Hundreds of people gathered Saturday morning in downtown Minneapolis as part of a nationwide wave of marches, rallies and protests calling for stricter gun laws in reaction to the nation's recent mass shootings.

"If this is democracy, the voice of the people is the law," March for Our Lives Minnesota organizer Erastus Williams said. "Enough is enough."

Speakers called for universal background checks, a reinstated assault weapons ban and accountability for elected officials who have not acted on gun safety. "Vote them out" was among the loudest chants of the two-hour rally and march.

"This is a public health crisis in America," Dr. Mary Tschida, a family physician in Coon Rapids, told the crowd. "You need to treat chronic disease but also prevent chronic disease."

About 500 people gathered at 12th and Washington avenues, drawing a steady stream of honks of support from passing drivers. Many then marched to City Hall, where they were asked to lie down as if in an active shooter drill.

"This is the reality of our children every day," said the Rev. Joy Caires, rector at St. Clement's Episcopal Church in St. Paul. "They have asked us for our silence so we can be safe."

Richard William Hofschulte said he grew up living in fear of guns in north Minneapolis. He doesn't want the same for his 4-year-old daughter.

"No child should live in fear," he said. "This is not new — we have been complaining about it for too long, and it feels like we're being ignored."

March for Our Lives events were scheduled Saturday in cities across Minnesota, including St. Cloud, Rochester, Brainerd, Grand Marais and Albert Lea.

Throughout the Minneapolis event, march organizer Williams urged attendees to write to their legislators and press for action.

"Listen to our voice," he said. "Americans have said enough is enough."