Gun-rights activists, fearful of potential new federal gun-control laws, crowded the plaza outside the Georgia State Capitol.
They called on lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to protect the right to bear arms.
Samuel Hayes, a firearms instructor, feared that politicians are using the tragedy in Newtown, CT, and the recent shooting at Price Middle School in Atlanta to erode Second-Amendment rights.
"They're trying to take away our rights to keep and bear arms with regard to certain types of weapons," Hayes said. "The bad guys don't care where they carry their guns. Why should I not have the right to defend myself?"
The Obama Administration wants to ban high-capacity, high-powered rifles, commonly known as assault weapons.
Several Georgia lawmakers have introduced bills in the state general assembly to tighten gun laws and to expand gun-owners' rights.
The most controversial measures would allow firearms in houses of worship and on college campuses.
The gun-control bills, like the one in the nation's capital, propose banning assault weapons.
Jeff Camp, an activist with gun-rights advocacy group Georgia Carry.org, insists high-powered weapons are covered by the Second Amendment.
"If I wish to have a semiautomatic rifle that can fire 30 rounds, I should be able to have that right," camp said. "I'm no threat to anybody. I should not be restricted to what I could buy."
State Sen. Vincent Fort has introduced a bill that would ban military-style weapons.
Fort said he supports the right to bear arms, but that does not include high-capacity firearms.
"They're for one purpose. They're not for hunting. They're used to kill people," Fort said.
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