Gun Rally Held at Minn. Capitol Saturday

Updated: 01/19/2013 6:12 PM By: Mitch Pittman

Minnesotans peacefully protested President Obama's new gun control proposals in front of the state capitol Saturday as part of a national effort called "Guns Across America."

More than a thousand people filled the steps of the capitol in a call to action to try and prevent tighter gun laws.

Many in the crowd were carrying concealed guns during the rally, including organizer Mike Rieschl.

"The gun laws that are on the books should be enforced, we don't need any additional gun laws, because they're not going to reduce crime, they're simply going to reduce freedom," said Rieschl.

It might be a difficult year for gun-rights supporters, with both chambers controlled by the DFL. Representative and long time gun activist Tony Cornish (R) addressed that, along with some of the bills he'll be introducing, including making it easier for teachers to carry in schools.

Matt Porter, who came down from St. Cloud, found strength in numbers.

"You know, when I turned around here standing on these top steps and I saw everybody that turned out here, I now know that Minnesota shows the same passion, shares the same passion that I do," said Porter. "Mental health seems to be the problem and I don't think anyone wants to take on that task, gun control is always the quick way out."

A group focused on ending gun violence, "Protect Minnesota," issued this statement in response to today's protest, saying:

"It is a shame that the (gun) industry has misled a number of people with the claim that any restriction on access to guns by criminals and the seriously mentally ill is just a step toward confiscating every gun."