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Pro-gun rally met with protests outside Gathering Place

Pro-gun rally met with protests outside Gathering Place (KTUL)

Since the Gathering Place opened last month, some have criticized the park's strictly enforced rule not to allow guns.

Today. a group rallying for a change to the law was met with protesters on the other side of the issue.

“It doesn’t matter if it's raining, sunny or whatever liberty doesn’t change does it," said Don Spencer.

That liberty being the second amendment, of course.

And the issue is allowing guns inside Tulsa’s renowned mega park.

“The Gathering Place is completely ignoring state law," said Spencer.

The topic came to light when several open-carry gun advocates were asked to leave the park last month.

That moment sparked outrage from Spencer, who led to today's rally with his group, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.

“What would happen if they put up a sign that said no minorities in this place would there be a response from the people I hope so," said Spencer.

He says the park’s decision is unconstitutional and must be changed.

“Why would we want a city to preempt state law to actually encourage crime in these areas," said Spencer.

Currently, no guns are allowed on park property; a policy that the park tells us was decided by members of the community.

Statement from the Gathering Place:

In preparation for the opening of the park, we sought input from the Tulsa community on how to ensure Gathering Place is a welcoming and inclusive park for Tulsans and their families. The community responded with their thoughts, including an emphatic response that firearms at the park are not conducive to creating this welcoming environment. Our community’s desires are no different than elsewhere – parks routinely prohibit firearms and the courts have routinely upheld such prohibitions. The management of Gathering Place has incorporated the overwhelming community sentiment into our park regulations. We feel strongly that no physical confrontation should occur at Tulsa’s Gathering Place. We have, however, made it clear that our policy is lawful and that any entry into Gathering Place with firearms, whether concealed or unconcealed, will constitute an actionable trespass. We thank all our visitors for their understanding and compliance with the enforcement of these regulations.

Some of those members showed up today during the rally, voicing their strong feelings against anyone bringing guns into the park.

“Like my mom said, that we’re in the 21st century and we need to change some of our amendments," said Lee Ann Crosby.

In the crowd supporting open carry of firearms was State Senator Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow.

“I understand it might make people uncomfortable but you don’t have a right to not be uncomfortable," said Dahm.

And to help with that, the pro-gun group left their guns in their cars today.

Hoping their message could be heard loud and clear free of any distractions.

The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association will be meeting in Oklahoma City Tuesday to further discuss a similar no gun policy at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

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