"The sheriff is crucially important in how we live in Harford County," Gahler said.

'More guns, not less'

Rally organizers noted county sheriffs are typically elected by the people in their jurisdictions – and must answer to them – rather than police chiefs appointed by local governments.

A number of sheriffs across the U.S. have protested federal gun control legislation and have pledged not to enforce it – should it ever be passed – in their communities.


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Gahler said he would "never, as a law enforcement leader, send law enforcement officers to law-abiding citizens'" homes to enforce federal gun laws.

The deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., in December have galvanized legislative efforts to strengthen existing gun laws at the state and federal levels – the Manchin-Toomey amendment to require background checks of all gun purchasers, even those buying firearms at a gun show, recently failed in the U.S. Senate.

"As God-awful as Sandy Hook was, the answer is actually more guns, not less," Gahler said.

AR-15 raffle

Representatives of the Route 40 Republican Club were also present Saturday, raffling off an AR-15 sports rifle – provided by Maryland Quartermaster, Woods' wife's business. The drawing will take place during the group's meeting on June 13.

John Stortstrom, vice president of the Route 40 club, and Woods showed the AR-15 to people at the rally. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets can call 410-679-6115 or 410-812-1267.

"The reason we support the Second Amendment is because we realize that criminals don't follow the law, no matter how restrictive the government is on guns," McGrady said after the rally.