Jessica Hill, Associated Press
A man holds a sign at a gun rights rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The rally, dubbed, "Guns Across America", at Connecticut's state Capitol and state capitol buildings across the country to raise concerns about possible new gun legislation that could affect gun owners' rights in the wake of the Dec. 14 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
HARTFORD, Conn. — Hundreds rallied Saturday at the state Capitol, many carrying signs of protest, as part of demonstrations across the nation to express concern about increased gun control efforts since last month's deadly school shooting in Newtown.
If restrictions are enacted, "once you go down that road, then where does it stop?" asked Bob Butler, who traveled from Mystic to protest with his wife and young children. "My kids are living in a time that is so scary, and I feel for the parents in Newtown, but I don't believe we should see more gun laws."
Butler, who also said he's opposed to any type of gun registry, was among hundreds of gun owners and Second Amendment advocates who rallied in state capitals nationwide Saturday, days after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping package of federal gun-control proposals.
About 1,000 people showed up in Hartford, Capitol police said. One man carried an AR-15 assault weapon and wore a green and white ribbon on his lapel, the Sandy Hook Elementary school colors.
Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, which advocates for Second Amendment rights, spoke of being adamant about protecting the amendment.
"Law-abiding citizens should be able to protect themselves," he said.
"I am a wife, a first responder, and a mother," said Lisa Davenport of Durham, carrying a sign that read "Mom, wife, patriot, Christian, I own guns," She added, "We need to step back and not try to legislate away a horrible tragedy."
Task forces created by the legislature and Gov. Dannel Malloy are considering changes to state gun laws, and gun control supporters plan a Valentine's Day rally at the Capitol.