Demings to hold town hall on gun violence

Preparations are underway as hundreds of thousands of students get ready to rally against gun violence. Demonstrations are expected in Florida and across the entire country. 

The marches come just over a month after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  

The students are hoping to spark a national conversation which could lead to changes in gun legislation.  Significant measures have already been approved in the Sunshine State.

Central Florida Congresswoman Val Demings is holding a town hall meeting on Friday to discuss gun violence. 

"I think we're still grieving from what happened at Pulse Nightclub a year-and-a-half ago, and so our hearts go out to the Parkland family," Rep. Val Demings told FOX 35.  "I have to say, though, I am encouraged by the steps that Florida has taken to do something. For far too long, the state of Florida as well as congress has done absolutely nothing."

Demings, who once served as Orlando's police chief, said she wants the town hall to be a civil, but spirited, discussion, "talking about both sides of the issues," and she also hopes to discuss the role that mental health plays into the scenario. 

"As a police chief, I had an initiative that was focused on violent crime, reducing violent crime, but also, getting dangerous guns out of the hands of dangerous people.  We made significant strives there. This is America, where every person, I believe, living in the greatest country in the world, should have the right to go to church, to go to school, to go to a nightclub, to go to a movie theater, and not be gunned down."

The town hall meeting starts at 7 p.m. at  Valencia West Campus Special Events Center, 1800 S Kirkman Rd, Orlando.