Gun-rights activists protest on steps of state Capitol

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — More than 200 gun-rights activists assembled on the steps of Washington's Capitol in protest of the expansive background-check law state voters passed in November.

At Thursday morning's rally, state legislators and other opponents of Initiative 594's requirement of background checks on all gun sales and transfers voiced their belief the new law unfairly infringes on their Constitutional rights. Most of the crowd brought firearms to the event, from long automatic rifles carried openly to concealed handguns in shoulder holsters. About a dozen protesters took their guns into the public gallery of the House just before the brief morning floor session ended.

Speakers at the rally encouraged the crowd to fight the background-check law by contacting their lawmakers and by urging their friends to vote for gun rights.