Thousands of people marched through Washington DC on Saturday to demand stricter gun laws.
Many protesters held signs bearing the names of gun-violence victims and slogans such as "Gun control now" and "What would Jesus pack?" as they demonstrated in the US capital.
Leading the crowd were marchers with We Are Sandy Hook signs, paying tribute to victims of a December primary school shooting
About 100 residents of Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 students and six school staff, travelled to Washington to take part.
Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials marched with them.
Once the crowd arrived at the Washington monument speakers expressed support for President Barack Obama's proposals for a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines and for universal background checks on gun sales.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the crowd that it wasn't about taking away gun rights guaranteed by the US Constitution but about safety and saving lives.
He said the government was committed to gun control laws.
"This is about trying to create a climate in which our children can grow up free of fear," Mr Duncan said.
"This march is a starting point, not an ending point. We must act, we must act, we must act."
The Senate's judiciary committee will hear arguments on tightening gun laws.
Leading the charge against them is the National Rifle Association, which wields enormous power to rally public sentiment and is a particular threat to Democrats in pro-gun states who face re-election.
But at Saturday's rally Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington's non-voting representative in Congress, said the gun lobby can be stopped and the crowd chanted back: "Yes, we can."
She added: "We are all culpable if we do nothing now."