According to a press release by the Washington-based gun rights organization Liberty for All, the group is planning an open carry protest on March 6 outside of Spokane, Washington’s Tom Foley federal courthouse in response to what the group calls the “illegal arrest and detention of a prominent liberty activist” named Anthony Bosworth, who mounted a campaign for Yakima County sheriff in 2014. According to WWLP, Bosworth was arrested and detained by federal police in February as he conducted an open carry demonstration outside of the courthouse. The arrest was caught on video, seen above.
The open carry of firearms is legal in Washington. However, federal police claim that Bosworth was carrying on federal property, which Bosworth denies. The gun rights activist said that he had been standing outside the courthouse and was asking federal officers to clarify the border between state and federal property at the time that he was arrested. According to Yakima Herald, Bosworth was cited for failing to disperse, but was not charged in connection with carrying a firearm on federal property.
Liberty for All’s Sam Wilson wrote in a statement, “Anthony Bosworth, part of the Liberty for All leadership, was arrested and detained in a steel cage for five hours by federal agents while attending a 10th Amendment rally in the public courtyard outside the federal courthouse on February 25. The agents, representing Department of Homeland Security and the US Marshal Service, claimed that Bosworth was violating federal law by being openly armed.” Wilson said that police asked Bosworth politically-motivated questions after they placed him in detention, “During the detention, the FBI subjected Bosworth to a three-hour interrogation regarding his liberty activism and demanding information about ‘the movement’s intentions.'”
“Our State, Our Rights: The Patriots Answer rally is slated for 11:00 AM, and the armed patriots are expecting a large turnout to protest the overreach of federal authorities, who used the Patriot Act to deny the activist his Miranda rights, access to an attorney, and even access to toilet paper while detained,” said Wilson, noting the motivation behind and details of the March 6 open carry rally in defense of Bosworth. He said that, despite the fact that Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich intervened and did not allow federal police to bring trespassing or gun charges, police have yet to return Bosworth’s firearms, which were taken during the incident.
Said Bosworth of the controversy in comments to KXLY, “I was arrested for practicing my second amendment right 10 feet away from a plaque that enshrines our Bill of Rights. They’ve got it posted right there, but yet they will illegally arrest an American citizen with it sitting right there.”