DENVER — Gun owners rallied across the nation for the first ever Gun Appreciation Day on Saturday.
At Denver’s State Capitol, 600 people united with signs and flags in resistance to growing calls for gun control.
“We’re fighting for the Second Amendment, and we want everyone to know we feel very strongly about it,” Lilly Alvarez said, who attended the rally with her adult daughter.
President Barack Obama has made it clear that he wants to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as expand criminal background checks.
Although there are many who disagree with stricter gun control, many also now support new gun laws after 20 school children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary last month.
“We all believe in protecting our homes and loved ones and believe in the right to bear arms. We serve this great country. But assault weapons, is a bit too much,” said Shane Jackson, an Army Reservist and visitor at Saturday’s “The Dream” 5K Run/Walk .
“A weapon we use in combat has no place in the hands of the general public,” said Jackson’s father-in-law, Joe Damon, who is a Vietnam veteran and former cop.
It’s a debate that will rage on for weeks as state and national lawmakers figure out how they’ll vote on gun control.
“God bless America, our home, sweet home. God make our government just leave us alone,” sang a speaker on the Capitol steps.
“We want politicians to stand up and notice that we will not let them take our gun rights away. And if they do, we will vote them out,” said Don Dobyns, an event organizer with Guns Across America.
Several gun owners said the possible restriction to a 7-round clip is ridiculous because they can change out the clip in less than a second. They said that speed won’t make anyone safer, and that smaller clips infringe on their target practice.