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Gun advocates pack heat at Zoo Boise

Story Created: Jul 19, 2008 at 4:29 PM MDT

Story Updated: Jul 19, 2008 at 7:44 PM MDT

By Blake McCoy
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BOISE - A group of Treasure Valley residents brought their hand guns to Zoo Boise, wearing their Second Amendment rights on their belt straps for all to see.

About a dozen gun owners took advantage of Idaho's open carry laws which allow them to carry guns in public as long as they are in plain view and remain holstered.

"I don't know that we're trying to make a statement," says Eric Bauer, who came to the zoo with his wife, three kids, and gun on his belt. "Maybe if anything we're trying to educate the public as to what they're rights are."

Bauer and his wife both were carrying guns. Since Bauer's three kids aren't yet 18 and can't legally carry a handgun, they carried knives on their belt straps instead.

Gun advocates said they organized this event at Zoo Boise because it is public property and they can't be kicked off.

"If you don't exercise your rights, you're gonna loose your rights," says Bauer

But for one out of state family visiting Idaho, guns at the zoo came as a bit of a surprise.

"To me I think it gives kids the idea that guns are OK and I think that they're going to be desensitized," says Anji Robertson who was visiting from Madison, WI with her husband and three kids.

These gun owners say education is key for anyone owning a handgun and they came out to show that the Second Amendment lives strong in the Gem State.