The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans, a newly-formed grassroots organization, hosted pro-gun rallies simultaneously at every state capitol Saturday.
Pro-gun protesters weren’t allowed onto statehouse property. The gun-friendly statehouse is a gun-free zone with the exception of lawmakers and staff. Protesters instead crowded on a wide sidewalk in front of the steps, listening to lawmakers and advocates.
Gary Weddell, president of the Indiana chapter of Three Percent, says, in order to protect gun rights, these smaller conservative groups have to come together.
“If we can’t unify with the Second Amendment, then we’ll never be able to unify with anything,” Weddell says.
Jack Pupillo is the co-founder of the new group Freedom Restoration Project. He says he’s become politically active because those in power aren’t doing enough.
“The NRA and President [Donald] Trump are really kind of letting us down,” Pupillo says. “This is not so much a Republican-Democrat issue, but just a liberty issue.”
Lawmakers like U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg), state Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) and state Sen. Jack Sandlin (R-Indianapolis) also spoke at the rally.
“Now I’m not going to give you a political speech, because today isn’t a day for politics,” Rokita says. “But there is no better way – as you know – to make sure you secure your Second Amendment rights, than to be involved in politics. Because every election matters.”
Rokita is one of three candidates in the Republican primary for the opportunity to face U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).