Gun enthusiasts call for National Gun Appreciation Day - FOX 35 News Orlando

Gun enthusiasts call for National Gun Appreciation Day

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PHOENIX -

It was quite a year for gun violence in this country. Several high profile shootings in Colorado and Connecticut have reignited a debate about gun control.

But one national group is tired of all the negative publicity surrounding the 2nd Amendment, and they've come up with a way to recognize the rights of gun owners.

It's an idea inspired by the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day that went viral last year. They want a 'Gun Appreciation Day' to take place in just a few weeks.

But not everyone is on board with this.

It's no accident National Gun Appreciation Day is the day before California Democrat Dianne Feinstein is expected to introduce legislation including an assault weapons ban and two days before president Obama is inaugurated. Coordinators of the event say there's no better time to send a message to the White House.

"We decided that the politicians have forgotten how Americans feel about their guns and it's time to remind them," says Larry Ward, Gun Appreciation Day Chairman.

Larry Ward is calling for gun appreciation day January 19th. He's encouraging people to go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show to show support of the 2nd Amendment.

"I think it's a perfect time to send a message to the White House."

"I think it's a good idea," says gun enthusiast Kevin Smigiel.

"Anything that gets out awareness that guns are not evil as being portrayed in a lot of places right now is definitely a positive thing," says PJ Gonzales, of Arizona Firearms in Tempe.

Ward says the idea was inspired by Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day in August, when customers came in droves to support the restaurants president who made controversial comments on gay marriage.

"The images in the press and public of people quietly standing in line to buy a chicken sandwich are not going to be the same as people walking around in public with assault weapons strapped to their back," says Geraldine Hills, Founder of Arizonans for Gun Safety.

In 1994, Geraldine Hills' brother, a Michigan police officer, was killed by a gunman with an ak-47.

She since founded Arizonans for Gun Safety and after the Newtown shooting, she was asked to the White House to talk gun legislation.

She'd like to see a ban on assault rifles and universal background checks, among other things. She believes the event will come off as intimidating and threatening.

"It's only going to convince those of us who think these kinds of guns don't belong in private hands, and in the public, that they serve no real purpose as for personal protection, hunting or sport, it's only going to reinforce the argument on the other side."

Ward disagrees, saying the event will not come off as "in your face."

"There's nothing more in your face than trying to take away Americans rights to bear arms and the 2nd amendment, stand up and let people know they're serious about it," says Ward.

Hills also helped draft Arizona legislation, expected to be introduced Thursday, that calls for a ban on expanded magazine clips and stricter background checks, among other things.

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