KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Groups at an anti-fascism rally in downtown Kansas City complied with a police order on Saturday to remove ammunition from their weapons, but they said the order violated their rights to openly carry weapons.
Several people at the rally, which was peaceful, said they planned to later challenge the order.
Police cited a city ordinance that prohibits possession of a weapon “readily capable of lethal force,” said police spokeswoman Sgt. Kari Thompson. She said the ordinance allows possession of a weapon, but that the gun and ammunition cannot be together.
She told The Kansas City Star the ordinance “prohibits open carry anywhere” in the city unless an individual also has a concealed-carry permit.
“And today, a warning was given to all,” Thompson said.
The rally was organized by several anti-fascist groups. The newspaper reported that several people who refused to give their names, including some with their faces concealed, followed the order but said they plan to fight it in the future.
“We don’t see any merit to fight it now,” said one person who removed ammunition from a rifle.
The city ordinance is allowed under Missouri’s open-carry law, said Kevin Jamison, an attorney who specializes in weapons and self-defense, including Second Amendment rights. He said the disarm order was a bad idea, even if it was legal. He also questioned if the ordinance was equally enforced.
“A lot of things are legal. Whether they’re a good idea or not is another thing,” Jamison said.
Saturday’s enforcement action came after an Aug. 20 rally in Kansas City where some armed members of the Three Percent United Patriots watched. Police Capt. Stacey Graves said that prompted police to look further into ordinances involving openly carrying firearms.
“This Saturday, we contacted people on both sides of the issues that were carrying firearms,” Graves said. “Everyone was cooperative.”
Police had a strong presence at Saturday’s rally. No arrests or violence was reported.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com