[image-1] The local student group that helped organize last year’s March for Our Lives has announced plans for an anniversary event at Riverfront Park, the same location as last year’s energized and emotionally-charged sister march.

The demonstration will take place at the North Charleston park from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sun. March 24.

Students from high schools throughout the Lowcountry helped organize and run last year’s march, which also took place on March 24. It was planned in solidarity with the national March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. after 14 students and three staff members were gunned down at a high school in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14, 2018.
[content-4] The Washington, D.C. march drew about 200,000 people, according to a Virginia-based firm that calculates crowd sizes using areal photos, CBS News reported.

“This year’s protest will primarily focus on gun violence in the Charleston-area and across South Carolina to raise awareness about the crisis and pressure lawmakers to address the issue,” according to a press release from Lowcountry Students for Political Action.

In South Carolina, 893 people died due to firearms in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 40,000 people nationwide were killed by guns in the same year, a 20-year high, according to The Trace.

Last month, LSPA held a rally on the steps of the South Carolina Statehouse in support of Senate bill 154, which was sponsored by Sen. Marlon Kimpson of Charleston. If passed, the bill would shorten the amount of time that clerks of court, municipal judges, and magistrates have to report certain violations to the State Law Enforcement Division.
[content-2] It would also extend the wait time for federal background checks to five days. Under current law, licensed gun dealers can proceed with a sale if the FBI doesn’t find anything to stop it within three days.

The three-day window came to be known as the “Charleston loophole” after white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine worshippers at Emanuel AME church in downtown Charleston in 2015.

Roof bought the gun he used for the massacre after the FBI, lacking sufficient information from a previous arrest, cleared the sale.

On the federal level, Charleston U.S. Reps. Jim Clyburn and Joe Cunningham have filed legislation to extend the background check review window to 10 days, allow the purchaser to request a review after that period, and then only let the purchase to move ahead if the check is not completed in 10 more days.

Kimpson’s bill currently resides in the Senate Judiciary Committee.