The recent mass shootings seen across the country have propelled the renewed calls for more gun control and safety laws.
Rallies for gun violence awareness are being held across the tri-state area -- including one on Thursday at a high school in West New York, New Jersey, that U.S. senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker attended.
The gun safety rally at Memorial High School was an emotional gathering as 19 empty classroom desks and two larger ones were set up in the school's front lawn to represent the students and teachers killed in the Uvalde school shooting.
Students walked out in protest chanting "No justice! No peace!" before the senators spoke along with the head of the NJEA teachers' union.
Prior to the rally at Memorial High School, both senators were planning on meeting with student leaders to hear their ideas and thoughts on what they want to see from Congress on gun reform.
In yet another rally at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, empty chairs set up on campus represent the daily victims of gun violence: red chairs representing those who lost their lives by suicide, blue chairs representing those who were murdered, and yellow chairs representing accidental shooting deaths.
All this comes as the Garden State is trying out a new way to tackle gun violence through a hospital intervention program where staff members and social workers help identify patients who are prone to become victims of gun violence or an offender, especially keeping an eye on teenagers.
Meanwhile, in Congress at the House Judiciary Committee, there is an emergency session scheduled on a package of bills on gun violence prevention called Protecting Our Kids Act. Among some of the provision in that collection of bills is one to increase the legal age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years old.