by Jacob Jones
Gun lovers plan to celebrate the Second Amendment and all things armed this weekend with a "Gun Appreciation Day" rally outside a Coeur d'Alene sporting goods store.
The Oath Keepers gun rights group plans to host the rally at 1 pm Saturday in the parking lot of the Black Sheep Sporting Goods store on Seale Avenue. The rally coincides with a nationally promoted Gun Appreciation Day being formally and informally observed by gun owners.
The national Gun Appreciation Day website says: "Go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags and your 'Hands off my guns' sign to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama."
Black Sheep spokesman Brian Knoll says local organizers plan to bring in a flat-bed truck and booths to allow special guests to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment during Saturday's event.
"It sounds like it could be a pretty good-sized event," Knoll says. "It should be pretty busy."
Knoll says the store has already increased its staffing to keep up with increased gun sales in recent weeks. He says the rally will provide a local opportunity for gun owners to come together to celebrate firearms.
Oath Keepers, a Second Amendment defense group, has invited several local representatives to address the rally. Idaho state Sen. Steve Vick, state Rep. Vito Barbieri and state Rep. Ron Mendive are scheduled to speak.
Oath Keepers Founder Stuart Rhodes is also scheduled to speak Saturday. The group promotes a "Molon Labe pledge," swearing to die before being disarmed.
"We will keep the oaths we sore to almighty God to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic," the pledge reads. "That oath does not expire until we do. American patriots, Oath Keepers, what say you? Will you pledge the same?"