With this week’s terror attack in Orlando, a number of national online petitions calling for bans on “assault weapons” are circulating with some topping 500,000 signatures.

The nation was shocked Sunday with the news from Florida that 49 were killed in a mass shooting by a gunman in what is described by the U.S. Department of Justice as an act of terror. The weapons used by the terrorist, a semi-automatic rifle and handgun, have been the subject of grandstanding legislative debate and executive commentary in the days since.

One way the public is engaging in the discussion is through informal online petitions.

A MoveOn.org petition stating, “We need to ban all assault weapons now, while moving quickly to enact common sense gun reform,”  has over 550,000 signatures while a We The People petition to the White House to, “Ban the AR-15 from Civilian Ownership,” has accumulated 176,821 since June 12.

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