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Florida students board busses to state capitol with gun control message

Busloads of Florida students headed to the state capital Tallahassee to call for a ban on assault rifles, pressing on with protests after a shooting rampage at a high school that killed 17 teens and educators.

The students brought overnight bags and sleeping bags with them and said goodbye to parents in a parking lot in Coral Springs.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of returning to the high school from which he had been expelled and opening fire with a semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle on Feb. 14. He faces 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Last week’s killing, the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in U.S. history, has inflamed a national debate about gun rights and prompted teens across the United States to demand legislative action.

Alfonso Calderon witnessed the school shooting.

“It has to be more difficult for somebody who is mentally ill and disabled like him to acquire weapons of, weapons like an AR-15,” Calderon said.

Nearby, family, friends and ROTC members attended the funeral for 15-year-old ROTC student Peter Wang.

Gun ownership is protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and remains one of the nation’s more divisive issues.

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