Chaos erupted inside the Tennessee Capitol building on Thursday as protesters demanded lawmakers enact stricter gun control legislation in response to a recent mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville.
About 400 demonstrators gathered outside the capitol building before a large group of them rushed inside, carrying signs and chanting slogans such as “No action, no peace!” and “What do we want? Gun control! When do we want it? Now!”
Inside the Capitol chamber, one Democrat used a bullhorn to address the assembly, shouting, “No action, no peace.”
Video footage shared on social media showed Tennessee Highway Patrol state troopers attempting to help lawmakers access a restroom, but a rowdy mob of protesters made it difficult for anyone to pass.
The protest was organized by a Tennessee nonprofit called AWAKE, which seeks to improve conditions for women and children.
The group collaborated with community organizations and individual citizens to organize the rally.
“We have collaborated with community organizations and individual citizens to organize a rally at the State Capitol Thursday morning. If you are looking for a way to channel your grief, anger, and confusion into action- please join us,” AWAKE posted in a message on social media.
Protesters included high school and college-age students, as well as a high school teacher from New Jersey named Jack, whose father is a teacher at the Covenant School where the shooting occurred.
Jack called for more gun control and said lawmakers would have “blood on their hands” if they don’t take action on gun control legislation.
The shooting at the Covenant School on Monday left three adults and three 9-year-old children dead.
The shooter was identified as a 28-year-old transgender individual and described by Nashville Police Chief John Drake as engaging in a “targeted attack.”
Tennessee Democrats advertised the event in the days leading up to it, encouraging people to attend and “raise your voice at the capitol to advocate for an end to gun violence and stronger gun laws in TN.”
The protest resulted in at least one demonstrator being detained and released amid the chaos.
Lawmakers have since resumed their business.