Gun Rights Supporters Rally In Salem, Olympia

By Chris Lehman

SALEM, Ore. – Hundreds of gun rights supporters rallied in support of their cause outside the state capitol buildings in Salem and Olympia Friday. They were there to express opposition to attempts by federal and state lawmakers to restrict the use of some weapons.

Some at the rally took the unusual step of openly carrying their weapons inside the capitol building. Virgil Negru of Portland had two. A handgun on his hip and a 40-year-old rifle slung over his shoulder.

Virgil Negru: "This is a 30-30 Winchester. I like to go hunting with this one a lot."

This was Negru's first time at the capitol and he was admiring the murals in the rotunda. There are no bills under consideration in Salem that would take away his right to own these guns. But there are proposals to ban assault weapons or to at least limit high-capacity magazines. Negru says he wanted to take a stand.

Virgil Negru: "I like firearms and I don't think they should be used to kill people like lately happening, but we do have the right to bear arms."

Only people with a concealed handgun license are allowed to carry guns in the Oregon capitol. Negru had his pinned to his jacket.

Virgil Negru

Photo: Virgil Negru legally brought his handgun and his rifle into the Oregon capitol building. Photo by Chris Lehman.

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