PHOENIX — The Latest on Arizona events related to gun violence (all times local):
A number of Arizona state lawmakers have recognized high school students on spring break who sat in the galley during a legislative session after traveling to the Capitol in Phoenix to voice their concerns about gun violence.
Among them is Democratic Rep. Randy Friese, a surgeon who treated victims of a 2001 shooting in Tucson that critically wounded then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
Said Friese: “We hear you. Your life counts and your safety matters.”
Other lawmakers read statements the teens had written about why they are advocating for gun reforms and praised them for their civic engagement.
A few Arizona state lawmakers have met with small groups of high school students who traveled to the Capitol to share their concerns about gun violence. Among the legislators talking with the students Wednesday was Mesa Republican Rusty Bowers.
Bowers agreed with the young people that controls were needed for bump stocks, which can be attached to a semi-automatic rifle to enable the gun’s action to mimic automatic fire.
But 17-year-old student Jordan Harb said the meeting, while constructive, could have gone better.
Harb said of Bowers: “He is still not understanding of the emotional needs we have.”
Other students said they have found inspiration from the students who died in the Parkland, Florida shooting.
About 50 students and their supporters are rallying for gun reform outside the statehouse in Phoenix.
The teens, who are on spring break, congregated Wednesday before going to meet with lawmakers and sit in on a House session.
They wore painted white T-shirts with gun violence statistics to wear when inside the chamber as part of a national action aimed at drawing attention to the recent shooting of 17 high school students in Florida.
The students say they want Arizona legislators to ban so-called “bump stocks” that can be attached to a semi-automatic rifle to allow it to mimic automatic fire. They also want lawmakers to expand background checks and restrict guns for those who commit domestic violence.
Approximately 1,000 students protesting gun violence have gathered on the softball field at Xavier College Preparatory, a Catholic high school for girls in Phoenix.
The Wednesday morning event was among several around the city carried out as part of a national action to remember the 17 high school students recently killed in a shooting in Florida.
At Mountain Ridge High School in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, students walked to the football field where some stood in silence and others chanted “enough is enough.”
There also was a protest at Apollo High School in Glendale.
The Phoenix Union High School District, which has 17 schools, is among several major Phoenix-area school districts now on break. Others include Scottsdale, Mesa and Chandler unified school districts and Tempe Union High School District.
Some 400 students at a Jesuit-run private academy in Phoenix have gathered on an outdoor lawn to remember the 17 teens killed in a recent school shooting in Florida.
The name of each victim was called out and their photo carried to the front of the Wednesday morning gathering. About a third of 1,300 boys who attend Brophy College Preparatory Academy participated.
Student leader Nik Kirk says the action was student organized through the high school’s Advocacy Club. The 17-year-old junior said the teens wanted to make a statement about gun violence.
Kirk has told his classmates gathered outside that they “cannot stand idle as others’ schooling becomes endangered and fatal,” asking: “Does an AR-15 echo the message of Christ?”
Brophy President Adria Renke says she’s proud of the students, adding that fostering advocacy is part of the school’s mission.
An Arizona legislator who survived a mass shooting in which then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was critically wounded is saluting students participating in school walkouts over gun violence.
State Rep. Daniel Hernandez said in a Twitter post Wednesday that he stands “in solidarity with all of the young people walking to demand action on gun violence.”
Hernandez also said in his Twitter post that he’s reminded now that young people aren’t just the future but also what he called “vital voices NOW.”
The Tucson Democrat was an intern for Giffords in 2011 when he helped her immediately after she was shot in the head at a constituent event in the Tucson area.
The lawmaker told The Associated Press during a phone interview that he planned to give the students a “shout-out” during the House conducted its floor session later Wednesday.
Some Arizona high school students are expected to head to the state Capitol in Phoenix for a rally protesting gun violence such as the shooting recently took the lives of 17 people in Florida.
Seventeen-minute walkouts are scheduled Wednesday at a scattering of schools around Arizona. Phoenix’s high school district is on spring break this week.
One Phoenix elementary school is making Wednesday a “day of caring” in response to some of its older students expressing interest in participating in the national walkout.
Principal Mike Duff of the K-8 Madison Traditional Academy said many seventh- and eighth-graders expressed a desire to show support.
The school’s students will place pink ribbons on a school fence, with older students helping younger ones.