Texas gun owners stage rally at the Alamo
Hundreds of gun-rights advocates, many toting rifles and shotguns, gathered early Saturday at the Alamo in San Antonio to rally in support of gun ownership and the right to bear arms.
The rally, called "Come and Take It San Antonio," comes in response to what organizers called San Antonio police's "disregard for Texas law and The Constitution." Organizers said the police department has harassed gun owners and created a hostile environment for legal gun ownership.
Gun-rights proponents flooded a plaza near the historic site -- considered a shrine of Texas liberty since a small band of Texans fought and died in a battle against Mexican forces there in 1836. Many of those gathered carried banners, flags and sundry firearms.
The rally launched with remarks from organizers: "We aren't here to start a war today," one said, according to the San Antonio News-Express. "We are here to show that an armed society is a polite society."
The day's keynote speaker, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, is a Republican candidate for the lieutenant governor and an avid gun-rights advocate.
According to Texas law, gun owners cannot openly carry handguns, but there is no such law prohibiting the carrying of long guns. San Antonio police have recently made arrests of people carrying long guns, citing a more restrictive city ordinance banning weapons in public places.