Pro-gun rallies held in state capitals, accidental shootings mar gun shows
Albany, NY, United States (4E) – Thousands of gun owners held rallies in state capitals Saturday to protest the planned nationwide ban on assault weapons and other gun control measures as accidental shootings in different gun shows injured five people.
Guns Across America organized the rallies, which drew participants carrying assault weapons, American flags and banners bearing gun rights messages in Albany, Austin, Hartford, Olympia and Salem.
Pro-gun rallyists at the New York state capitol in Albany numbering about 2,000 included Republican assemblyman Steven McLaughlin, who called Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recently enacted gun control law an abuse of power.
A thousand gun owners showed up in Hartford, Connecticut and urged the state legislature and Gov. Dannel Malloy not to introduce new restrictions on gun ownership. It was in the state’s town of Newtown that triggered a gun control frenzy after a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 20 graders and six adults last month.
Demonstrators in Austin numbered 600 while a thousand attended the Washington State Guns Across America event in Olympia bringing with them their pistols and semi-automatic rifles. The crowd cheered Yakima-area State Representative David Taylor when he announced a plan to introduce a bill exempting Washington state from any gun control laws to be passed by the U.S. Congress.
The Olympia rally did not please religious leaders as it coincided with Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth anniversary. Rev. Dr. Sandy Brown, pastor at Seattle’s First United Methodist Church, labeled the organizers as insensitive as King was felled by an assassin’s bullet.
In Salem, the front steps of the Oregon State Capitol overflowed with 3,000 Second Amendment supporters carrying shotguns, hunting rifles and revolvers. They expressed opposition to President Barack Obama’s planned ban on assault weapons and 10-round magazines. They also disagreed with Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, on their support for tougher gun laws.
Meanwhile, a 12-gauge shotgun accidentally discharged at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday as its owner tried to show it to a security entrance officer for inspection. Pellets hit two bystanders and injured a retired deputy sheriff in the hand.
Owner Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, brought the shotgun to the show to sell it. The incident is under investigation to see if charges will be filed against Wilson.
At the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife show at Indiana’s state fairgrounds in Iidianapolis, Emory L. Cozee shot his own hand with his .45-caliber semi-automatic while leaving the event, according to police. Cozee was treated at a hospital and will not be charged for the accident.
At a Conrad and Dowdell Productions gun show in Ohio, a buyer of a loaded Taurus semi-automatic 9 mm handgun accidentally shot his business partner in the arm and thigh. The victim was treated at a hospital.