The Missouri chapter of the Oath Keepers seems to be learning from the public relations disaster that resulted from their walk through a volatile area of Ferguson on the anniversary of police officer Darren Wilson’s self-defense shooting of strong-arm robbery suspect Michael Brown.
The Oath Keepers now are planning an open carry walk with black Ferguson residents in an effort to show them that minorities can open carry firearms without being shot.
The Missouri chapter of the Oath Keepers are planning to hold an open carry march through downtown Ferguson, Mo., which will reportedly involve arming 50 black protestors with AR-15 rifles.The decision to hold the event transpired after St. Louis County officials, in violation of Missouri’s open carry law, insisted that members of the group could not open carry long barrel rifles within the city. In a video uploaded to YouTube, police chief Jon Belmar is seen warning a number of Oath Keepers that open carrying long barrel rifles would be a violation of the law.
“My only problem is with the long guns and inciting these guys out here,” Belmar said, referring to the Ferguson protesters.When one of the men questioned Belmar regarding Missouri’s open carry law, he responded by saying, “I have attorneys. I didn’t go to law school. I get what you guys stand for and probably agree with most of it. All I’m trying to do is manage this thing.”
While trying to simply manage things is semi-understandable, it’s Belmar’s duty to assure that those he employs respect Missouri’s open carry law and the Constitutional rights’ of American citizens.Head of the St. Louis County, Mo. Oath Keepers group, Sam Andrews called Belmar out for his blatant disregard of the law.
“He (Belmar) was thumbing his nose at the legislature of the State of Missouri. It was like he couldn’t give a crap about the Bill of Rights or state law.”
Andrews told Red Dirt News that the march would be held in the next “couple of weeks,” as a means of demonstrating the veracity of Missouri’s open carry law to law enforcement. Andrews explained that he and members of his group spent almost an entire night speaking with black protestors about the events in Ferguson and the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
“Every person we talked to said if they carried they’d be shot by police. That’s the reason we’re going to hold this event and it will be a legal demonstration,” Andrews said. “I’m sick and tired of law enforcement who doesn’t think they have to abide by the law. They’re narcissistic and that guy (Belmar) discredited my men.”
That police will shoot long gun open-carrying minorities on sight is a common misconception that has been debunked in other areas.
The New Black Panther Party carried out a long-gun open carry protest in their march on a jail last week in Texas without incident.
Open carry walks by the Huey P. Newton Gun Club have been uneventful as well.