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No fireworks as men tote long guns in Carytown on Independence Day

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RICHMOND, Va. – Photos of pro-gun advocates walking down the streets of Richmond carrying large guns prompted a CBS 6 investigation that sparked a firestorm on social media.

In fact, many responded on the CBS 6 Facebook page that the group was taking its constitutional rights too far –- and some went to so far to say they would do whatever they could to stop them.

However, there were no fireworks in Carytown Friday as only two men lumbered along carrying long guns and an American flag asking those out and about to support open carry laws.

"Excuse me ladies, would you like a flyer? We're just educating people about the constitutional rights," asked open carry supporter Scott Royle.

Some people took the handout, while others said no thanks and kept on walking.

However, the Independence Day rally did not go exactly since only two participates showed up, when a handful had been expected.

At the same time, there were no visible protesters after a flurry of anti-gun Facebook messages warning them about showing up were posted on the event’s page.

"I will presume you are a terrorist threat and call 911 immediately,” one person wrote. “ I encourage everyone else to do the same."

The hostility upset open carry supporter Jason Spitzer.

"Why is it we get threatened like that, where we're just exercising our rights like everyone else," Spitzer asked.

Additionally, some people who do not agree with the men open carrying their long guns, do not agree with the posts either.

"I don't support these people necessarily just totally lashing out against them, calling them out and just making references to Nazi' and terrorists, because that’s not really what they are trying to do," said Holly Sullivan, who works In Carytown.

Maeghan Glass, who frequents Carytown with her daughter, said  that as long as the men are not harming anyone and  do not bother anyone who does not want to be around them, then they are doing nothing wrong.

Some who knew about the Facebook messages were concerned there could be a clash..

"The Facebook posts is a little disturbing, because it makes me nervous that something could happen on the street,” said Paula Hanson, who works In Carytown.

However, others had no issues with the group.

"I think that we should protect our rights, the second amendment and I mean they're not loaded, I don't think they are hurting anybody," said Annelise Borrell.



  • Taylor

    If you do not see anything wrong with someone carrying long guns down a pedestrian crowed road, then stupid is not a strong enough adjective for you.

  • sd

    I have no problem with people exercising their second amendment rights but when it comes to people carrying long guns around town people get scared. In this time it is hard to tell who means you harm and who doesn’t.

  • mbaker9105

    “Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.”
    – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
    – Patrick Henry

  • manalishi

    So,,, lets call this from a reality standpoint. Independence day grinds to a halt over paranoia of people exercising civil rights. This is how you can tell a democrat is in charge.

    • Belsma

      Manalishi, Independence Day has not come to a halt. I would like to know where you came up with that “opinion”. It has nothing to do with who is in charge. It has to do with certain people being complete idiots walking around town with guns. It’s a stupid thing to do IMO, and yes, other people can have one that don’t concur with yours. We are not always “right’, but we are also not always “wrong”. You just don’t see it that way. You have way too much energy to bash everyone who does to agree with you. That’s just my opinion.

      • manalishi

        It’s not an opinion Belsma. “It has nothing to do with who is in charge.” is not an opinion, it’s a lie you generated to support your opinion. The decision to cancel the fireworks was made by someone and is the reason that there were no fireworks,,,this would be a fact I question (but not criticize) the activists judgment but only to a small degree since I prefer ALL constitutional rights over anyone’s opinion including my own. Everyone knows that there are people who despise America, independence, and constitutional rights. This issue just provoked them/you to admit it which would be another fact,,,not opinion.

  • rickenhouse

    I think this falls into the stupid category.. just two idiots looking for attention when this will never happen. They should have thought before making fools of themselves…

  • Hang 10

    2 clowns looking for attention., part of the it is all about me mentality. Yea they have the right to carry and?
    Just because you can does not mean you should. A wonderful demonstration of bad taste and poor manners.

    • manalishi

      The U.S.. constitution. “A wonderful demonstration of bad taste and poor manners.” Aren’t you just charming.

  • dbm

    What is the end-game intent for these in-your-face “I dare you” marginal characters?
    More importantly, I wonder what children strolling with their parents, groups of impressionable teens and visitors to Richmond with children and teens take away to their friends and relatives in other cities and towns.

  • Mike Stollenwerk

    Open carry of properly holstered handguns is legal in 45 states (if you include California a rural open carry state; otherwise its 44). Like 30 other states, Virginia does not require a permit to open carry handguns; few states require any permit to carry long guns. Most folks who carry guns daily for self-defense, carry handguns, not long guns. Learn more at

  • Sean

    My new saying, gun’s are for pussies. Seriously pro-gun folks, what are you afraid of that carrying a bottle of pepper spray won’t save you? You seem to be making decisions based on unreasonable paranoia and fear. You would rather KILL an attacker rather than simply immobilize them. Something is not right here.

  • BO

    Once the liberal white guilt monkee is extinct we won’t have sissies whining about oh no thats a gun,I’m people make me sick.ought to sell you to cannibals.

  • Tar Zan

    Just because we have freedom of speech doesn’t mean we should all go around insulting people. Same goes for the 2nd amendment. Just because we have the right to bare arms, doesn’t mean we should go walk around with big dangerous guns in plain sight scaring the living jesus out of people in crowded areas.

    • BO

      If seeing a gun scares you then you must be about to do something that will get it aimed at you.otherwise your fear is irrational.

      • Trinity McKay

        I witnessed a neighbor shoot my husband for no reason. The guy had a gun, walked up, and shot my husband in the back, as he (my husband) was walking up our driveway. Another neighbor’s son witnessed it. So I do not think that our unease around guns is irrational and we are not doing anything illegal or wrong. There are victims of gun violence, shooting accidents, domestic violence victims and such who ARE afraid/uneasy around guns. Their fear is far from irrational. I fully agree that just because you can do something, does not mean you should. This country seems to lack empathy.

  • Jim

    I think they are being silly. On the other hand I think many other young men tend to do silly things to. So in this case they are showing everyone they can open carry firearms. In other cases they flame so much they can’t be ignored by total strangers.

  • Robbie

    Let’s see…people getting shot all over this site. Throw in a pistol whipped person, 10 to 15 robbers and a dog shot near Brandywine and you people are whining about 2 guys carrying weapons in a lawful way. Move to Norfolk if you don’t like it. They’re shooting 15 at a time down there.

  • CJ Grisham

    I see the butters and 50%ers of the “GUN RIGHTS” movement are here in force. When will you “defenders of the 2A” come clean that you don’t really support the 2A? These guys broke no laws and neither do other open carriers. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. There is no difference between a concealed .380 and an openly carried AK47 in the hands of a law abiding citizen. Wake up and stop siding with the gun control extremists and hurting our cause by creating division.

Comments are closed.