The gun rights effort includes those behind Gun Appreciation Day, set for January 19. On its website, the group asks Americans to "go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags and your 'Hands off my Guns' sign to send a loud and clear message."
Larry Ward, chairman of Gun Appreciation Day, said the event is a response to gun control laws being proposed in the current session of Congress, such as the assault weapons ban touted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and backed by Obama.
But some find the event's timing offensive, as it comes just two days before the president's inauguration and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
"There is selfish, self-serving intent in a Gun Appreciation Day," said Maria Roach, whose group United for Change USA began a petition against the event. Groups calling on people to show off their guns "are really focused on theater, and not solutions," she said.
Ward had a different interpretation.
"I believe that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of Dr. King," he told CNN's Carol Costello. "I think Martin Luther King would agree with me, if he were alive today, that if African-Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from Day One of the country's founding, perhaps slavery would not have been a chapter in our history."
"That is ridiculous," Roach countered.