Students and protesters march on State Capitol for stricter gun control laws

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Wednesday, an estimated 5,000 students and protesters marched on to the Capitol, demanding lawmakers pass meaningful gun control legislation.

Democratic lawmakers were joined by survivors of the Valentine's Day school shooting in their call to action.

Hundreds of students made the 20 minute march from FSU to the Capitol.

Students from FSU, FAMU, and around the state came to show support for the movement that began with the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Erfaan Mahmoodi, an FSU Student from Jacksonville said, "I don't want to be scared for my kids when my time comes to be a parent. I don't want to be scared for them when I leave them at school, when they go out to the movies, that they might get hurt in something like this."

Students from the high school took to the podium surrounded by Democratic lawmakers, demanding action from the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Rachel Catania, a sophomore from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School said, "If the government thinks something is not going to change they're sadly mistaken. No person should have to go through what my peers and I went through. How many more innocent people have to die before we make a change?"

Sheryl Acquaroli, a junior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School said, "You will not turn these 17 human beings into a statistic!”

Protesters feared counter protests, but they never happened.

The legislators spoke directly to the Republican majority, which has blocked their attempts at reform for years.

Some lawmakers say the goal of achieving an outright ban on assault rifles is slim to none, instead lawmakers will focus on mental health and background checks.

The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left the Capitol Wednesday night, but the movement seems to be gaining traction.

The students are also planing a march on Washington next month.