A few dozen pro-gun protesters openly carrying rifles, shotguns, and pistols rallied outside the Newport News Police station in Virginia to defy a new local ordinance banning open carry in public spaces.
Police Chief Steve R. Drew greeted the activists and offered chocolate milk to Mike Dunn, who had been arrested and disarmed a week earlier under the same ordinance. Dunn handed Drew a Mountain Dew in return.
Police stood by and did not make any arrests.
Dunn – who is still charged with trespassing for open carrying at a Libertarian rally last Thursday – was returned his handgun Thursday morning, Chief Drew confirmed.
In a speech to the activists, Chief Drew sent his condolences to the family of Duncan Lemp – a militiaman killed in a no-knock police raid – and said he wants to treat the rally “with the upmost respect” and asked the same from activists.
Aubrey “Japharii” Jones Jr. of Black Lives Matter 757 spoke out, noting the difference in how police treat unarmed Black Lives Matter activists versus an armed rally like Thursday night’s. He called the “this showing of force is absolutely beautiful.”
During his speech, Mike Dunn explained how he defied the local gun ordinance and got arrested last week, and added that “legally, we’re not supposed to be open carrying here, but we’re all open carrying.”
“We’re here openly and blatantly defying unconstitutional city ordinances.”
“Pops” – a Black Lives Matter activist known to carry guns (today he wore six firearms) – described how police “tear gassed” his group when they were unarmed.
“Armed protesters do not get assaulted by police, that’s a fact,” he explained. He says this led him into armed activism.
Ford Fischer is an independent news videographer, editor, filmmaker, and the editor-in-chief of News2Share. His work has been included in four Emmy-winning films. He co-founded and designed News2share.com as an engine for independent videographers and citizen journalists to contribute to the evolving news cycle. He is available for hire as a freelance videographer/journalist. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org