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'Never back down': Embattled lawmaker Rep. Matt Shea speaks at Olympia gun rally

An investigation labeled Washington Republican Rep. Matt Shea as a 'domestic terrorist.'

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Several hundred gun owners, many with weapons in holsters or slung over their shoulder, rallied against proposed gun regulations on the Washington state Capitol steps Friday.

“Because they’re about to force a bunch of bills down our throat,” said Cowlitz County gun owner Todd Kelsay.

Lawmakers are expected to debate bills this year to expand background checks and limit magazine capacities to ten rounds.

A bill to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons could be debated as well.

“You can protect yourself with a handgun. You can protect yourself with a shotgun. But something like an AR-15 is something I don’t think we should be selling,” said Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island.

Rep. Matt Shea was one of several elected state legislators who spoke to gun owners during the morning rally.

The Republican has taken part in gun rights protests in Olympia before, but this year he’s fighting another battle.

After an investigation found Shea planned and participated in acts of domestic terror, everyone from Governor Jay Inslee to House Minority Leader, Rep. J.T. Wilcox, a Republican from Yelm, asked for Shea’s resignation.

Shea refused to step down.

Advice he gave gun owners concerned about new laws, “We should never back down. We should never quit," Shea said. "We want our children to experience freedom as well."

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