PORTLAND — Anti-gun activists are organizing a counter-demonstration in response to an “open carry” firearm event planned for this Sunday.

Both events will take place at 2 p.m., at the Preble Street parking lot across from the Hannaford supermarket.

Anti-gun activists say that while carrying a holstered weapon in public is allowed under state law, they don’t think it’s safe or responsible in Maine’s largest city.

“We’re not going to normalize anti-social behavior,” said Dan Skolnik, a city councilor who chairs Portland’s Public Safety Committee.

The open carry event reflects a national movement in which gun owners are asserting their Constitutional right to bear arms. The counter-rally may have the effect of starting a broader dialogue about gun control in Maine, a debate that Skolnik and other organizers hope could reach the state Legislature next year.

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