Second Amendment Sisters, Washington DC Police and Empty Holsters

Second Amendment Sisters, Washington DC Police and the Fear of Empty Holsters

Second Amendment Sisters
Second Amendment Sisters

Washington, DC –-( a perfect day for a protest! The weather was not too cold, not too hot and overcast most of the day but it did not rain on our parade. I heard estimates throughout the day of numbers in attendance ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 million. Our local news reported thousands on one channel and tens of thousands on another. I was told that MSNBC reported 2 million!

We filled up 3 busses leaving from Beaverdam, VA with a total of 146 passengers. The trip up was uneventful, with only minor traffic delays beginning at Springfield and continuing for the rest of the way into DC. We disembarked at 6th and Constitution at about 10:30 and the march was already well under way with massive amounts of people filling Pennsylvania Avenue for as far as the eye could see. We fell in with the marchers and headed for the Capital.

My first encounter with law enforcement was when I left my family sitting on a wall and went around a corner to get a better vantage point for my pictures. I entered a cordoned off area thru a gate and was taking pictures when a Capital Police Officer approached me and said that he noticed the empty holster I was wearing and asked if I had a weapon to go with it. I responded that I didn’t, since guns were not allowed in DC and he thanked me and left me alone.

My next exchange with LE was at the National Museum of Art; we had gone inside to use the restrooms and were told that our flags and signs were not allowed in the building and our bags must be inspected. It was obvious that this was a temporary checkpoint, as the “guard station” consisted of two folding tables and no permanent structures.

We carried our things outside and some of us waited there with the bags, signs and flags while the rest of the group went in to the restrooms. When the others returned, my husband and I went back in and questioned the guard about the policy on the signs. We were told that the flags were not allowed because they had points on them.these are the small 4 x 6 inch flags on a stick maybe 12 inches long with a little wooden or plastic tip at the top. The guard informed us that non-folding umbrellas were not allowed either and that the points could damage the artwork! Then I asked about the reason for not allowing signs and the response was that they did not want to support any one opinion, so they ban all signs. We asked about the buttons and stickers on our shirts and were told that they were permissible!

Later on, I walked away from the demonstration to meet a friend and fellow Second Amendment Sister a few blocks away. While we were standing on the sidewalk taking, two LEOs approached me, one of them, I think a DHS officer, was bending over sideways to look at my holster. He asked me to come over to where he was so he could “talk to me” so our whole group moved closer to him.

He didn’t like that much, but he asked me if I had a weapon and I responded that I was aware of the prohibition on guns in DC. I explained that the holster was a “silent protest” to the gun ban in DC. He then said that he would have to ask me to remove my holster and I got the distinct feeling that he intended to confiscate it. When my husband pulled the video camera out of the bag, he changed his tone only slightly and asked me again to remove the holster, this time saying that I needed to “put it away”. I asked him why and he told me that it was illegal to have “gun paraphernalia”. I told him that I had no guns, no ammunition and no magazines and that the holster was only a piece of leather and not against the law. He again insisted that I take the holster off, this time stating that it made it look like I had a gun.

He said that he was pro-gun but still insisted that I need to take the holster off. I asked him why, since it was not against the law and he said that someone might see it and, thinking I had a gun, shoot me! One of my companions asked him how that could happen, since guns were not allowed in DC! As the situation progressed, the other LEO, either DC or Capital police, pulled out his cell phone and took my picture or videotaped portions of the incident.

By then, we were drawing a small crowd of people wondering why these two cops were having this exchange with us. The crowd was telling the DC cop that they should quit harassing us and he told them that I was a “threat”! In the mean time, my friend from SAS had pulled out her camera and was blatant about recording the encounter. The DHS officer asked her to [sic] get that camera out of his face, which of course she did not comply with. As time progressed, the officer gradually backed down from demanding to requesting that I remove my holster until he was “advising” me that it was in my best interest to comply.

Finally he conceded that he could not make me remove my holster but warned me that if I persisted that I *would* be detained and possibly arrested or shot, that not every LEO was “pro-gun” like he was! I will upload the video when I get it from my friend in SAS. Until then, stay safe!

Please let us know if you were there and what the experience was like for you!

Pat Webb
Virginia Coordinator
Second Amendment Sisters

Second Amendment Sisters. Founded by 5 women from across the country, SAS has now grown to thousands of members across our Great Nation. We have taken on many functions. We teach and advocate for women to have the right to life – that is, we work to protect our basic human right to self-defense. Our members span the ages from the very young to the mature. We are a grassroots national organization with representation in all 50 states. Second Amendment Sisters, also known as SAS, was formed in response to the Million Mom March.


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Dave wrote: "But an empty holster means there is a gun around somewhere which is going to make the police officers job harder." Wrong, wrong, wrong. An empty holster does not require that a firearm be present. And if one was, and it is carried legally, it does not make an officers' job harder… unless that job is to infringe on a Citizens Civil Rights, which is what was attempted. Dave, please do NOT drink the Kool-aide. No-one should ever be counciled to knuckle under to our public servents, quite the opposite if the servent is the one restricting your… Read more »


Glad to see the defense of our rights, including the right to protest peacefully. An empty holster is not a threat, but sends a good message. Looking forward to videos.



Shut up already, You are just showing how ignorant and compliant you are. You have NO CLUE how to exercise your lawful rights.


Orygunner, You misunderstood me. If you go back and read what I said we were talking about an empty holster. If she had a concealed firearm I wouldn't care. As long as it wasn't visible. For that matter……a gun in a holster would be more preferable. But an empty holster means there is a gun around somewhere which is going to make the police officers job harder. The cop has no idea where that gun might be. If someone had started shooting the person with the empty holster would immediately become suspect. But something you should consider……..the antis really love… Read more »


Sorry, above post should be addressed to Dave no RDW


RDW, The NRA is not a friend of the gun owner. They compromise. They always have and they always will. Until the NRA supports the removal of NFA 34 and GCA of 68, I will not join or support them. I should be able to buy a full auto Ak-47, at the hardware store, and with no background check. A full auto Ak should cost no more than a couple hundred bucks. Most NRA people support "common sense gun laws." Guess what side of the constitution that puts them on.


Orygunner……go back and take a look at the posts. RDW is post #7. Dave is the NRA member/hunter in post #8 whom it seems you are referring to in your comments. But I agree with everything you said.


RDW, by your statement that by exercising her rights of freedom of speech she was making gun owners look bad, you are only showing that you are an ignorant hypocrite. It's funny and pitiful at the same time how many people say "I'm an NRA Member and a hunter…" and then act all high and mighty like that means something as they bash someone that TRULY supports the RKBA. The problem isn't that she was wearing an empty holster, the problem is that the LEO saw something wrong with it and started harrassing her for it. Our government has strayed… Read more »


Way to go SAS! Open carry is legal in my home state with a firearm license though not practiced. I have such a license which also allows me to carry concealed. You've inspired me to start wearing an empty holster in my home state just to see what reactions I'll get. If nothing else all sorts of people I've never seen before will want to strike up conversation with me…especially those in uniform. And I won't be removing it 'for my own safety' like those who let the establishment do their thinking for them. I don't live in fear like… Read more »


You should follow up this, i would not let it be as he threatened to lock me up for no reason and also stated that i might be shot! What? I would see to it that i exercise my full right where this is concern; I would contact a lawyer and ask him.


I am a hunter and a NRA member. I appreciate the work that the SAS does. However I feel that you went too far this time. He asked you to take off the holster for your own safety. Not that he considered you a threat. If there was any gun shots and the police had to respond YOU might have been shot. The fact that you didn't have a gun doesn't make any difference. In the heat of the moment they look for threats and an empty holster means there is a gun out there somewhere and they have no… Read more »


I wonder if the museum bans those things with points on them known as pens and pencils.


Man, I wish I could have afforded to go there. Well, I at least hope I get to see the video. This all makes me want to start carrying open. Which of course is completely legal in my state and has been for a long time. I mean, if I have been hunting and still have my revolver on, I keep it on even if I have to run into town. Thing is, it's during hunting season, I'm in camo, so people don't really pay that much attention. Well anyway, great article!


PS: after all, especially in my home town, they are my employees! I pay their wages. I pay them to protect me and I pay them to arrest the bad guys. I do not pay them to lie in court when thy make a bad bust. I do not pay them to harrass someone simply because he disagrees with them. I have gotten 3 cops fired in my town and I am working on a fourth. I will get him soon.


Ya gotta cut em some slack alrite. after all they are used to immediate obedience whether they ar right or wrong as this cop was forced to admit. Why, I ask, are we expected to obey without question when we know we are in the right and allow a bully to save face. The cop was wrong and he knew he was wrong. There IS no excuse for pushing it when he was wrong and knew he was. I have run into that crap many times in my life. I learned to push back and the crap soon stopped mostly.… Read more »



An idiot "with a badge and a gun" is an idiot "with a badge and a gun!!!


Good article SAS, it only goes to show IDIOTS come in every flavor, and an IDIOT by any other name is still an IDIOT.

Nice story! But cut the Museum some slack. That is the same security they always have. The reason for the flags is a good one- they dont want people point at the art with sharp objects! I once had a rolled up magazine in my hand there and a guard asked me to put it in my pocket or unroll it. I understand that.