A group of protesters brandished their guns at the Washington State Capitol on Saturday to defend their right to bear arms.
Though the armed protesters shocked some onlookers, the demonstration was legal. Washington's “Open Carry” law does not prohibit carrying firearms on the capitol grounds.
"Usually, we're up here debating issues. To see people walking through with guns is a bit odd," lobbyist Jim Richards told local media.
About 200 people, including one person carrying an upside-down American flag, participated in the "Firearm Freedom Rally," according to KING 5 News. The event was organized by the group 2nd Enforcers, which warned many of the 30 gun-related bills to be considered by the state legislature were a threat to people's Second Amendment rights.
"If they don't stand up for their rights, they're going to lose them," one protester explained.
The bills would expand background checks to cover all gun purchases in the state, make leaving a loaded gun in a location accessible to children a crime of reckless endangerment, allow cities to prohibit guns at parks or recreational facilities, and ban guns from school campuses, among other things.
The 2nd Enforcers have called for another piece of legislation, the Firearms Freedom Act of 2013, to be signed into law. The bill states that firearms in Washington are "not subject to federal law or federal regulation" and would make attempting to enforce federal gun laws a felony crime.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:
[Man holding rifle via Shutterstock]