Empire State Building tower goes orange for gun control
© Tammy Rosenfeld // Twitter

The Empire State Building shined orange on Friday night in solidarity with thousands of protesters across the country calling for an end to gun violence. 

The city of New York lit the building’s spire with the bright color in preparation for National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2. The move to illuminate the iconic building came as part of this year’s Wear Orange Campaign in remembrance of gun violence victims.

Saturday marks the third-annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day, when activists wear orange in a symbolic call to end gun violence.

After the ceremonial lighting took place Friday night, thousands of youth activists from all over the country converged Saturday in the “Youth over Guns” march, encouraging others to get involved in the ongoing fight against gun violence.

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Ramon Contreras, the 19-year-old founder of “Youth over Guns” told ABC 7 that more young people need to be involved in the issue. 

"Gun violence extends beyond the pull of a trigger. Some of the roots, it goes to a lack of funding, and lack of effort towards our public school educational system and lack of funding towards local gun violence prevention groups who work on this issue for years now and work on the ground with students, and they are getting the funding and attention that they need," Contreras said.

The events arrive just a few weeks after a Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting left 10 people dead.

Students have led the push for gun control in recent months after student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., became outspoken advocates for change to the nation's gun laws.