Former student cancels armed march on National Mall

A former GW student has toned down his calls for an armed march on the National Mall, and is now urging Second Amendment advocates to takes their protests to state capitals.

Adam Kokesh, who enrolled in the Graduate School of Political Management, rolled back his plans to bring an armed march on the National Mall. Photo used under the Creative Commons License

Adam Kokesh, a libertarian internet radio host and Iraq war veteran, had wanted 10,000 protesters to wield loaded rifles in D.C. on July 4 to combat the District’s ban on openly carrying firearms. But he said on an online talk show this week that he hoped protesters would appeal to their state governments rather than “begging the [federal] government to change.”

In the interview on the “The Pete Sentilli Show,” Kokesh said a friend was planning protests on individual state governments, although he did not specify whether they would be armed.

Kokesh, who attended the Graduate School of Political Management, began planning the protest against gun regulations in the city in May, an event he expected would lead to his arrest. The District and six states ban carrying a loaded weapon of any kind.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a television interview in May that the march would be considered a criminal offense rather than a civil disobedience, as Kokesh had called it. D.C. Police and the National Park Police had begun forming plans to have more officers on duty the day of the march.

Protesters had planned to walk from Arlington National Cemetery, across Memorial Bridge and by the Capitol, Supreme Court building and White House.

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