Multnomah County

Gibson says Patriot Prayer 'always' has guns ahead of rally

Joey Gibson: 'Everywhere we go, we have guns'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- The Patriot Prayer rally scheduled for Aug. 4 is set to take place at the Waterfront -- possibly allowing protesters to carry guns.

The right-wing group's leader Joey Gibson announced the location during his Facebook Live on Friday. He later posted more details saying the "Gibson For Senate Freedom March" will start at Salmon Street Springs at noon.

Gibson is a U.S. Senate candidate in Washington state.

While Portland city code prohibits weapons in parks, people with a valid Oregon concealed handgun license are allowed to carry guns. 

But in a Facebook Live posted Monday, Gibson said, "We've always had guns at the rally."

Gibson added that when everyone was searched at Terry Schrunk Plaza, several Patriot Prayer members still had guns.

"I cannot think of one rally when we didn't have guns with us," Gibson said. "Everywhere we go, we have guns."

He also added that everyone should "be carrying around guns at all times -- especially people in our situation."

Gibson said members of Patriot Prayer don't bring guns to rallies with any intent to use them, but because they want to be prepared for someone else bringing a gun.

Watch the full video below

A counter-protest is also scheduled for Saturday. Several groups organized the "Resist Patriot Prayer" march, which starts at 11:30 a.m. at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

In the Facebook event's description, the group states, "We make no apologies for the use of force in keeping our communities safe from the scourge of right-wing violence."

Portland Parks and Recreation told KOIN 6 News that they haven't received any applications for events on Saturday -- adding that they wouldn't be able to grant a permit for any group at Salmon Street Springs specifically.

Last time Patriot Prayer held a rally in downtown Portland was on June 30, which turned into a riot. They had a permit for a Freedom and Courage rally and march, but police revoked that permit when Patriot Prayer and antifa began to clash shortly after the march started. Four people were arrested.

Portland Police Bureau said they're "aware of the events" -- adding that operational plans for the events remain in development. The bureau will release a statement later this week.


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