Wiscasset gun rights rally draws 175 people

by Beth Quimby, PressHerald.com  |  published on March 11, 2013

About 175 people, many of them shouldering rifles and holstering handguns, showed up outside the Wiscasset municipal offices to rally against gun control Saturday.

The rally focused on several bills concerning concealed handguns proposed by state Rep. Timothy Marks, D-Pittston, and other gun-control measures introduced at both federal and state levels following the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. Marks, whose legislation would require Maine State Police to keep a centralized database of concealed-weapons permit holders, did not attend the rally.

The event was organized by Jessica Beckwith, a Lewiston resident who is in the process of filing for nonprofit status for her Maine Gun Rights Coalition. She organized a similar rally last month in Augusta that was attended by Gov. Paul LePage.

Although LePage did not make a showing in Wiscasset, the event attracted sign-toting gun supporters of all ages from across the state. Thirteen-year-old Emma Solorzano of Jefferson carried a sign that read: “Gun free zones make me a target.”

“It’s great to see so many kids here,” Beckwith said.

Suzanne Hiltz of Windsor, wearing a handgun holstered at her waist, pushed a double stroller carrying sons Samson, 2, and Thomas, 8 months.

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