Gun Rights Activists Carrying Semi-Automatic Weapons Rally Inside Kentucky Capitol

They were allowed to step around metal detectors, which many people pointed out showed an immense amount of privilege.
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Gun rights activists in the rotunda of the Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Bryan Woolston via Getty Images

Men in balaclavas packing semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflage, bulletproof vests and combat boots marched into the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort on Friday, driving out terrified visitors.

The men were gun rights activists and members of the group We Are KY Gun Owners, staging a Second Amendment rally proving they have a right to appear to be a paramilitary operation in the open carry state. They were allowed by security to step around the Capitol’s metal detectors.

“We can’t just whittle away one little piece here, one little piece there,” Calen Studler told the Louisville Courier Journal, referring to gun rights. “Then the [Constitution] doesn’t mean what it says anymore.”

Some Twitter users wondered how America would react if the men were not white.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referred to the weapons as automatic. They are semi-automatic.

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