Weapons Seized at North Carolina Black Panther Press Conference

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Authorities halted an armed Black Panther press conference, taking 10 guns from participants. (Photo: WBTV)

Police seized ten weapons from members of the North Carolina Revolutionary Black Panther Party at an armed press conference late last week. Police say they took ten firearms from the group. None of the members have come forward to reclaim their arms.

Guns seized included five semi-automatic handguns, two revolvers and three shotguns. North Carolina law suspends the right to carry firearms during protests and demonstrations as well as at courthouses where the press conference took place.

The local sheriff’s department is holding the guns. People can reclaim their guns with proper identification. The group’s leaders maintain that this is a violation of their constitutional rights to free speech and the right to keep and bear arms.

Party leader Dr. Alli Muhammad stated that the district attorney and the Wilmington police chief are trying to suppress the group’s civil liberties. The group held the conference to draw attention to the shooting deaths of three African-American men by police officers.

“The DA and Wilmington Police Chief are engaging in acts designed to chill our freedom of expression,” Muhammad said, reports WBTV. “One of the basic tenants of the constitution that they are sworn to uphold.

“The DA and everyone under his directives is engaging in selective enforcement which amounts to viewpoint content discrimination,” he said. “The unconstitutional acts carried out by the Wilmington Police Department and the DA will be fought tooth and nail.”

“We maintain that the current statue cited by the DA and police in order to violate our constitutional, civil and human rights is a crime and it is because we are black and it is because we are black panthers. This is in clear violation of the state and US constitution, freedom of expression and the right to bear arms.

“We of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party are lawful and any violation against the people of this state and the United States of America and against us as the people and against you as the people or against we as the people are a crime,” he stated.

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After deputies interrupted the armed vigil the group moved to a private home. Deputies also removed participants’ face masks. Local statute also prohibits wearing face masks at protests and demonstrations.

The group originally planned an armed march but changed plans after the DA’s office said they would move to block it.

“My office has received several press inquires regarding an announced march scheduled to take place in Wilmington this weekend,” said Hanover County District Attorney Ben David. “The right to gather and speak freely is a great American tradition and is enshrined in our First Amendment. The right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment. To ensure public safety, reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions are codified [by local law] which prohibits the possession of firearms under certain circumstances.”

“This statute will be enforced in this district without regard to the applicant who seeks to assemble or the viewpoints of that group. When the assembly is convened on public property, individuals are prohibited from possessing firearms while demonstrating or picketing without advanced permission. Anyone in violation of this statute will be prosecuted.”

Muhammad said that they were not protestors in an responding statement.

“We are not protestors we are not picketing, and we don’t intend on having any funerals,” Muhammad said. “So that’s not our intentions. Our actual special event,” he continued, “is a special event against terrorism and genocide.”

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • TC February 12, 2017, 11:11 am

    Can you imagine the press this situation would have received if it were the Klan wearing masks and carrying guns openly. The national press would have lead with this story on the nightly news.

  • Bill in Lexington, NC February 6, 2017, 8:10 pm

    Ahh shaddup. You were wearing masks and carrying firearms where NEITHER is permitted for some pretty darned good reasons. You got busted. You can have your toys back for the asking … IF you can show ID and IF you are not a prohibited felon.

    If that makes you nervous, thank God the police didn’t get all Rambo on your butts.

  • elgavilansegoviano February 6, 2017, 1:55 pm

    …..Radical Muslim Back Panther Group, should be put on the US terrorist watch list!!,…….and Treated as such under the Current National Laws!!,….

  • Harold February 6, 2017, 1:00 am

    I wonder how many of the Black Panthers (BP) are registered to Vote and Voted. Being militant and breaking laws DO NOT accomplice a damn thing. How many BP have children that they maintain financial and personal support? How many have finished high school and seeking higher learning? The BP should not get involved in that idiotic and stupid campaign of some Whites to walk around bearing firearms. The BP should work together with the neighborhood citizens to make it safe and politically fight to improve the neighborhood public schools.

  • Chris dawson February 5, 2017, 3:00 pm

    2nd amendment rights only apply to whites, don’t act surprised

    • Doug . February 6, 2017, 11:18 am

      How do you argue this point with some one who is not real smart ?

      • Fred Ziffle February 7, 2017, 8:18 am

        It should be simple, considering that the statement “is not real smart” to begin with.

    • Bill in Lexington, NC February 6, 2017, 8:12 pm

      As a White … if I’d shown up to a protest armed and masked, I’d probably have had my white butt bent over the back of a squad car … not standing around joshing with the Sheriff.

    • Fred Ziffle February 7, 2017, 8:16 am

      2nd Amendment rights apply to all legally qualified American citizens. Crimes, however, are not Constitutionally protected. Members of this group were breaking the law. Why are liberals incapable of comprehending this simple distinction?

  • William C. February 4, 2017, 2:27 pm

    Every CCW permit states that you are not allowed to carry a concealed or open weapon at any event were the public can be at risk. Having weapons at a protest is like having a weapon in a bar while getting intoxicated. ( Emotions ) are just as present at a protest as they are in a intoxicating establishment. All it would take to ignite a riot or a gun fight would have been a word by a bystander at the group, or a word to a bystander from the group.
    The laws are written by your legislature and are thought out hopefully with common sense. Even if they don’t make sense to the common laymen. Common sense has to be exercised in every situation even if some constituents don’t understand the process.
    That being said: I would like to point out that fact that if a few words had been passed back and forth between this group and another group walking by. This conversation would be more about a horrific, tragedy instead of about rights of the people.

  • jerry smith February 3, 2017, 4:49 pm

    Sorry Dr Mohameater but the law applies to black people also. Try obeying the law next time you have a
    Black Panther Party.

  • Onthe Wall February 3, 2017, 1:44 pm

    If weapons were taken from members of the North Carolina Revolutionary Black Panther Party those weapons must have been illegal, WHERE ARE THE ARRESTS!

    • Bill in Lexington, NC February 6, 2017, 8:13 pm

      Not necessarily … but there is probably a good reason why these guys didn’t drive on down to the cop shop, flash some ID and pick their Mossbergs back up.

  • skipNclair February 3, 2017, 12:49 pm

    Denying any right or watering down any amendment no matter how slight, and no matter what the reason, is extremely dangerous.

    • deanbob February 3, 2017, 1:48 pm

      Very true. “First they came for the communists, and I did nothing. ..”

  • Alan February 3, 2017, 11:57 am

    The man has a point, if they are lawfully allowed to carry, then they need to redress their State legislature concerning these laws and have the laws revoked.
    The very idea of carry is that one be armed when and where one is most likely to be assailed.
    And with the rising instances of truck driving terrorists, any assembly of people is a target.
    I would NOT attend any demonstration WITHOUT a gun, not in these times of terror and violent maniacs.
    I don’t agree with their politics, but a right is a right. And as a strict Constitutionalist, I must defend their rights to self protection.

  • UncleNat February 3, 2017, 10:53 am

    Most of the weapons were returned a couple days later except a couple that were apparently stolen property. The group had been announcing the armed “press conference” for days prior and the police had already announced their intention to confiscate the weapons. So it all became just a photo op. Imagine that.

    • US Bagger rider February 5, 2017, 10:25 am

      Stolen guns !…NAH….These fine upstanding gentlemen wouldn’t have anything to do with stolen guns….yeah right…..

  • Andrew February 3, 2017, 9:33 am

    This is a dangerous precedent to set.
    “Oh, you can’t be armed at a protest, we’re going to have to seize your guns now.”
    Because next thing you know…
    Suddenly it’s not just “at”, but “within 100 feet from a protest or a courthouse”.
    Then 300.
    Then 10000…
    Hm, suddenly that “Concealed Permit” means nothing if there’s always a protest going on.
    But what do I know, I guess my “Pocket Constitution” left out the “unless there’s a protest going on” part of “Shall Not be Infringed”.

    • Thomas Jefferson February 3, 2017, 11:59 am

      Andrew,

      You are exactly correct.
      I love this:
      “My office has received several press inquires regarding an announced march scheduled to take place in Wilmington this weekend,” said Hanover County District Attorney Ben David. “The right to gather and speak freely is a great American tradition and is enshrined in our First Amendment. The right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment. To ensure public safety, reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions are codified [by local law] which prohibits the possession of firearms under certain circumstances.”

      “This statute will be enforced in this district without regard to the applicant who seeks to assemble or the viewpoints of that group. When the assembly is convened on public property, individuals are prohibited from possessing firearms while demonstrating or picketing without advanced permission. Anyone in violation of this statute will be prosecuted.”

      Boiling this mumbo-jumbo down, what he says is: “YOU HAVE 2nd Amendment RIGHTS when WE think you should have them, otherwise, WE will dictate your rights to you.”
      Apparently, this moron is ill-educated and needs a Constitutional / Bill of Rights review.

  • Tj2000 February 3, 2017, 4:54 am

    “I’m sorry I had to fight in the middle of your black panther party”
    What a bunch of jack wagons. It’s called “OBEY THE LAW”
    Enough said
    Tj

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