Sanders cheers students protesting gun violence: 'We are very proud'

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump's trade war — firing all cannons or closing the portholes? The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump rips 'ridiculous' spending bill | FBI dragged into new fight | Latest on Maryland shooting Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) on Wednesday addressed a crowd of students in Washington, D.C., participating in the national walkout to protest gun violence.

Speaking through a megaphone outside the Capitol, Sanders commended the students for “leading the nation in the right direction” and opposing the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“We are very proud of what you are doing,” the former presidential candidate said. “You, the young people of this country, are leading the nation.”

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“All across the country, people are sick and tired of gun violence, and the time is now for all of us together to stand up to the NRA and to pass commonsense gun legislation,” Sanders added.

The group, made up of hundreds of students, was just a fraction of the estimated thousands nationwide who walked out of their schools for marches, moments of silence or protests to mark one month since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead.

In the weeks since the shooting, students have intensified their calls for Congress to pass stricter gun and school safety laws.

Survivors of the Florida shooting have led the charge in the renewed conversation on gun reform, planning the March for Our Lives to be held in D.C. and other cities on March 24.