Gun Owners Speak Up at Meadville Rally - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Gun Owners Speak Up at Meadville Rally

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As the gun debate heats up in Washington, local gun carriers are speaking up to defend their rights.

A rally in meadville on Friday protested recently proposed changes to gun laws.

"We have the ability to say no you can't... we know what our rights are we will protect them." Michael Wagner's message of defending gun rights is one shared by the protestors gathered at the rally he organized.

But it's others that he and State Representative Brad Roae want to reach.

"I think a lot of people when they're not sure on an issue they kind of look a little bit and they listen to people and they hear what people are saying," said Roae. "I think you can win people over by common sense, education."

Senator Pat Toomey was one of the lawmakers responsible for the recent background check amendment that's causing concern among some gun owners.

He says it's not a threat to freedom. "I don't consider criminal background checks gun control," he said, "I think it's just common sense. If you pass a criminal background check you get to buy a gun, it's no problem. It's the people who fail a criminal or mental health background check that we don't want having guns."

But protestors worry about what new measures increased government control could lead to.

"We already have gun laws on the books in Washington, so we really need to enforce what's there already, instead of adding more laws and regulations," said Barbara Roberts, who came from Linesville with her husband to protest. 

You've heard it time and again, the argument that guns don't kill people, people do. Protesters said the bombing in Boston is a chilling reminder that stricter gun laws won't stop the violence.

"There's violence going on all over the world, not just with guns," said Roberts. 

"There's always gonna be violence," said Roae. "Our constitution in Pennsylvania gives every citizen the right to bear arms, and insists that shall not be questioned."

We want to hear your side of the debate. Join in the conversation on our facebook page.

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