LAST_UPDATESat, 24 Mar 2018 9am

Florida Shooting Survivors To March On Washington For Gun Law Reform

Survivors of the shooting rampage at a Florida high school that killed 17 people are planning a march on Washington next month to pressure politicians to take action on gun violence.

A group of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland told CNN they were determined to make a difference on the issue.

The latest attack on the school north of Miami was the deadliest school shooting in the US in five years and the 18th so far in America this year.

A 19-year-old former student, Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Student organisers say the "March for Our Lives" campaign next month will demand that "their lives and safety become a priority", according to the campaign's website.

Speaking to US television, Cameron Kasky, a junior at the school, said the March 24 march will provide a time to talk about gun control.

"My message for the people in office is: you're either with us or against us," he said.

"We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around."

On Sunday, students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida focused their anger at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack had been needlessly divisive.

"You're the President. You're supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us," said David Hogg, a 17-year-old student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, speaking on NBC's Meet the Press.

"How dare you."

Mr Hogg was responding to Mr Trump's tweet on Saturday that Democrats had not passed any gun control measures during the brief time they controlled Congress with a supermajority in the Senate.

Mr Trump also alluded to the FBI's failure to act on tips that the suspect was dangerous while bemoaning the bureau's focus on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The US President was at his Florida estate but did not mention the attack in a series of morning tweets.

Florida politicians, meanwhile, scrambled to produce legislation in response to the Florida shooting.

In a TV interview, Republican senator Marco Rubio embraced a Democratic bill in the Florida legislature to allow courts to temporarily prevent people from having guns if they are determined to be a threat to themselves or others.

Names of the fourteen students and three teachers who died have been released by local authorities.

Governor Rick Scott, also a Republican, attended a prayer vigil near the school and is expected to announce a legislative package with GOP leaders of the legislature this week.

Emma Gonzalez, another student who survived the attack, cited Mr Trump, Mr Rubio and Mr Scott by name in a warning to politicians who are supported by the National Rifle Association.

"Now is the time to get on the right side of this, because this is not something that we are going to let sweep under the carpet," she said on Meet the Press.

The pointed comments by the students are the latest sign of increased pressure for gun control after the massacre.

The students have vowed to become the face of a movement for tighter firearm regulations and plan to visit the state capitol in Tallahassee this week to demand immediate action.

Organisers behind the Women's March, an anti-Trump and female empowerment protest, called for a 17-minute, nationwide walkout by teachers and students on March 14.

The Network for Public Education, an advocacy organisation for public schools, announced a day of walkouts, sit-ins and other events on school campuses on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado that left 12 students and one teacher dead