A proposed armed march on Washington D.C. by a libertarian activist has drawn a swift and confrontational response from the city’s police chief.
“If you’re coming here to break the law, then we’re going to take action,” said Chief Cathy L. Lanier in an interview Tuesday. Responding to internet talk show host Adam Kokesh’s muster of gun rights advocates to cross into the nation’s capital on July 4th as part of an open carry demonstration, Lanier claimed participants would be treated as criminals.
“Passing into the District of Columbia with loaded firearms is a violation of the law, and we’ll have to treat it as such,” said D.C.’s top cop.
As of Tuesday, more than 2,400 people have signed up via Facebook to participate in the so-called “Open Carry March on Washington.” Although the police department has not been in contact with Kokesh or other organizers, Chief Lanier welcomed a coordination between the group and law enforcement in order to educate protestors on possible ramifications if the march crosses into her district.
Kokesh has repeatedly acknowledged the rally is “an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event,” but boldly asserted, “We will 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.”
A person caught carrying a gun outside their home or place of business can face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine according to the District’s newly adopted gun legislation – which just recently lifted a 30-year ban on handguns in 2008.