Va. Gun activist and former Marine held without bond
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Pro-gun activist Adam Kokesh, recently seen in an Internet video loading and cocking a shotgun, is being held in a Washington jail without bond, a judge ruled.
He is charged with carrying a rifle or shotgun outside a home or place of business, an offense that carries a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Kokesh, an Iraq veteran, made headlines with a July Fourth video posted to YouTube in which he loaded a shotgun in the middle of the national capital’s Freedom Plaza.
He also used Facebook to call for an armed march in Washington for the same day but called off the event in May. It is illegal to carry firearms in the District of Columbia.
District of Columbia Magistrate Judge Lori Parker said Kokesh “poses a danger” and went “out of his way” to violate the district’s laws.
Kokesh’s attorney, Peter Cooper, said after the appearance in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia that his client is making a “political statement,” but argued the government is doing the same thing.
“Their allegation about danger, I believe, is unwarranted,” Cooper said.
Kokesh was originally arrested July 9 after a police search of his suburban Washington home in Herndon, Virginia, found a firearm and an illicit drug, an illegal combination in the state of Virginia.
He posted bond on Thursday for that charge, but “never saw the light of day” as police picked him up soon afterward, Cooper said.
Kokesh has a history of publicly airing his opinions. He was discharged from the Marines in 2007 for wearing his uniform during an anti-war protest.
In his now infamous YouTube video, Kokesh states: “We will not be silent. We will not obey. We will not allow our government to destroy our humanity.”
Then, loading shells into the shotgun, he looks into a camera, saying, “We are the final American revolution. See you next Independence Day.”
CNN’s Leslie Bentz and Steve Brusk contributed to this report.
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