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Westmoreland GOP rally marks first Gun Appreciation Day

| Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

The Westmoreland County Republican Committee will mark the first national Gun Appreciation Day with a rally at noon Saturday outside the courthouse in Greensburg.

GOP Chairwoman Jill Cooper said the idea originated at a meeting of the county's party district chairmen.

“It was suggested we organize a peaceful demonstration to display our party's support of our Second Amendment right to bear arms. We feel it's a shared value of all people throughout Westmoreland County — not just Republicans — and everyone is invited to attend,” Cooper said.

Cooper said when word of the rally got out “there was an immediate positive response and support of more 50 people, so we decided to go ahead and apply for the (county) permit.”

A national coalition of gun rights and conservative groups proclaimed Jan. 19 as Gun Appreciation Day as a statement of protest over President Obama's push for tighter gun laws.

Charles “Chip” Gallo of Ligonier will be the guest speaker at the Greensburg rally. Attempted homicide and related charges filed against Gallo after a road rage incident were dropped by the District Attorney's Office and Ligonier Township Police.

Gallo claimed he was protecting himself in October 2011 when he twice fired a semi-automatic pistol at another Ligonier motorist. All charges against both men were dropped because neither would testify against the other.

Gallo's supporters said the state's Castle Doctrine law gave him the right to fire his weapon in self-defense.

For information on the rally, telephone 724-836-0570.

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