Ogden gun violence protest

A Weber State University student and other Weber County high school students have organized a protest against gun violence, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. This March 14, 2018, photo shows Weber High School students during a walkout to honor the victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting of Feb. 14, 2018.

OGDEN — Spurred by the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, a local activist, teaming with high school students, is organizing a demonstration to push for more action to halt gun violence.

The event, the Ogden Protest Against Gun Violence, is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. in front of Ogden City Hall, 2549 Washington Blvd.

Zach Thomas, a Weber State University sophomore and chairman of the Weber County Democratic Party, is helping organize the gathering, along with students from Weber High School, among others. He described the planned demonstration as a "call to attention" and a bid to keep the gun issue on the public radar.

Waning attention in the wake of incidents like the Aug. 3 El Paso and Dayton shootings "seems to be the tradition" and he's hoping to counter that tendency, he said. "That's kind of our message, we actually need to stick to it and get some legislative action."

Speakers will address the expected crowd, but Thomas didn't single out any particular call to be made by participants. He said he backs the proposed legislation Utah Rep. Brian King of Salt Lake City is expected to submit in the coming legislative session that would expand background checks for those buying guns.

As a Weber High School senior in early 2018, Thomas helped lead a student walkout calling for safer schools in the wake of the deadly shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018.

The El Paso shooting left 22 dead while the Dayton gunman killed nine.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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