LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — About 500 gun advocates rallied in Lewiston in northern Idaho in support of the Second Amendment.

The Lewiston Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/VGclYR) that many in the crowd at Pioneer Park on Saturday carried riffles or handguns and signs with gun rights messages.

In recent weeks, gun rallies have been held across Idaho with participants citing concerns about sweeping federal gun-control proposals made by President Barack Obama. The Lewis Clark Tea Party Patriots and the Inland Northwest Oathkeepers sponsored the northern Idaho event.

"There was doctors out here, there was lawyers ... and business people," said Dianne Capps, coordinator for the local tea party. "I was just amazed. I think it's important because the people have to have a voice, an outcry from somewhere."

Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik spoke to the crowd.

"We've been blessed with the opportunity to stand for something," Chmelik said. "The infringement on our Second Amendment rights has woken us up."

Erika and William Stokes traveled from Deary to attend the event.

"The rights for our guns and freedoms is important to all of us," William Stokes said.

Mike and Arlene Mitchell of Lewiston carried a sign supporting an assault weapons ban and background checks at gun shows.

"I'm not opposed to (using a gun for hunting), I'm opposed to a gun that can shoot quick enough to kill a bunch of schoolchildren or people in a theater," Mike Mitchell said.

In December shootings in Newtown, Conn., 20 first-graders and six staffers were killed at an elementary school. Last summer, a gunman opened fire at a suburban Denver movie theater, killing 12.

Eastern Idaho has had similar gun rallies. Earlier this month about 400 gun advocates marched in Idaho Falls. In January, about 500 gun advocates rallied in Rexburg.


Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com

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