Hundreds of thousands of students are calling for stricter gun control measures at “March For Our Lives” rallies across the country on Saturday. But in Mountain West states like Idaho, Utah and Montana, counter-protestors are organizing pro-gun rallies.
“I love our second amendment rights,” says 18-year-old Joey Chester, a College Republican. “I don’t want to see those restricted for law-abiding citizens.”
Chester is slated to speak at the pro-gun rights rally in Helena. He says organizers expect hundreds of people to attend and other speakers include two high school students and Montana Republican state Rep. Seth Berglee.
“I have a basic right that’s not granted by society – it’s granted by God – to self-defense,” he says. “I don’t see how society or people in society can make the argument that they have the right to take away a right from me because one person went and did something bad.”
According to the “March For Our Guns” website, the rally was organized as a response to “alarmist leftist rhetoric” about guns.
A group of Helena high school students are planning a “March For Our Lives” rally at a nearby park.
Organizer Clara McRae says they don’t want to strip away second amendment rights.
“But we don’t want those rights to infringe on others rights to be able to exist safely in public spaces,” she says.
“March For Our Guns” organizers are urging attendees to remain civil and to leave their firearms at home.
Montana has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the country, as well as one of the highest firearm death rates in the U.S.