Hundreds expected to participate in Open Carry March - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hundreds expected to participate in Open Carry March


On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced two new gun control measures. One will ban the re-importation of military surplus firearms to private entities. The other, proposes a regulation that would close a loophole in background checks.

In an effort to encourage people to exercise their Second Amendment rights, several East Texans are planning an open carry march in Longview this Labor Day weekend.

Organizers of the event said it will begin with a safety demonstration in a parking lot off of East Cotton Street in Longview.

The demonstration is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday. Then, participants plan to head over to the Gregg County courthouse where the march is scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m.

The organizers of this event said they will not tolerate anything but a peaceful rally.

"This is very important, we are not aiming to have a protest, we are aiming to have a celebration. This is truly a group of individuals rallying together around a specific cause and purpose and that is the purpose of liberty defined when it comes to bearing arm," said Matt Thiessen, one of the event's organizers.

"This is an opportunity to get out in public with a lot of people, people who are responsible, people who are responsible enough to get out and take a risk and walk in public, and demonstrate a right a lot of people have forgotten in a lot of cases or never knew existed," said Mike Danapas, another organizer.

This is not the first open carry rally these organizers have put together.

They had an Independence Day open carry celebration in Tyler's downtown square where about 200 people came out to celebrate and exercise their right to bear arms.

It is an event they gave the Tyler Police Department a heads up about, and this time is no different.

Organizers communicated their plans with the Longview Police Department, but they said that was more of courtesy.

"We made it clear that we are not asking for permission to exercise rights we already have," Danapas said.

After speaking with the organizers, Longview PD said they do not expect any problems.

"The police department supports any organization that wants to come out and exercise their rights no matter what their cause may be, just to gain support," said Kristie Brian with the Longview Police Department.

If you would like to know more about this rally, you can check out the event's Facebook page by clicking here.

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