ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - An estimated 2,000 people gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol on Saturday afternoon for a Second Amendment Rally. The rally was organized by the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party of Minnesota, the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance and the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and Political Action Committee.
The attendance estimate was released by the Minnesota State Patrol, which provides security at the Capitol.
The coalition said the purpose of Saturday’s rally is “to demonstrate the strong public support for the Second Amendment and stand strongly against proposed gun control legislation in Minnesota and across the country.”
The rally follows a week in the Minnesota Legislature that saw Rep. Erin Maye Quade (DFL-Apple Valley) hold a 24-hour sit-in on the House floor, demanding a vote on gun legislation. This session two gun bills that were tabled last year by the Minnesota Legislature were tabled again. The most recent vote came on the heels of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 and wounded many more, prompting nationwide school walkouts and massive campaigns to institute gun control legislation both in Minnesota and across the country.
"I feel bad about all the kids who have had problems in schools, I do, I feel really bad," said Roxanne Burke, a gun rights advocate. "But I don't want to give up my guns either."
The gun violence bills session called for universal background checks and high risk protective orders, with similar Senate bills failing to receive a hearing just two weeks later.
"To have a policy that 90 percent of Minnesotans support not make its way to this floor for a vote...it's concerning," Maye Quade said.
On Mach 24, a March For Our Lives rally that ended at the Capitol drew 18,000 participants, according to a St. Paul Police Department estimate.