CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Local congressional leaders converged on downtown Chicago Wednesday as part of a nationwide effort to raise public awareness about the current stalemate in Washington over gun reform.
The rally included Chicagoans who have lost children to gun violence.
"This weekend we celebrate Independence Day...It's time for Paul Ryan and his Republican coherts to get free....free from the NRA,” said Reverend Michael Pfleger.
Chicago was one of many cities all over the country holding rallies in support of tougher gun laws.
The "National Day of Action" comes one week after House Democrats held a 24-hour sit in to protest congress's failure to act following the Orlando nightclub massacre.
Chicago Representative Jan Schakowsky called out fellow lawmakers for repeatedly ignoring the proliferation of gun violence that has plagued her district and the nation.
"The House of Representatives has had 27 moments of silence...moments of silence for mass shootings and for the victims and our hearts go out and we say our prayers and then the gavel sounds and it's back to business as usual,” Schakowsky said.
Chicagoans, mothers and fathers alike who have lost children to gun violence stood in support of one another. Delphine Cherry lost a son and daughter in two separate shootings 20 years apart.
“Tyler was like his sister Tyesa, a good kid..he worked at Walmart and was going to school to be an occupational therapist...he was targetted and shot and killed in front of my home in my driveway,” Cherry said.
The delegation of local Democrats is not demanding a major overhaul of existing gun legislation, but they do want the deadliest weapons off the streets of Chicago.
"When you have a weapon designed for a theatre of war that fires 900 rounds a minute, that has a thirty round clip or more you are not defending your home...you're not defending your business, you're not hunting deer, you're hunting people,” said State Rep. Mike Quigley
Ricky Pike was killed in a drive-by shooting while sitting in his car in Logan Park back in 2012. His mother, Maria, has been fighting for more stringent gun control laws ever since.
"It takes courage to vote for us...we know that...we know that this is not a sprint…this is a marathon,” Maria said.
FOX 32 reached out to Republican Congressman Bob Dold in the North Suburbs. He released a statement that reads in part:
.."Any effort that brings us closer to real progress on this issue... is a step in the right direction, but political talking points will not save lives... and partisan attacks do nothing to break through gridlock in Washington."