Pro-gun rally greets returning CO lawmakers

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DENVER (AP) -- Gun-rights enthusiasts rallied outside the Colorado Capitol to send a message to lawmakers convening inside.

About 100 protesters held signs calling on lawmakers to avoid changing state gun laws. Some waved "Don't Tread On Me" flags and promised more protests on gun control.

The Legislature is expected to debate an assault-weapons ban and other gun-control measures in the first session since last year's Aurora theater shootings.

The rally came a day before the governor's annual State of the State address. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he wants lawmakers to debate gun control, but he hasn't elaborated on details.

Some Democrats want to see an assault-weapons ban and more frequent mental health alerts on gun background checks. Some Republicans introduced legislation to allow school employees to carry concealed weapons.

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