Hoping to get attention by being placed under arrest, about 50 pro-gun advocates gathered at the Washington State Capitol building on Saturday morning. They were protesting the decision against allowing guns to be openly carried into the Legislature’s viewing gallery. However, the doors to the gallery were kept locked by the Washington State Patrol after the capitol was opened to the public at 11 a.m.
As reported by Yahoo! News, the pro-gun protesters, which included two state legislators, marched down the hallway of the building and were prepared to knock on the gallery’s door and the door of Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington. There were no arrests and no reports of disturbances, which some of the demonstrators, like 58-year-old Dave Grenier, seemed unhappy about.
“What’s the world coming to when there are people who want to break the law and they won’t let you do it?”
The main reason for the protest was the passage of Initiative 594, which was approved by voters across the state. This piece of legislation, which was passed last year, imposed new background checks for gun transfers, including gun purchases and loans. Those opposing the law claim it interferes with their rights as written in the state and federal constitutions.
As reported by KOMO News, the viewing gallery ban was put in place after an armed man in the House viewing gallery was admonished by the State Patrol for how his gun was being held. He was among a group of about a dozen people or so there to rally against the state initiative.
Protests had been taking place since December, after the legislation was approved during the state’s general election. As the Inquisitr reported, the initiative requiring the background check changes was endorsed and financially supported by more than a million dollars in donations by Bill and Melinda Gates and was approved by 60 percent of the voters in Washington last November.
Representative Elizabeth Scott (R) gave a passionate speech supporting the protesters. She listed more than 20 grievances in the speech, including high taxes, surveillance, the militarization of the police, Sharia Law and imposed restrictions on guns. She also showed the gun she carried to the crowd.
“I carry at least one gun every day, because a cop is too heavy and a guard is too heavy.”
Demonstrators at the State Capitol were ready to raise bail for anyone arrested during the rally by selling hats printed with the slogan “Fight Tyranny – Shoot Back.” They sold out of the caps.