Students Arrested for Protesting at Paul Ryan's Office Following Santa Fe High School Shooting in Texas

Four teenaged students calling for increased gun control were arrested during a sit-in at the U.S. Capitol on Friday afternoon following the deadly school shooting in Texas that left 10 dead and 10 others wounded.

The students, members of Montgomery County Students for Gun Control based in Maryland, were protesting outside the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan, urging him to put forward additional gun control legislation before he retires.

Four out of eight of the students who attended the protest were arrested and charged with misdemeanor offenses of "crowding, obstructing," according to The U.S. Capitol Police.

More than 400,000 viewers watched the protest unfold via live stream. The students, who were outnumbered by uniformed officers, quietly laid down in a hallway of the congressional building, wearing taped signs that read "allow the vote." One of several officers monitoring the scene told the students that "any further demonstrating will result in arrest," but four of the students remained stationary and didn't respond.

About 20 minutes into the video, police officers can be seen arresting the students, using what appear to be plastic zip ties as a substitute for handcuffs.

Daniel Gelillo, a member of Montgomery County Students for Gun Control, did not attend the protest but posted pictures of the incident to Twitter. In an interview with Newsweek, Gelillo said his group knew protesting might lead to arrest, as it had for other students staging gun control demonstrations in the wake of a series of shootings at school campuses across the country.

"It's important to take a stand because the needle is not going to move on this issue unless we take action, mobilize, and inform people now," Gelillo said. "...Putting your body on the line is a small price to pay to make sure that others don't have to die, in my opinion."

The arrest of the four students sparked outrage on Twitter. David Hogg, a student survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, praised the students on Twitter and lambasted Ryan for failing to support the students.

According to Rosie Silvers, one of the arrested students, Representative Jamie Raskin sat with the teenagers while they waited in a holding cell.

"I represent high school students who have done more to advance the cause of gun safety in one day than Speaker Ryan has done in the entire 115th Congress," Raskin later tweeted. "Proud of all of you organizers for your actions today & every day."

I love these kids almost as much as @SpeakerRyan loves arresting students practicing their First Amendment rights to peacefully protest. #AllowTheVote

— David Hogg 📢 (@davidhogg111) May 18, 2018

Although the students have been advocating for increased gun control for several months, Friday's protest was in direct response to the devastating shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Police arrested Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student, who allegedly shot and killed nine students and one teacher and also planted explosive devices on school grounds.

— MoCo Students For Change (@moco4change) May 18, 2018
Student gun control protests
A student participates in a protest against gun violence outside the White House in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images