New Black Panther Party calls on members to carry guns to Republican Convention protests

An organization of people with a history of violence is going to be carrying firearms while protesting the Republican National Convention in Ohio. Does that raise any red flags for anyone else or is it just me?



The New Black Panther Party, a “black power” movement, will carry firearms for self-defense during demonstrations in Cleveland ahead of next week’s Republican convention if allowed under Ohio law, the group’s chairman said.

The plan by the group could add to security headaches for the Ohio city after last week’s killing of five police officers in Dallas by a U.S. army veteran who had been drawn to black separatist ideology, including on Facebook, before hatching his plan to target white police officers.

Several other groups, including some supporters of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have said they will carry weapons in Cleveland, leading to concerns about rival groups being armed in close proximity.

“If it is an open state to carry, we will exercise our second amendment rights because there are other groups threatening to be there that are threatening to do harm to us,” Hashim Nzinga, chairman of the New Black Panther Party, told Reuters in an interview.

“If that state allows us to bear arms, the Panthers and the others who can legally bear arms will bear arms.”

Nzinga condemned the Dallas shootings as a “massacre” and said his group played no role in the attack.

Police in Dallas, where Texas’s “open carry” law allows civilians to carry guns in public, said seeing multiple people carrying rifles led them initially to believe they were under attack by multiple shooters.

Officials in Ohio have said it will be legal for protesters to carry weapons at demonstrations outside the convention under that state’s gun laws.

Eric Pucillo, vice president of Ohio Carry Inc., a non-partisan firearms rights, education and advocacy group, said he supports the rights of others to carry firearms close to the convention site.

“As long as they’re abiding by the law, I see no issue with it,” he said.

While they have a legal right to carry, it does raise some concerns. Something tells me Cleveland is going to be very tense.

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