LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dozens gathered on the lawn of the Michigan Capitol on Thursday to rally in support of gun rights well as to decry efforts undertaken by the state to rein in the coronavirus pandemic – efforts they say infringe upon their freedom.
“Today is about standing up, taking back what is yours, which is the state of Michigan,” Skip Coryell, founder of the Second Amendment March, told the crowd from the Capitol steps. “So today, let’s celebrate, let’s get loud, let’s make some noise and let’s have fun. But we are never going to be silent again.”
Many in the crowd openly carried rifles and other long guns as well as handguns.
Some displayed signs critical of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has issued a number of far-reaching orders to close businesses and schools, require masks and social distancing, and limit gathering sizes to control the virus that has contributed to thousands of deaths across the state.
A tent was set up where rally-goers could sign a petition to recall the governor. The public supports her handling of the pandemic, according to polling.
Second Amendment March attendee Lee Ann Schneider wore a shirt that said “USA” on the front. On the back, it said “Amendment” with the number “2” below it.
“I think in some cases, yes, I think some Democrats would like to take away our rights with the Second Amendment,” said the 58-year-old from Benton Harbor, Michigan, who enjoys target shooting.