Hundreds join pro-gun rallies in state capitals

WILL WEISSERT
Austin Ehlinger helps hold a banner during a Guns Across America rally at the state capitol, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Austin, Texas.  Texas officials opposed to new federal gun control proposals plan to speak on the steps of the state Capitol during a pro-Second Amendment rally. The event is one of many rallies planned across the country Saturday. They come four days after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping plan to curb gun violence.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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Austin Ehlinger helps hold a banner during a Guns Across America rally at the state capitol, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Texas officials opposed to new federal gun control proposals plan to speak on the steps of the state Capitol during a pro-Second Amendment rally. The event is one of many rallies planned across the country Saturday. They come four days after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping plan to curb gun violence. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Hundreds of people are gathering in state capitals nationwide to rally against stricter gun control measures.

An estimated 600 people turned out so far for Saturday speeches in Austin, Texas. Many are carrying signs with messages such as "An Armed Society is a Polite Society" and "The Second Amendment Comes from God."

Meanwhile, police say hundreds more joined rallies in New England while organizers also have plans to gather in capital cites to the west.

Activists have promoted the "Guns Across America" rallies primarily via social media. They're being held days after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping package of gun-control proposals.

First-term Texas state Rep. Steve Toth is among attendees in Austin. He's one of several state officials nationwide who've proposed trying to curb federal gun restrictions in states.