Several thousand people turned our Saturday morning for Bellingham's March for Our Lives demonstration against gun violence.
The student-led rally at City Hall attracted marchers of all ages, from toddlers to seniors, along with drum corps and dogs. Bellingham police put the crowd at up to 3,000.
Under cloudy skies, marchers took off about 11 a.m. and walked south on Grand and Bay streets to Holly Street, returning to the civic center on Commercial Street, police said.
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Some 20 members of Students for Action, representing all four Bellingham high schools, planned to join an estimated 500,000 people expected to attend the student-led March For Our Lives to limit firearms access in Washington, D.C. They raised $16,362 of their GoFundMe goal of $15,000.
Saturday's marches are part of renewed grass-roots focus on gun violence, gun control and school safety that has swept the country since the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
Washington state recently outlawed "bump stock" devices, which make a semiautomatic rifle perform like an automatic gun.
State lawmakers are also considering other measures that supporters say will reduce gun violence, including tougher background checks and raising the age to 21 for purchase of semiautomatic rifles and some shotguns. That bill is undergoing discussion in a Senate committee, according to an online legislative post.
Meanwhile, students in Bellingham and around the nation have organized and led walkouts and rallies that focused on school safety and gun violence.
After their Feb. 21 walkout and rally, students at Bellingham schools had a more low-key observance for the National School Walkout on March 14. Instead of leaving campus, they gathered at school for information presentations and wrote letters to politicians, victims and survivors.