Organizers are encouraging gun rights supporters to bring unloaded rifles to rallies at state capitols across the U.S. this weekend to counter a recent wave of student-led protests against gun violence.
A group called the National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans is spreading word of the gatherings on social media. Coalition co-founder David Clayton says organizers have permits for rallies Saturday in 45 states. He stressed that people should only bring guns in states where it’s legal.
Some gun rights advocates say they’ve played a limited role in the rallies. Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America said his group plans to alert members but isn’t helping organize the rallies.
Capt. Mark Perry of the Georgia Department of Public Safety confirmed Thursday that organizers were told they need to pay about $6,700 for security at a rally where the expected attendance is 500 people. A group that held a gun control rally last month was charged a similar fee.
Atlanta rally organizer Chris Hill said his group still plans to show up but has no intention of paying. He called the fee “an insult.”
Perry said groups can gather at Liberty Plaza across from the statehouse free of charge Monday through Friday. He said the state makes groups pay overtime for officers when using the plaza on weekends.
The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans is planning Saturday rallies across the U.S.
Information provided by several updates from the Associated Press presented in one article.