LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Community leaders and people who have been affected by gun violence were at the Capitol on Wednesday, demanding change.

The rally on early Wednesday afternoon was part of several across Michigan to raise awareness about gun violence.

Speakers at the rally, which included local religious leaders, touched on some major changes they hope to achieve, and they want them done within the first 100 days of the new state legislature.

“Our legislature’s failure in action cost kids’ lives. But there’s a new day here in Lansing,” said Bonnie Perry, Bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in the United States.

Organizers of the rally discussed four major points:

  • Make it harder for kids to access guns
  • Put more restrictions on the ability of convicted domestic abusers to own firearms
  • Make it harder for people with mental health concerns to possess a gun
  • Add universal background checks

“That’s what we’re talking about today, is trying to regulate some of these things and make people safer. None wants to interfere with anybody’s constitutional right to defend themselves. We just want to make Michigan safer,” Jonathan Gold, President of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety.

People at the rally also shared stories about how they’ve been affected firsthand by gun violence, including State Representative Brenda Carter from Oakland County.

“What I want to accomplish while I am in the legislature, is [to ensure] that no mother, no parent, no family member ever has to go through the pain that I live with every single day,” Carter said.