More than 50 members of Manasota Gun Traders gathered near the UTC Mall on a hot and humid Saturday afternoon bearing signs, banners and American flags, to show their support for law enforcement.
“We’re here to let law enforcement know that we have their back 100 percent — that our 8,100 member all support law enforcement and what they do,” said MGT organizer and spokesman Bob Ransome. “It’s about time! I can’t believe no one else has done this.”
Law enforcement and lawful gun ownership “coincide” Ransome said.
“If a police officer sees an MGT sticker, they should know it’s not someone to worry about,” Ransome explained.
Derek Schiller said he came to show support for “MGT and LEOs.”
“I like seeing our community come together to support something like this,” Schiller said.
The rally was well attended and well planned.
Signs, bumper stickers and t-shirts were all donated for the event.
Members lined the sidewalk of Cattleman Road, near University Parkway, which drew honks, cheers and waves of support from people driving by.
Paul Sanchez said he has family and friends who are police officers and firefighters.
“It’s important to back the badge,” he said.