Gun ownership advocates held "Guns Across America" rallies Saturday in Lincoln and Des Moines.
Many in Lincoln held up handmade signs and others passed out pocket-sized constitutions while dozens of speakers addressed the crowd. They asked Nebraskans to reach out to state lawmakers when it comes to firearms legislation.
“We have a God-given, God-sanctioned need to protect our country, to protect our liberty and our freedom,” said demonstrator Tim Green.
In Des Moines, 27-year-old Jolynn Heal of North Liberty, Iowa drove more than 100 miles with her husband and 10-year-old son to protest President Obama's proposed gun control measures. She said limiting the amount of ammunition in gun magazines makes it difficult to defend against multiple intruders.
Twenty-three-year-old Chris Chaney of Davenport, Iowa said he's disgusted by the use of children's deaths in the Connecticut school shooting last month to win political support for gun control legislation. He said everybody has a right to defend themselves against evil people and tyranny.
Thousands gathered peacefully at state capitals across the U.S. Saturday to rally against stricter limits on firearms. The size of crowds at each location varied, from dozens of people in South Dakota to 2,000 in New York. Other largest crowds appeared to be in Tennessee and Texas.
In Arizona and Oregon, some demonstrators came with holstered handguns or rifles on their backs. At the Kentucky Capitol, attendees gave a special round of applause for "the ladies that are packin'."