Pennsylvania lawmaker wants guns banned from public demonstrations
By Andrew Shepperson
Pennsylvania State Rep. Stephen Kinsey. (Photo: Facebook)
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker has vowed to push legislation that would ban guns at public demonstrations, as a response to the violence that erupted at protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Philadelphia, announced his plans on Wednesday, arguing that banning guns and other dangerous items at public demonstrations would make them safer and promote free speech.
“Following the events that took place in Charlottesville, it is more important now than ever to protect our First Amendment right,” Kinsey said in a news release. “Civics teaches us that the right of people to assemble peacefully to express, promote, pursue and defend their beliefs is fundamental to a functioning democracy. The presence of firearms and other dangerous articles place that fundamental right in grave danger.”
The lawmaker went on to argue that firearms brought to public demonstrations stifle Americans’ rights to gather peacefully and speak out for their beliefs. The presence of guns at such events, Kinsey said, can be dangerous for law enforcement and protesters alike.
Kinsey’s comments came after violence broke out between neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, and groups of white nationalists gathered for a “Unite the Right” rally and groups of counter-protesters there to oppose them.