New York-Julianne Moore and Melissa Joan Hart were among 1,200 protesters calling for tighter gun control legislation at a New York march on Saturday.

The Oscar-winning actress and TV star Melissa marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall in lower Manhattan in solidarity with campaigners at Moms Demand Action, reports the New York Post.

“What do we want? Gun sense! When do we want it? Now!” they chanted as they made their way from Cadman Plaza across the bridge.

The gun control group is backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the march is now in its fourth year. It was first held in January, 2013, a month after the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Organisers at Moms Demand Action, along with officials at Everytown for Gun Safety, of which Julianne is a supporter, are campaigning for measures which include closing loopholes in existing background check laws, tighter regulations for gun dealers, and efforts to encourage gun owners to store their guns locked and unloaded. “I fervently believe that this is not a partisan issue,” Julianne said at the rally. “This is not an an anti-gun or pro-gun argument. This is not a second amendment issue, it does not deserve to be hotly debated as such. It is a safety issue. A majority of us are on the same side, and yet our federal government seems to be deadlocked.”

Both Julianne and Melissa reveal they were forced to take action after the atrocities that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on 14 December, 2012. Twenty children, aged between six and seven years of age, were shot dead by 20-year-old Adam Lanza. He also fatally shot six adult staff members before taking his own life.

Melissa recalled hearing the news while she was at home in Connecticut with her husband. At the time, one of her sons was the same age as the children killed in the massacre. She said, “The first thing I thought was, ‘This couldn’t really be happening in Connecticut.’ I didn’t think it could be anything really serious in Connecticut.”

She yelled at her husband to “bring my baby home to me”, and admitted the news “shook my world”.

Many parents at the march held up photos of the children they have lost to gun violence. Among them was Barbara Parker, whose daughter Alison was shot dead on live television last August (15) while conducting an interview in Virginia. She said the 24-year-old was “a victim of an angry man who should never been able to purchase a gun”.

“Nothing will bring back Alison,” she continued. “But we will not stop until every one of the NRA (National Rifle Association) funded politicians who offer thoughts and prayers but do not act are voted out of office.”