An estimated 1,000 people took to the streets of Idaho Falls in support of 2nd Amendment rights on Saturday.
The group’s organizers say the massive demonstration isn’t exclusively about guns — it’s about freedom.
“Are all of you Americans?” shouted organizer Chad Christensen, to a resounding response from the crowd.
The large crowd crossed the Broadway Bridge in downtown Idaho Falls in a trek from the Bonneville County courthouse to the Shilo Inn.
“This isn’t about guns, I believe,” said Christensen. “It’s about our freedom and our liberty and our childrens’ future.”
Through city streets, marchers took their message — one mixed with support for second amendment principles, and protest of President Obama’s gun control measures.
“Gun control itself misses the mark,” said marcher Bryant Beasley.
Beasley marched with his gun. He said he’s passionate about leaving the 2nd Amendment the way it’s written to remain the same.
“Criminals are more afraid of someone with a gun than without a gun,” he said.
The Shilo Inn marked the end of the line for marchers. There, organizers gathered signatures.
“The petition we are signing is to tell legislators about our plan to stand up against gun control,” said Christensen.
Christensen said he hopes a massive turnout will get lawmakers to pay attention.
“There were a lot of people here,” said marcher Mary Williams.
Williams stood out from the crowd with her pink “Girls 4 Guns” sign.
“It goes against our rights,” said Williams.
She said opposition to gun control measures isn’t a guy thing.
The Idaho Falls nail technician said if gun control measures pass, everyone will be affected.
“It’s not just guys for guns,” said Williams. “Women need it to protect them. Just because we get our hair and our nails done and wear makeup, we can shoot guns and shoot rifles and hunt and protect ourselves too.
Our station was told another rally in support of gun control would take place to counter the protest on Saturday. While our cameras were there, there was no opposition presence.
Meantime, Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde is taking a stand on proposed gun control measures. He issued this statement:
“The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office supports your rights given by the First and Second Amendment of the Constitution.
I personally believe that issues surrounding guns is not a gun control issue but a violence issue.
Do not blame the tool for the violent actions of the individual.
We as a society need to find ways to stop the unnecessary violence that is occurring because of the irresponsible violent actions of a few individuals.”