On Saturday, approximately 1,500 gun rights activists gathered at one of Texas’ most sacred historical sites, the Alamo, in San Antonio to protest a city ordinance that bans open carry of firearms. According to the local news site, San Antonio Express-News, about a third of the protesters carried rifles, shotguns, and antique pistols as an open display of civil disobedience.
From San Antonio Express-News:
Charged up and chanting, “Live free or die!” protesters at the Come and Take it San Antonio: Line in the Sand rally made their way to the park, a former Confederate hangout in the heart of the city.
“I intend to defend my life, I intend to fight for my liberty, and carrying a gun makes me happy,” said Wayne Musgrove, a 73-year-old Navy veteran who explained he came to Alamo Plaza to defend his inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Blocks away, a much different scene unfolded as about two dozen advocates for more strict gun laws, such as universal background checks and a ban on “militarized weapons,” gathered at the Line in the Sandbox rally organized by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Sandy Phillips, mother of Jessica Ghawi, who died in the movie theater shooting last year in Aurora, Colo., said “common-sense laws” need to be put into place to avert tragedies like the one that killed her 24-year-old daughter.
Concealed carry has been legal in Texas since 1995 and the Texas Legislature has since made a number of reforms which have been friendly to gun rights advocates, but open carry activists say concealed carry does not go far enough to protect individual liberties:
The city ordinance protested was enacted in 1993 and forbids “the carrying of firearms in public parks, at public meetings of governmental bodies, at political events and at nonfirearms-related schools or professional athletic events.”
Photo Credit: Lisa Krantz/SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
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Rally makes a gun point