There are riots in Charlotte, North Carolina, sparked by the shooting of an armed black man by a black police officer. A motorist caught by rioters blocking the street, briefly displayed what appears to be a handgun.
A video of the alarming moment was posted on social media by writer Heather Head in the midst of the chaos.
'White dude drives into crowd of peaceful protesters, draws gun, allowed to drive away alive. With my own eyes. #CharlotteProtest,' she wrote alongside the shocking clip.
The man was surrounded by protesters who were marching against the deadly shooting of black man Keith Lamont Scott by a cop on Tuesday afternoon.
It is legal to openly carry a firearm in North Carolina, but not in a riot or organized protest, if the carry is intended to further the civil disorder. From the UK Daily Mail:
The law states: 'You may not carry a weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, or other demonstration, except for guns carried on a rack in a pickup truck.
'You may not carry a weapon during civil disorder, riot, or other disturbance involving three or more people.'
The Daily Mail is using a shorthand version of the law, found on the Internet. Their source appears to be criminaldefenselawyer.com. The full statute shows that more is required to make the carry illegal. The law referenced is statute 14-288.20.
(b) A person is guilty of a Class H felony, if he:
(1) Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be unlawfully employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or
(2) Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ unlawfully the training, practicing, instruction, or technique for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder.
Presumably, the law would only apply to the willful carry of a weapon in a civil disorder, riot, or other disturbance, with the purpose of furthering the civil disorder. It would be absurd to require an armed person to abandon their arms in the middle of a riot that they become inadvertently caught up in.
The video illustrates the effect of deterrence. After the motorist displays that he is armed, he eventually is able to move through the crowd without being stopped, as he was initially.
It is worth noting that the all of the people in the street who are “protesting”, are violating North Carolina law. It is illegal to obstruct the highways and roads in North Carolina, as it is in every state.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.