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From staff and wire reports | May 13, 2013 | Updated: May 13, 2013 10:04pm

Group marches around Capitol for gun rights

A group “demanding” votes on gun-friendly legislation hoped showcasing their firearms at a rally Monday would encourage lawmakers to pass bills that would void gun-free zones, allow concealed handgun licensees to carry pistols openly and require universities to allow guns in classrooms.

“We aren’t really protesting, we are demanding,” said Michelle Prescott, founder of Texan Gun Rights, prior to leading a march of about 40 gun rights advocates around the outside of the Capitol.

The group, which had about 10 individuals strapped with rifles and shotguns including at least five AR-15s, were urging lawmakers to vote on House Bill 700, known as the “open-carry” bill, HB 3218, which would get rid of gun-free zones, and Senate Bill 182, which would require schools to allow CHL holders to carry guns in college classrooms.

Some activists carried AR-15s, other rifles and shotguns at the rally, while others carried signs reading, “Don’t Tread On Me,” and “The 1st Amendment doesn’t exist without the 2nd.”

Scott Trent, an Austin-area activist who carried his 12-gauge shotgun accessorized with a pistol-grip, said he “was going to bring an AR-15, but I figured that’s what everyone else would bring.”

State law allows individuals to carry long rifles openly, but pistols must be concealed and the individual must have a state-issued license.

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