Organizers Hold Pro-Gun Rights Rally Without Permit
LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds lined Highway 34 in Loveland on Saturday to show their support for and exercise the Second Amendment.
The event, which did not have a legal permit through the city, lasted more than three hours. Event organizer Lesley Hollywood told CBS4 the city believed they did not have enough time to issue the proper permit. The organizers obtained legal representation and moved forward with their original plans.
Those who attended said they wanted to vocalize their support of gun ownership freedoms amid a time where their opposition has made many headlines.
"You can't look to the government to do everything for you, you have to be self-sufficient," said Brenda Barrett, an attendee and member of the NRA.
"It is not about hunting. It is about protection," said Dale Leppert, a gun owner and event attendee.
Carrying signs, flags and firearms, many said they were expressing their First and Second Amendment rights in the same day.
"I just don't feel like I am a revolutionary, or a rebel. I am just being an American, doing what I have a right to do," Barrett said.
Leppert, carrying his semi-automatic rifle on his chest, said the large turnout at the rally showed there are many supporters of greater gun rights.
"This gun is no different than any other gun. Everyone here, there are guns all over the place. Has anyone been shot yet? No," Leppert said. "The guns are not the problem. We have laws on the books to stop criminals; we need to stop criminals."
Many told CBS4 they supported further regulations and services on those with mental issues. However, many said they felt those should be handled with mental health evaluations and treatment, rather than restricting the access others have to purchase firearms.
"It is the person, not the gun," said Kami Kline, an event attendee.
Hollywood said the turnout, and support through honking cars, showed those like her were the silent majority.
"I think it has become a very controversial view, to be a Second Amendment supporter. As you can hear from the people driving by, this shouldn't be controversial," Hollywood said. "It was really important to me to show that we all don't agree. Not everybody agrees with the message that is being put out there."
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.
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