Doug Richards, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. LawShield®, describes what laws should gun owners be aware of when attending a protest. (Transcript below.)
Doug Richards here for U.S. LawShield.
Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about protesting, and I think that this is an important topic to discuss, given what’s happened recently in Charlottesville.
What I want to talk to you about is whether you can, and whether you should, carry a firearm about a protest.
Now, there is no specific law in Colorado that prohibits the either open or concealed carry of a firearm at a public protest. You could run into some problems, depending on where it actually occurs.
If it occurs on federal property, or on state property where firearms are prohibited, or if it occurs within a government building, obviously statutory restrictions would limit your ability to carry concealed. However, there is no statute in place that says you can’t carry a firearm at a public demonstration, or at a public gathering such as a protest.
Now the question is whether or not you should.
I don’t think you should. I think it’s a very poor choice to bring a firearm to any sort of a rally or a protest or anything like that. Obviously if there’s an incident and you’re the one that’s in possession of the firearm, you will immediately be under some significant scrutiny by the police and the district attorney’s office. Moreover, if you’re in possession of the firearm, you could very easily be charged with either disorderly conduct or menacing if your actions are creating a panic in other people or making them feel as if you’re presenting the firearm in a way that might hurt them or in a way to attack them.
So whether you can, and whether you should, like many things with the Second Amendment, you know, they don’t necessarily go together, and I urge you to exercise caution when you’re exercising your First Amendment rights and your Second Amendment rights.