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Hundreds in San Francisco Join Nationwide 'Recess Rally' for Gun Control

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP/BCN) -- Hundreds of people rallied outside of San Francisco City Hall on Saturday morning to demand new gun control legislation in response to several mass shootings and an ongoing epidemic of gun violence.

The rally was organized by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America, a group founded in the wake of a 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 elementary school-aged children were killed in addition to six staff members.

Saturday's rally was one of dozens of "Recess Rallies" held across the country.

Among the speakers at Saturday's rally was San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who recalled growing up in public housing in San Francisco. One day when she was 12 years old, she said while she was hanging out with friends she saw a gunman come through the neighborhood shooting, killing a man she knew.

"He was a good guy, had a great future, and it was tragically lost to senseless violence," Breed said. "I think about him all the time because I think about the fact that in the Western Addition and other communities in San Francisco, gun violence continues to persist."

Recent mass shootings in Gilroy as well as in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, have killed and wounded dozens. But organizers of Saturday's action stressed, like Breed, that gun violence in the U.S. is hardly limited to mass shootings and there is a steady pace of homicides and suicides by guns killing roughly 100 people in the U.S. every day.

"This is more than mass shootings; in recent weeks, gun violence has devastated Baltimore, Canoga Park, Newport News, Brooklyn and Chicago," organizers wrote in a statement. "This is a public health crisis that demands urgent action."

In Baltimore, activists organized a similar march.

Protesters in Charleston, West Virginia, carried signs that called for changing Congress if it didn't change gun laws.

Congress is on summer recess but the Senate majority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has asked committee chairmen to review possible gun bills for consideration when lawmakers return in September.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Bay City News and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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