MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The issue of gun violence made its way to the University of Minnesota Friday as former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a shooting victim and advocate for gun control, and her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, held a roundtable discussion.

The talk focused on what they call sensible gun laws, which include universal background checks.

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Surrounded by gun owners, politicians and advocates pushing for change, Giffords and Kelly did their own campaigning.

“It’s time to stand up for what’s right. It’s time for courage,” Giffords said. “We must do something. We must stop gun violence.”

Over the course of an hour, they heard from members of law enforcement, students and people who have lost loved ones to gun violence.

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Every time I start a new class I look at the exits and entrances to go through my plan each period,” said Sidney Lewis, a high school student.

In the afternoon, Giffords and Kelly were joined by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, for a town hall meeting.

“No matter the number of figures in your bank account and no matter the digits in your zip code, you matter as a person and that’s why we are all here today,” said David Hogg, with March for Our Lives.

“I think they are moving the needle, I think this is driven by them,” said Isaiah Ogren, a University of Minnesota student. “Again, that’s the beauty of what they’ve started, that they are what’s generating all this energy and they are truly leading it.”

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In response to Friday’s gun safety events, the Republican Party released a statement saying they fully support the Second Amendment and that the right to bear arms is a fundamental guarantee of the Constitution.

John Lauritsen