Gun owners rally in NP in first such event after firearms ban lifted

Gun owners came out in force Monday on both sides of the Potomac River to proclaim their Second Amendment rights, but only those on the Northern Virginia side of the river came bearing their handguns and rifles.

Hundreds of pro-gun activists rallied near the base of the Washington Monument on the National Mall and at Fort Hunt Park in Fairfax County and Gravelly Point in Arlington, with those in the District protesting the city's strict laws prohibiting them from displaying their guns in public.

"I'm here to support the Second Amendment," Mike Julius, 50, of Crofton, Md., said at the D.C. event. "Gun ownership is a constitutional right."

Speakers at the event urged the crowd to support pro-gun candidates in this fall's midterm elections. Organizers said the Northern Virginia event, in which participants carried guns in holsters and toted unloaded rifles over their shoulders, was the first such rally in a national park since Congress earlier this year allowed visitors to carry firearms in national parks.

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