Hundreds rally in Blount County against proposed stricter gun laws

3:30 PM, Feb 10, 2013   |    comments
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Saturday afternoon, about 500 passionate people armed with signs gathered in front the Blount County Courthouse shooting to prevent tougher restrictions for gun owners.

Rally organizer Randy Ailey said, "Their rights have been chipped away over the years little by little and it's time to stand up and say we're not going to let them get chipped away anymore."

Margo Bamback of Maryville said, "I'm a Democrat, I'm a grandmother, but by gosh I support the Constitution."

Keith Miller, also of Maryville, said, "If I had my way I would just open the door wide open to anyone who is a non-felon to possess firearms."

Not everyone at the Blount County 2nd Amendment Rally were against the proposed stricter gun laws, which if passed would include background checks, an assault weapons ban, and limits on ammunition magazines.

 One woman holding a tall yellow sign with "DO YOU REALLY NEED ARMOR PIERCING BULLETS, HIGH CAPACITY CLIPS, AND ASSAULT WEAPONS, REALLY?!" written in black on it said, "I think limiting [assault weapons] will save kids. It will save lives, people, teenagers, your parents, my parents. And the bills that they have forward will not take away their rights to bear arms. They're not going to take away anybody's guns. That's not what it's about." The woman did not want to be identified.

Andy Andrew of Concord, TN said, "That is red herring and it encroaches on the individual's rights. It is a vehicle that they are using to try to get people to accept incremental intrusion on inalienable right."

Matt Walker of Friendsville, TN was also among the group opposing the stricter gun legislation. He said one way to fire back at criminals is to eliminate gun free zones.

"They're dangerous. You're not disarming any criminal. You're just disarming law-abiding citizens who have no intention of hurting anybody," Walker said.

Ailey said, "I don't think that gun control any stricter will make anyone any safer."

Ailey, a lieutenant with the Blount County Sheriff's Office, organized the rally in nine days. He said the overwhelming response to the Blount County 2nd Amendment Rally has led to plan for another.

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