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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Gun Rights Supporters Rally In Salem, Olympia

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.

"This is a 30-30 Winchester," Negru explains. "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.

"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.

On the Web:

Oregon concealed carry license information -
Washington concealed weapons information - Washington Attorney General