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September 2, 2013

Gun proponents plan nationwide rally

DERRY — Guns are coming out in the neighborhood.

An unusual national demonstration is slated this fall to highlight gun owner rights and the people behind them.

Gun Rights Across America issued the public call to arms this way: “We want you to strap on a holstered handgun to your hip, and give one hour of your day to make our presence as law-abiding gun owners known.”

Differing gun laws mean the “Guns Next Door” demonstration will take different forms in each state.

In New Hampshire, gun owners are asked to wear holstered handguns in the front yard and carry unloaded rifles outside their home.

The plan for Massachusetts is unclear, but will fit within the Bay State’s gun laws.

Californians will wear empty holsters because that state’s laws are so strict.

The gun rights group is researching gun laws, so participants will act responsibly within state laws.

“This is a rally with a twist,” said Eric Reed, Gun Rights Across America founder and the man behind the pro-gun rally.

People won’t go to a rally, instead the rally will come to them.

“People will see armed Americans outside their homes with signs everywhere they look,” Reed said.

The gun owners also will have flags and wear T-shirts promoting gun rights, organizers said.

The event is set for Saturday, Oct. 19, with hour-long sessions staggered by time zone so Americans participate simultaneously.

In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the demonstration is set for 5 to 6 p.m.

New Hampshire and Massachusetts state leader Chris Smart of Derry said he plans to speak with Derry police beforehand so they are aware of the event.

“We hope police departments don’t become overwhelmed with alarms,” Smart said.

New Hampshire is a so-called open carry state, which let owners wear guns in public. They must have a license if one is concealed under clothing or in a vehicle.

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