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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A group of around 400 people rushed into the Tennessee state capitol building in Nashville on Thursday morning to protest for stricter gun laws following the mass shooting at the Covenant School earlier this week.
Around 500 protesters gathered at 8:00 a.m. local time before a large group of them moved into the capitol building carrying signs and shouting, “No action, no peace!” and “What do we want? Gun control! When do we want it? Now!”
Footage from inside the state capitol showed at least six Tennessee state troopers holding back a crowd of angry protesters as they attempted to reach lawmakers.
Emotions outside the House Chambers are still high. Protesters are wanting to talk to lawmakers as they run to bathroom. This young person was briefly detained but let go. @NC5 pic.twitter.com/ybetfQ1fsZ
— Kelsey Gibbs (@kelseymgibbs) March 30, 2023
BREAKING: LEFTISTS STORM TENNESSEE CAPITOL pic.twitter.com/tvgegge8hL
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 30, 2023
A Tennessee nonprofit called AWAKE planned the protest. The group seeks to improve conditions for women and children, according to The New York Post.
“We have collaborated with community organizations and individual citizens to organize a rally at the State Capitol Thursday morning. If you are looking for a way to channel your grief, anger, and confusion into action- please join us,” AWAKE wrote in a social media post earlier this week.
Capitol police escorted members of the legislature to the restroom as protesters crowded and shouted. Portions of the crowd, which was made up mostly of high school and college-age protesters, dispersed around noon and most had left the building by 1:00 p.m. Lawmakers have since resumed their business.
One protester, a high school teacher from New Jersey named Jack, told The Daily Wire that his father is a teacher at the Covenant School. Jack joined the protest to call for more gun control and said that lawmakers would have “blood on their hands” if they don’t take action on gun control legislation.
Tennessee Democrats advertised for the event in the days and hours leading up to it, encouraging people to attend and “raise your voice at the capitol to advocate for an end to gun violence and stronger gun laws in TN.” The Daily Wire reached out to the Tennessee Democratic Party, and this story will be updated with any response.
Tennessee Democrats advertised for the event in the days and hours leading up to it, encouraging people to attend and "raise your voice at the capitol to advocate for an end to gun violence and stronger gun laws in TN."
I have reached out to them for comment. pic.twitter.com/2Mi65yTBeJ
— Zach Jewell (@zach_d_jewell) March 30, 2023
On Monday morning, a 28-year-old female shooter who identified as a man, shot her way into the Covenant School in Nashville before murdering three adults and three 9-year-old children. The shooter was engaged by police on the second level of the school around 10:27 a.m., 14 minutes after the first call was made to police, Nashville authorities said in a press conference. Nashville Police Chief John Drake said the shooting was a “targeted attack.”
Brandon Drey and Leif Le Mahieu contributed to this report.