Dozens gathered in front of Senator Richard Burr's office in Winston-Salem on Tuesday calling for stricter gun legislation in response to the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting. 

The student-led protest was organized in conjunction with the local group Winston for Peace. Protesters pointed out the Senator has accepted nearly $7 million from the National Rifle Association. 

During the open mic session of the rally, protesters also expressed their anger about the government's lack of initiative, said local representatives need to make gun regulations more rigid, and asked them to stop cutting mental health programs in schools. 

Grant Hutchinson is a student and one of the organizers of the protest. He says that this is just the first step to mobilization.

"We realize that sitting around is not going to change anything," says Hutchinson. "I've gone through my whole high school career hearing about shootings, and it is just like a sick reality that we're living in America. I'm really proud of my community but I also know this is just the first step, cause we need to get more active, we can't just stop after this."

Students say that the only way things will change is if people go out and hold their representatives accountable, not only by protesting but also by voting. 

This story was produced by a partnership between WFDD and La Noticia. You can read this story in Spanish at La Noticia.

Eileen Rodriguez is a reporter for both WFDD and La Noticia through Report for America, where she covers COVID-19's impact in the Latino Communities.

Periodista de La Noticia y 88.5 WFDD, Eileen Rodríguez reporta el impacto de COVID-19 en la comunidad Latina en Carolina del Norte. Rodríguez es miembro del cuerpo de periodistas de Report for America 2021-2022

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