Some Gun Owners Aren’t Happy About the Open Carry March on Washington

Not just gun control advocates are worried about the Independence Day “Open Carry March” on Washington,

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Cpl. Adam Kokesh talks to supporters during a rally held for him as he takes a break in his hearing at the Marine Corps Mobilization Command Monday, June 4, 2007, in Kansas City, Mo. (Ed Zurga/AP Photo)
Cpl. Adam Kokesh talks to supporters during a rally held for him as he takes a break in his hearing at the Marine Corps Mobilization Command Monday, June 4, 2007, in Kansas City, Mo. (Ed Zurga/AP Photo)

It's not just gun control advocates who are worried about libertarian talk show host Adam Kokesh's planned "Open Carry March" on Washington July 4, which is described on a Facebook event page as a march "with rifles loaded and slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated and cower in submission to tyranny."

Some gun owners aren't happy about the march either. And gun rights groups have so far declined to support it.

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Dave Workman at the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms tells Whispers the grass-roots gun rights group hasn't taken a position on the rally and doesn't expect to. Larry Pratt at Gun Owners of America said the event is "not the kind of thing we would be involved with."

"The folks are potentially there in Congress to take away the unsatisfactory laws, and we think we can possibly get that done," says Pratt. "So that's where we think the focus should be." Pratt also said he hadn't heard of a single gun owner taking part in the event, despite more than 3,300 confirmed guests on the event's Facebook page.

Scott Rickard, a Florida gun owner and former linguist for the National Security Agency and U.S. Air Force, says he might travel to Washington to participate in the rally, but that he won't come wielding a gun. "I'm not going to blatantly violate laws, because then you're just asking for trouble," he says. "If you don't like the law, then try to change the law."

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It is illegal to carry a gun – either concealed or in the open – in the District of Columbia.

On Soldier Systems Daily, a trade publication covering the tactical industry, readers suggested that a David Gregory-style rally would be more effective than an open carry march, meaning protesters would come brandishing empty 30-round magazines just as "Meet the Press" host David Gregory did on a show last December.

Other gun owners think the march is just a bad idea. "As a thorough supporter of the Second Amendment, for the sake of gun owners and enthusiasts I would think twice about this," Trisha Buchwald, a gun owner in Abilene, Texas, wrote on the march's Facebook page. "This is only going to give the government an excuse to make gun owners look bad and have our guns taken away from us."

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Kokesh, who was not immediately available to talk to Whispers, told local D.C. radio station WAMU that he would meet with law enforcement ahead of the march but would not try to get a permit. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has said the protesters could face arrest.

 

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.