Last Friday, Erika Cotti went to the Loudon County Registrar’s office to vote and was approached by a man passing out Republican sample ballots with a gun holstered at his side. He is a retired law enforcement official and has a concealed carry permit.
Cotti informed the liberal online news organization The Huffington Post that a man was “wearing a huge Trump T-shirt, he has a huge gun . . .” and that he offered her a Republican flyer. She also complained that he obstructed her exit as she left the polls because he was standing on the sidewalk. She added that she didn’t think the man’s conduct should be allowed, even though Virginia is an Open Carry state.
“That’s insane to me,” she told the news organization.
She claims that she felt intimidated and had to explain to her son, who was with her, “why a man with a .357 magnum is standing outside the polling station.”
(She must be pretty good to identify the handgun by its grip!)
However Judy Brown, the county registrar, told HuffPo that the man was “being nice” to people, and that he appeared to be respecting the observed 40-foot no-canvassing zone outside of the entrance. She also stated that he was well within his rights to be where he was and to be openly carrying a handgun.
Law enforcement officials also agreed that the man was doing nothing wrong.
The man did, however, agree to pull his t-shirt down over his holster to hide the gun so as to not “startle” anyone else.
One has to wonder if Cotti would have been so quick to “cry wolf” if the man had been wearing a Clinton t-shirt instead.
So, to all our friends that plan on working the polls and having their trusty firearm at their side, be aware of the open and concealed carry laws in your state as well as no-canvasing rules for each polling place. Be respectful, but also mindful, that you may be accused of intimidation by anti-gunners looking for any excuse to attack your Second Amendment rights.
But most importantly, be sure to vote to preserve these rights.