Final Preparations Underway for Gun Marches

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

Washington ( - Both sides of the debate on gun control are making final preparations for their respective marches on Washington this weekend, with organizers of the Million Mom March predicting attendance of 250,000.

"The phones have been ringing off the hook, and we're looking forward to good weather and attendees from all 50 states," a media coordinator for the march told from the group's Washington headquarters.

A spokesperson for the Washington Metropolitan police told that they were prepared for crowds of 150,000 to 175,000, though all personnel have been put on call for the weekend.

Thursday night, workers and volunteers were on the National Mall in front of the Capitol putting the final touches on two 26-foot high walls bearing the names of more than 4,000 young people killed by guns in the past year.

March organizers are demanding what they call "common sense gun laws," including licensing and registration of all handguns, mandatory gun safety training, trigger locks, background checks, monthly limits on gun purchases, and waiting periods.

Meanwhile, a pro-Second Amendment women's group, the Second Amendment Sisters, will hold a separate rally Sunday at the Washington Monument.

The SAS rally, which will be followed by a march on the Capitol, will be keynoted by Texas State Representative Suzanna Gratia-Hupp, a leading proponent of conceal and carry laws.

In 1991, Gratia-Hupp was in a restaurant in Killeen, Texas, when an armed man entered and killed 21 people, including her parents. She says she believes she could have stopped the man had she been allowed to carry her weapon into the restaurant.

"It is time to start enforcing the existing violent crime laws, rather than wasting taxpayer money on harassment and punishment of non-violent firearms owners. It is time for the media and the politicians to help people who want to defend themselves against crime, rather than passing laws which only help the criminals," said SAS co-founder Kim Watson in a statement.

SAS organizers said in a statement that they expect 5,000 to 10,000 supporters at their "Armed Informed Mother's March."