Gun owners bear arms at state Capitol rally

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 11:17 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gun owners exercised their right to bear arms at the state Capitol Friday.

About 200 owners had their handguns on their hips or rifles slung over their shoulders during the four hour rally on the Capitol lawn.

At the "2nd Right Rally," one woman wore a t-shirt that read “A Woman’s Right To Choose,” which included photos of handguns. Others carried signs reading “Don’t take my Right to Protect myself!” and “Shall Not Be Infringed.”

Amanda Hertel took her nine milimeter handgun into the legislative building to tell lawmakers they should not pass any laws to restrict gun ownership. It is currently legal for licensed gun owners to bring weapons into the Capitol.

Hertel is afraid lawmakers may pass laws in reaction to recent shootings that end up punishing responsible gun owners.

"It's not fair to us. Our rights are being taken away because of a couple of stupid people," said Hertel.

No bills have been introduced to seize anyone's weapons, but next week the state will hold public hearings on two gun-related bills.

One would require background checks for all gun sales. Another requires gun owners to lock up their weapons if children are in the home.

The Department of Enterprise Services says organizers worked with the department and the Washington State Patrol to conduct their demonstration in a manner that would not be perceived as threatening.

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