Hundreds turn out for gun-rights rally in Harrisburg

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HARRISBURG -- Hundreds of people turned out this morning for a gun-rights rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol.

Attendees dressed in red, white and blue aprons proclaiming "I'm a gun owner and I vote" cheered as speakers urged them to take action against attempts at gun control.

"We haven't stopped fighting," said state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry. "We're continuing the effort to regain our freedom of areas that they've infringed our rights in the past."

Mr. Metcalfe touted a bill he has sponsored that would "tell the federal government we will not accept any more gun control in Pennsylvania." The legislation would make it a third-degree felony to enforce new federal gun-control laws in the state.

The Capitol police estimated about 500 people attended the rally, said Troy Thompson, spokesman for the Department of General Services. Many attendees wore red "Second Amendment Action Day" caps, some with "Beaver County" or "Butler County" written on the back.

Speakers referred to a victory for gun rights last week when the U.S. Senate defeated gun-control measures, including one to expand background checks for purchasers.

The group CeaseFirePA responded to the rally by saying that background checks and toughened penalties for gun crimes do not infringe on Second Amendment rights.

"Law-abiding gun owners should join in our work, because we are focused on taking steps that keep guns out of the wrong hands and make us all safer" executive director Shira Goodman said in a newss release.

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Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 717-787-2141.


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