Protest, Counter-Protest Outside Duluth Gun Show
Posted at: 02/02/2013 4:53 PM
| Updated at: 02/03/2013 2:21 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
The Duluth Gun and Knife Show is at the DECC this weekend and two groups of protesters braved the bitter cold Saturday.
WDIO's cameras weren't allowed inside the gun show, but there was plenty of action outside the DECC. Two groups protesting, just feet away from each other, but calling for a safer country, but don't agree on how to get there.
One group held signs urging specific gun legislation, the other group, against it.
"There are many ways for those people [criminals] to get guns, and gun shows is one of those places that you can actually buy a firearm without a background check," said protester Leroy Duncan of Saint Paul and community organizer of Protect Minnesota.
Protect Minnesota planned the protest at the gun show. Their mission is to prevent gun violence so they are asking for a bill that requires all gun dealers to run background checks.
Just 30 feet away, counter-protesters, like recent St. Louis County Commissioner candidate Becky Hall, said they heard about the gun show protest and came to stand up for their Second Amendment rights.
"That [gun legislation] only harms law abiding citizens, you're not taking the guns out of criminals' hands, they're already breaking the law. You're just making us more defenseless and I fear that most importantly," said Hall.
While those asking for more background checks said they aren't asking for much. They want background checks to be extended to private gun sellers, not just federal dealers.
"It would be the same the type of background check, it's not an inconvenience, and we think it's an inconvenience to bury a child that was shot to death by someone who couldn't have passed a background check," said protester Joan Peterson of Duluth.
But the counter-protesters say studies show strict gun legislation in other states, or the last federal assault weapon ban have been ineffective.
"Why are we trying it all over again? It doesn't make sense," said Lowell Rudd of Proctor. "We've proven that it didn't work, so why do it again?"
Outside the gun show, two groups looking to keep their friends and family safe, but different ideas on what that exactly looks like.