Armed Protesters Challenge Gun Ban

( – Armed protesters found themselves faced with an unexpected challenge as they gathered at a North Carolina cemetery, intending to march through downtown Raleigh. The May 1st protest was intended as an outcry against the state’s stay-at-home orders, but instead brought a new issue to light. The Raleigh Police Department told the men they were prohibited, by an obscure state law, from bearing arms and protesting at the same time.

Wait. What?

Yes, the first amendment gives us the right to assembly. And, yes, the second amendment gives us the right to bear arms. But apparently North Carolina is one of six states with laws that ban firearms at protests and rallies. Other states, like New York, allow firearms at demonstrations on the state level, but give local governments the right to set their own rules. The majority of remaining states simply have no written laws tying guns to rallies at all.

While protesters should of course  be expected to follow state and local laws regarding licensing and regular rules of conduct for open or concealed carry, gun enthusiasts are left wondering how their constitutional rights can be limited in a “one at a time” manner. Case law supports it, but does the constitution? 

North Carolina, by the way, is an open carry state. 

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