A few hundred people turned up on the Capitol Campus in Olympia Friday for a rally aimed at showing support for gun rights.
Many at the “2nd Right Rally” came carrying pistols and rifles, which is legal under the state’s “open carry” law.
Legislators are currently considering a number of gun control bills in the wake of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Attorney Jim Conant told the crowd he was recently gifted his first gun and decided to research the Second Amendment after the Connecticut shootings.
“I’m not a gun nut, but the more research I did it became clear. What they were worried about was tyrannical government. What they were worried about was oppressive government,” he said.
Among the legislation being considered is House Bill 1588, which would expand universal background checks for firearms transfers. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the bill next week.
“There’s more gun restriction now than there every has been in history,” said Cody Leigh, a 24-year-old gun owner from Lacey. “When you hear universal background checks it sounds nice, but I wouldn’t be able to buy a gun for my dad for his birthday. If my dad passes away, I wouldn’t be able to inherit his gun collection. It’s just kind of ridiculous,” Leigh said.
The crowd was much smaller than 1,500 state officials had anticipated. A similar rally in January drew nearly 1,000 to Olympia.
The Department of Enterprise Services and the Washington State Patrol worked with organizers to make sure their actions were not perceived as threatening.