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Big turnout expected for weekend Moms Demand Action protest at Statehouse

Moms Demand Action will protest at the Indiana Statehouse Saturday, pleading for Indiana senators to vote in favor of legislation around background checks and red flag legislation.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Two mass shootings in August alone left America stunned after 31 people died from the sprees in El Paso and in Dayton.

Moms Demand Action is a group that started in Indiana and has grown to include a chapter in every state.

One Indiana mom happened to be at their convention in Washington, D.C. when the El Paso attack happened. She, along with hundreds of others, immediately changed gears and went to the White House to protest, calling for gun reform.

"It felt good to yell it out. It felt good that we had people stopping along the street and asking who we were and why we were protesting. I signed up four volunteers that night and it feels like it gives you power," Jennifer Haan said.

The group hopes to keep that momentum alive Saturday in Indiana.

Sending that message of unity in numbers is part of the goal behind Saturday's rally for people who are anticipated to come from all over the state, including groups from Evansville and South Bend.

"They'll know that their voices aren't just going to Senator Young and Braun's inbox — that it's not just being heard by a staffer, because we know that if we have enough people there, they can't ignore us," Haan explained.

Moms Demand Action is are asking Senators Braun and Young to vote yes on a House passed background check bill and red flag legislation.

"In Indiana, you don't have to have a background check if you're purchasing a gun online. We believe in the Second Amendment; we believe that if you are a person who is law abiding and is not a threat to others, then by all means you should be able to own guns, but owning guns comes with responsibility," Haan said.

She felt compelled to join the group several years ago after noticing a disturbing trend that hit close to home.

"When I was a first-year teacher, the shooting at Virginia Tech happened; when I was icing the cake for my son's first birthday, Sandy Hook happened; and when I was at his Kindergarten Valentine's Day party, Parkland happened. I should remember those days because of the good things that happened," Haan said.

The rally Saturday morning starts at 11 a.m. at the south steps of the Statehouse.

Their sister organization — Students Demand Action — is having a rally at the same time at Ball State University at the Art Museum quad.

A large turnout is expected, partly because Haan says that after every mass shooting in America, their organization sees an increase in new members.