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'The laws have to change': Texas gun safety advocates rally in Austin

This comes in the wake of recent mass shootings across the nation, including one in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed.

AUSTIN, Texas — Gun safety advocates rallied near the Texas Capitol on Saturday calling on lawmakers to pass tighter gun laws.

This comes in the wake of recent mass shootings across the nation, including one in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed at an elementary school.

Liz Hanks, one of the organizers with Texas Moms Demand Action, said it's crucial for everyone to come together.

"We are victims of this gun violence epidemic at every level, and I have a voice and I am going to use it," Hanks said. 

The event was part of Wear Orange Weekend and National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 3. Nearly everyone at the event wore the color orange to honor the lives of those affected by gun violence.

Hanks said they're calling on the U.S. Senate to take action.

"The goal tonight is to talk directly to Sen. John Cornyn because he is in charge of these bipartisan talks about maybe passing some sort of background checks bill, and we want to encourage him to do that," Hanks said. 

The speakers at the event included local lawmakers, teachers, health professionals, survivors of gun violence and community organizations. 

"It's crazy what happened in Uvalde. It makes me sick and I'm so full of sorrow and the laws have to change," said Normal Laird, a former teacher who attended the event. 

Laird said it's hard to feel safe when mass shootings continue to happen. 

"We've had shootings in supermarkets, malls. I mean, come on, people. There's a big problem and we can no longer sweep it under the rug. We need to take action," Laird said.

Organizers said they hope there is real change so there can be a future where they won't have to host another rally against gun violence. 

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