Gov. Mark Dayton lent his support to gun control advocates by declaring June 2 Gun Violence Awareness Day in Minnesota. 

A group of lawmakers, activists and law enforcement who pledged to reduce gun violence with measures like universal background checks held a news conference at the Capitol Thursday, even in the face of losses in the November election that left them without an obvious source of influence.

"Just over four years ago, I found myself on a path I did not choose, fighting a battle I did not start, advocating to change dangerous gun laws I never knew existed," said Lucy McBath, faith and outreach coordinator for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed in an argument over loud music at a gas station in Jacksonville in 2012. 

McBath was joined by Sen. Jeff Hayden, whose sister was killed by a stray bullet last year. She would have turned 26 Thursday. DFL lawmakers and some members of law enforcement were also there. 

Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action, which says it wants to reduce gun violence while respecting the Second Amendment, invested significant resources in the November election with limited success. Republicans took the Senate and strengthened their hold on the House, which means the Legislature is more likely to loosen, rather than tighten, gun laws.