SAN ANTONIO (October 19, 2013)—Guns-rights advocates converged on the Alamo Saturday with rifles and shotguns for a rally that breaks a longstanding a taboo on public demonstrations at the Texas shrine.
A substantial police presence was apparent around the perimeter of the rally Saturday, but San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, who mingled in the crowd, said he expected no problems.
A Texas state agency approved Saturday's rally, called "Come and Take It San Antonio!"
The event was called to assert citizens' right to carry long guns in public.
Demonstrations had previously been restricted to an adjacent plaza, but the site was taken over by the state in 2011, and Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson made it available for the rally.
“The Second Amendment gives citizens the power to defend every other right we have. It gives the People the right to both keep and bear arms. As more of us exercise this important right in full public view, more Americans will stand up and defend their gun rights along with the full spectrum of Constitutional liberties,” Patterson said in a statement before the rally.
Patterson, a Republican gun-rights advocate, asked the crowd in his keynote speech Saturday to show reverence.