Second Amendment Advocates, Gun Control Supporters Rally at Legi - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Second Amendment Advocates, Gun Control Supporters Rally at Legislative Hall

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DOVER, Del.- Large crowds on both sides of the gun control debate on Wednesday flooded the east side of Legislative Hall in Dover as state lawmakers introduced a trio of new proposed firearm laws.

The new bills include a revived attempt to ban the sale of many types of semi-automatic firearms --- dubbed "assault weapons" by sponsors of the legislation.

Lawmakers are also seeking to ban possession of firearm magazines that can hold 15 or more rounds of ammunition and require people to obtain permits from the state to be able to purchase firearms.

Hundreds of Second Amendment supporters flocked to the Green across the street from Legislative Hall before a large portion of the group marched to the east side of the building, the location where Moms Demand Action, a gun control group, was holding a rally of its own to support the new gun bills.

During the rally, the Second Amendment group frequently booed and shouted over speakers from Moms Demand Action and lawmakers who spoke in support of the legislation.

"I don't know that there's much to talk about honestly. I think we talked --- I don't think they listened," said Sarah Stowens with the Delaware Chapter of Moms Demand Action.

Senate Majority Whip Bryan Townsend (D-Newark), a chief sponsor on two of the new gun bills, said he expects to see a lot of vocal opposition this year to the firearm proposals but believes they can be passed by the legislature.

Passing the legislation this year, Townsend said, could help prevent a situation like a mass shooting from occurring in the first state.

Townsend was also critical of the Second Amendment group that crashed the Moms Demand Action event.

"I think it's shameful to 'boo' and 'boo' high school students and anyone else who gets up there to the point of tears. I think it's unfortunate," he said.

Some Second Amendment supporters attending the event alleged members of the gun control crowd made obscene gestures and comments in their direction during the event.

However, the confrontation never turned violent during the roughly 45 minutes that the gun control rally took place.

Mitch Denham, an organizer with the Facebook group Delaware Gun Rights who helped coordinate Wednesday's rally and other second amendment events last legislative session, said he expects he and other demonstrators will return to the statehouse again this year.

"We have a situation in this country that is going to come to a head at some point," he said.

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