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2nd Amendment supporters rally against gun bills in NJ

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TRENTON -

Second Amendment advocates and gun owners rallied at New Jersey's state Capitol Monday morning in opposition to a half-dozen gun control bills passed by the state Assembly.

Many of the hundreds of protesters who attended the event wore National Rifle Association hats and carried signs that read "NRA Stand and Fight" at the rally outside the War Memorial in Trenton.

The Democrat-led Assembly advanced six bills that gained traction after the Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead. Among the measures is a bill that requires firearms to be seized upon a court order when a health care official deems someone poses a serious threat.

Those who attended the rally say that gun rights are being trampled on and that it is time they let state leaders know that they are not happy about it.

“New Jersey gun owners are under attack,” said Scott Bach, of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs.  “They’re tired of being blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. There is the press for more legislation that won't affect bad guys but will affect good guys.”

“You don’t ban the tool. You go after the guy. Period,” said lifetime NRA member Vincent Cassini.

Many of the protesters told News 12 New Jersey that they took the day off of work just to attend the rally. Many said that the Parkland school shooting last month and the March for Our Lives over the weekend have changed little about their belief in their Second Amendment rights.

“I think it's misguided. I think it’s a bunch of kids with a lot of money behind it,” said South Amboy resident Dave Rosenthal. “Obviously the kids did not put this together. I think a lot of money got behind it, and I basically think they were misled.”

“I was born with all my rights. Why would I give those away based on fear?” asked South River resident Tony Simon.

The bills passed the Assembly Monday afternoon. They will next be voted on by the state Senate. Gov. Phil Murphy said that he will sign them if the bills end up on his desk.

Gun rights advocates are already planning a lawsuit to fight the bills.

“If enough people get upset about this, we'll vote these people out and change it back. Nothing is written in stone,” Simon said.

Monday’s rally was scheduled before the March for Our Lives rallies were organized.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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