About 2,000 people assembled Saturday near the steps of the Oklahoma Capitol, holding signs about the Second Amendment and booing at mentions of President Barack Obama and any type of gun restriction.
The rally, organized by the group Guns Across America on social media sites, took place at noon on the Capitol's south plaza. Similar rallies were planned elsewhere across the country in response to gun control measures proposed in the wake of the school shooting in Connecticut last month.
No problems reported
Trooper Betsy Randolph, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokeswoman, attended the rally and estimated there were about 2,000 people there. She said no problems were reported or observed.
Bryan Hull, a founder of the Oklahoma Open Carry Association, helped plan the event in Oklahoma City.
“No more gun control,” he told the crowd. “Especially if you can't enforce the laws you already have.”
Many in the audience wore holsters with their open carry firearms.
State Reps. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, and John Enns, R-Enid, spoke or were among those in attendance. State Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, also spoke.
Many viewed President Barack Obama's recent call to renew the Assault Weapons Ban, limit the sales of high-capacity magazines and other proposed congressional and executive actions as a way to strip citizens of the right to own guns.
“There's been a lot bandied about in Washington on magazine limits,” Hull said. “The only limit there should be is how many rounds your gun can feed reliably,” he said.
Don Hudgins, a 25-year law enforcement veteran currently with the Logan County sheriff's department, spoke about another theme echoed by other speakers and written on rally signs — that a well-armed citizenry is protected from an overreaching federal government.
“Guns are the last line of defense against a government that goes off the rails,” he said. “The Second Amendment isn't about shooting Bambi in the woods, but that is a benefit.”
Ted Travis, a retired Air Force sergeant from Guthrie, said he attended the rally to support gun rights.
“I'm here to send a message that we won't be dictated to by President Obama,” he said. “Gun rights are under attack and it's an ingrained thing the Democrats do.”
Lance Gentry, of Chouteau, brought his 7-year-old son and his wife to the Capitol armed with bright yellow signs.
“We're just law-abiding citizens defending our rights,” he said.
His family held signs that read, “Politicians love disarmed peasants,” and “This is America, land of the free, not Nazi Germany.”
Jacob and Lane Frantz, both from Kellyville, came to the rally to support the Second Amendment, they said.
Jacob, 18, wore an empty gun holster on his belt because he's too young to open carry. The law requires permit holders be at least 21.
“The Second Amendment is clear that as an individual I have the right to keep and bear arms and that shouldn't be infringed,” he said.