MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) – Dozens of protesters gathered outside of a VFW post on Tuesday as a “Build Your Own AR-15” class was held inside.
The AR-15 is the same military-style assault weapon used in several mass shootings in America.
Organizers say the class is legal and was planned months ago, long before the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The shooting prompted millions to take to the streets over the weekend calling for an end to gun violence through common sense gun laws.
Chris Walden teaches the class and sells the parts used. He pointed out that all of the guns have serial numbers, are registered and are sold only to those who legally can own them.
Walden said there was never any talk of delaying the class after the massacre in Florida last month that left 17 dead. The shooter used an AR-15.
“There’s always significant things going on and if we tried to weave that between whatever tragedy and anything else, I’m not sure we’d ever find a good time,” Walden said. “Now’s as good a time as any.”
Protesters who came out Tuesday say the very idea of creating more of these guns is a terrible idea.
“I would say what they’re doing is perfectly legal,” protest organizer W. Jeffrey Wilson said. “They’re entitled to do this, they are within their rights. Morally, I have questions about it. And that’s how laws change – when we address the morality of things that are currently legal.”
Other protesters said it is a slap in the face to the kids who died.
“We don’t want all their guns, we don’t want the assault rifles, the ones they’re building tonight, those are the ones doing the damage to our kids,” said Marshall resident Pam Daume, speaking through tears.
The gun advocates say the class is a responsible and economical way to get higher-end AR-15s for about half what it would cost in the store — around $2,000.
This is an annual event and organizers plan to be back next year.
Story via NBC News/WOOD: http://bit.ly/2utA9ZZ