PHOENIX -- The contentious debate over American gun rights revved up Friday with well-armed Arizonans taking to the capital to have their voice heard.
“We're here exercising our first amendment rights in order to protect our second amendment rights,” said Dean Weingarten. “If we don’t exercise our rights we will lose them.”
Approximately 100 gun rights supporters, with holstered handguns and semi automatic rifles, gathered at the state capitol with one common message.
“The message is don't infringe on the second amendment,” said Duane Weingarten.
The group is concerned with the possibility of congress passing much stricter gun laws in light of recent mass shootings like the one in Newtown, Conn.
“It is our fundamental right as human beings, forget the constitution, to keep and bear arms in case of tyranny and government we need to be able to protect ourselves,” said John Williams. “It's preservation of life.”
But Arizona State Representative Chad Campbell said something has to be done.
“If you are a responsible gun owner you have nothing to fear we do not want to take away your guns,” said Campbell. “I wouldn't want anyone to take my gun we’re just trying to prevent the wrong people from having a gun.”
Campbell has introduced legislation that would require background checks on all gun sales.
“It's a common sense move,” said Campbell. “It will not prevent anybody from buying a gun that has the right to own a gun, it's just something we should do because there is no reason not to have universal background checks.”
Still many of these gun rights advocates worry the gun legislation is a slippery slope.
“It's all bad, all designed to take away our rights eventually,” said Weingarten.