"It also allows local municipalities to be able to make random restrictions as to when and where an individual is able to carry," said DeLuz. "Most of the places that you need to carry and you are not able to carry and one great example is places of worship. How many instances have we seen in the last decade of active shooter situations happening at places of worship?"
A committee hearing for SB 2 is set for next Tuesday.