I went down to the protests on Friday evening and was shocked to find several heavily armed individuals. One of them kept tapping his finger around the trigger of a large-caliber, military-style rifle.
I am attorney in town and was amazed that this was legal. I did some research and discovered that in fact, it is not legal. Under Montana Code 45-5-221, a person commits the offense of malicious intimidation or harassment relating to civil or human rights activities if the person purposely or knowingly, with the intent to terrify or intimidate, causes reasonable apprehension of bodily injury to another.
There is absolutely no reason to have guns at a protest. The police are there for a reason. I understand that the protesters, counter-protesters and the police settled their disagreements but this new trend of bringing firearms to protests needs to end. I also understand that many people did not attend the protests and/or left the protests because of these people carrying firearms.
This law is on the books and the police need to start enforcing it!
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