Police allow armed activists on federal land despite ban
SPOKANE, Wash.-- Police with the Department of Homeland Security allowed armed activist on federal land Friday morning despite a recent order expanding weapons restrictions to federal grounds including the Thomas S. Foley.
The order and protest happened within the last week when an armed Iraq war veteran was arrested outside of the Thomas S. Foley Courthouse in Downtown Spokane. Anthony Bosworth said he does not believe he was breaking any laws by carrying an assault rifle outside the federal courthouse.
His arrest was caught on cell phone video.
On Friday, about 50 supporters maintained that Bosworth did nothing wrong and that federal agents owe him and them an apology. The activists arrived around 11:00 a.m. A majority of the protesters arrived together carrying flags, signs and firearms along the sidewalk outside of the federal courthouse.
Bosworth led the group which was warned by authorities upon their arrival. The officer warned the crowd that guns were not allowed on federal grounds and asked armed activists to remain on the sidewalk which is public property. The group agreed to remain peaceful. However, many expected it to turn ugly.
The protesters stayed off Federal property until Bosworth's conversation with a police officer. The two came to an agreement that he and about a dozen others could do exactly what he was doing when he was arrested before.
Within an hour of the protest starting, armed activists had moved onto federal grounds in front of the courthouse to hear Bosworth speak. However, authorities did not stop the group. The same officers who warned the activists told KREM 2 News that authorities would respect the protest even though they are on federal property. The officer added that armed activists will not be cited or arrested as long as they remain peaceful.
KREM 2 on Your Side asked why no arrests were made Friday and found out that police backed down. They said because everyone was peacefully protesting, they allowed them to openly carry on federal property. As part of the agreement, Bosworth showed protestors what line they could not cross and told everyone that their guns could not be loaded.
Bosworth's wife said he has not faced charges for his original arrest and he still has not got his gun back.