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For USM freshman Shane Belanger, Sunday's 'open carry' event was about one thing - exercising his constitutional rights.
"The aim is to show that typical, everyday, law-abiding citizens are here and we're just exercising our right and there shouldn't be any fear, there shouldn't be, really, any opposition, because it's our right."
Belanger, who grew up in Caribou, organized the rally at Portland's Back Cove, where about 75 gun owners turned up on Sunday afternoon with their firearms on display to eat barbecue food and swap stories. "I organized the event to show people that they shouldn't be afraid of law-abiding citizens carrying firearms," he says.
Belanger says the goal of this get-together is not to scare anyone, but simply to show that people have a constitutional right to bear arms to protect themselves and their loved ones.
George Blackman from Jefferson, Maine, couldn't agree more.
George Blackman: "What am I doing here? Standing up for personal rights to open carry a weapon."
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