TRENTON — Several thousand gun owners and supporters of the 2nd Amendment are expected to rally later this month in response to proposed laws and actions that, as they say, target law-abiding citizens instead of violent criminals.

Sponsored by the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, along with the National Rifle Association, the event is scheduled to start at the War Memorial on the morning of March 26.

"No, we're not going to be there shaking guns in our fists that day," ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach told the Townsquare News Network. "This is a rally to gather and to share views ... and also let the legislators and the governor know that we're watching."

Following the rally, Bach said, participants will march to the State House and "pack the galleries," where the state Assembly and Senate are expected to vote on a flurry of gun-related bills.

Among a handful of measures approved by an Assembly panel on Wednesday, advancing proposals would limit the size of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, ban ammunition that can pierce body armor, and solidify strict concealed-carry permit regulations.

“What you guys are doing is targeting 1 million or so law-abiding, taxpaying citizens and making us all felons with one fell swoop, with zero compensation,” Anthony Colandro, founder of the Gun for Hire shooting range in Woodland Park, told the panel in February. “We are all going to be become criminals.”

Advancing legislation would also require background checks for private gun sales, require firearms be seized from people deemed by mental health professionals to pose a threat, and create new gun-violence retraining orders through which family members could notify law enforcement of potential problems.

The publicity push has not yet begun for the rally, but Bach said his group is already aware of nearly 1,000 people who plan to attend.

"We expect several thousand to be there," he said. "It's for anyone who believes in the 2nd Amendment — gun owner or not."

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