Seizure of Black Panther Weapons Invites Examination of Second Amendment Convictions

By David Codrea

Does this announcement represent a “threat” sufficient to justify suspending the right to keep and bear arms? Does being on county property add to the danger? [Revolutionary Black Panther Party of Wilmington/Facebook]
USA – -( “Deputies seize 10 Black Panther weapons during news conference at courthouse,” Wilmington’s  WWAY News reported Sunday. The “two revolvers, five semi-automatic pistols, and three shotguns, all loaded,” are being “safe kept,” because possession on courthouse property violates a country ordinance.  In addition, Panther “members who were wearing masks at the gathering lower their mask due to North Carolina state law prohibiting the wearing of masks at meetings or demonstrations.”

“We will not tolerate violations of the law,” Sheriff Ed McMahon insisted, reiterating the stance Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous took in a Friday news conference. That event was in response to a Revolutionary Black Panther Party of Wilmington, NC flyer posted on the group’s Facebook page.

“Evangelous said his staff reached out and spoke to representatives from the national and local group several times, even forwarding them copies of state laws and city codes governing this type of event, to include the state statute that prohibits open carry of weapons during public protests, marches, rallies and demonstrations on public property,” Fox Wilmington reported.

“This statute will be enforced in this district without regard to the applicant who seeks to assemble or the viewpoints of that group,” Hanover County District Attorney Ben David warned in a statement. “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.”

Absent aggressive conduct, does this constitute a threat? [Revolutionary Black Panther Party of Wilmington/Facebook]
Whether any Panthers disarmed today face further charges remains to be seen. The “safe-kept” weapons were inventoried and will reportedly be returned Monday. Although some police arrived “in tactical gear with guns raised,” Panther leader Dr. Alli Muhammad announced before their arrival that “the RBPP’s plan for an armed event in Creekwood would be moved Sunday to private property on Dock Street,” and ended up shaking hands with the deputy in charge, “who said both sides acted professionally.”

Despite that, “Muhammad said he believes the law to be unconstitutional [and that] his group will file suit to challenge it…”

And that raises question for those who say they believe in the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The Panthers’ being race-obsessed collectivists notwithstanding, the question becomes one of whether such laws comport with “shall not be infringed.”

Does being on “public property” create a “compelling state interest” necessitating citizen disarmament? How about being organized? Does that justify the state denying a fundamental right without due process?

Remember, what “authorities” can do to the Panthers, they can do to you. Hanover DA David said as much.

And don’t forget it was “conservative” fear of armed groups of the original Black Panthers in Oakland that prompted Ronald Reagan to sign California’s Mulford Act, effectively ending the public carrying of loaded firearms in California (with limited legal exceptions, e.g., with “may issue” permits).

Nobody’s siding with the Panthers’ perceptions, contentions or grievances here. There’s only one issue of concern for this discussion:

We all have the right to keep and bear arms. The truth that ought to apply equally to all of us is, if we abuse that right, if we threaten or if we cause harm through unjustified force, others have the right to stop us.

Also see:

David Codrea in his natural habitat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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The Arrow of God

“If someone threatens us we have a right to stop them” True unless the Patriot is white. Police wont tolerate whites protecting themselves but with Prostitute themselves to the Panthers while whoreshipping Barack Obama.

Vince Warde

I seem to remember, from a case I read years ago that there is case law on this (marching/demonstrating while armed) going back to the 1800s. A law prohibiting this was found constitutional. Of course, that could be reversed……


There are numerous restricted areas that prohibit the civilian population from having firearms, including Concealed Carriers. Courthouses, schools, hospitals (at least in SC), most government buildings, etc. Theses laws have been on the books for decades, maybe more. The sheriff’s dept sent copies of local and state statutes to the BP leaders in advance…not sure I see the issue. Unless you plan to challenge all restrictions on where you cannot carry a weapon, how can you contend the temporary seizing of these weapons due to the violation of existing laws is unconstitutional? Don’t get me wrong, Indon’t want the govt… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Boot, Camp on your own farm, but don’t call it camping, while you are working for a repeal of the county ordinance.


My Virginia county (isle of wight county) has as ordinance that says I may never ever camp on my own farm unless I apply for and receive a commercial campground permit, for $1,350.00. I don’t care what kind of law they point to, it does not make it right nor constitutional!

Pistol Packin Preacher

Please excuse me its David Codrea not Cordea I believe.

Pistol Packin Preacher

Great writing brother David Cordea. They weren’t breaking any laws because of our constitution. The laws infringing on bearing arms and assembly must be protected. I hate many of the things the Panthers stand for but that is not the point. They, We the people, have these inalienable rights!!!! We conservative and libertarians should stand with this issue not to be confused with what the Panthers stand for. It’s a no brainier and I am a Pistol Packin Pentecostal Preacher. Masks is another issue. I am just addressing arms and assembly. I believe we should be able to carry responsibly… Read more »

B. Young

As far as wearing face masks in such a situation if you wear a criminals uniform your probably a criminal.

Bob Lawrence

Obviously the reason people wear masks is to prevent being recognized. Government agencies and the police want to be able to identify those who threaten, are violent, and commit crimes, so they’re against masks. If you believe in your cause, and you have courage, why wear a mask? Masks make people look dangerous and criminal – not trustworthy and supportable.

Nick D.

So they have laws against black men wearing mask at demonstrations but not white men wearing hoods.
I can’t find any stories about police forcing the kkk to remove their hoods. This seems racist.

Wild Bill

D, in answer to your question,probably not. The North Carolina statue, just from the article, language sounds like it was directed towards the KKK, but the date of the statute would be telling.

Bob Lawrence

Many of us remember when the racist, violent Black Panthers insulted, threatened, and angered whites in the San Francisco bay area in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They were, and are, anti-white terrorists – not defenders of blacks or “the people”. A lot of anti-whiteism comes from blacks and Latins not having good jobs, neighborhoods, homes, and lives. If parents and teachers would be intelligent, caring, respectable, and effective, and young people would study in schools, learn how to speak, write, and live maturely, get a high school diploma, learn a professional career or trade, and get a good-paying job, they… Read more »

Roy D.

“I personally have an issue with masks, but the government shouldn’t regulate that either.”
Many people wear masks every day of their lives.


In the past month, out and about i public, I’ve seen TWO individuals wearing something like a smal surgical mask, not certain whether to keep MY germs out, or keep THEIRS in, but they were easily enough identifable by the remaining facial “real estate” plainly visible. A very few also wear them in public during high pollen seasons… same as above pplies. I am not accustomed to seeing normal folks out and about wearing full face masks, except at Halloween. maybe New Year’s, and then mostly in private settings. I fail to see your “many people wear masks” meme as… Read more »

Loni Cook

Well I must say I think all these posts are a mute point. As considering the second amendment let’s be real clear heat unless we as a nation are willing to defend our inalienable rights. They will not be upheld withstanding any government in power. Hence as we the ppl are our own governing power which brings up many issues as a nation and our liberties it will most likely be verified to the point we will have to rise as a free ppl in order to restore our rights as a governing citizen or citizens.a democracy is designed to… Read more »

John Derbyshire

All Americans not in custody should be allowed and encouraged to go armed everywhere. If you look at California’s history since the Mulford Act, it is now almost impossible for the most law abiding among us to go armed anywhere, giving criminals a victim rich environment

I personally have an issue with masks, but the government shouldn’t regulate that either


Could be argued that the black panthers are a terrorist organization I suppose. Other than that, I don’t see any legal standing to disarm them.

Wild Bill

Miller, Bobby Seals and his Black Panther party are the reason that the Gun Control Act was passed by Congress. Kennedy was assassinated, and nothing happened. MLK was assassinated, and nothing happened. Bobby Seals and the Black Panthers marched up and down Pennsylvania Ave with loaded shotguns, shouting “By whatever means necessary. ” ; Congress passed the GCA in record time. Look it up, John, it is history.


Not just the GCA of 1968 – pretty much any gun control law passed from Reconstruction onward was driven by fear of armed black men. It’s no coincidence that many “may issue” concealed carry permit laws date from an era that also featured racially segregated drinking fountains and bathrooms.

dell johnson

during news conferance at a COURT HOUSE..??? IM WHITE i cant even take a 3 1/2″pocket knife to a court house. cant wear a Mask in one either..and im not proposing a armed revolution.. theres enough problems in the country with billionaire Democrats starting all the BLM. anti Trump Anti abortion etc mass riots and chaos. hows about just one protest at a time

Linda Heltzel

Black Panthers?
My God, are those fools still around?
Can they be deported for being idiots??


These aren’t the original Black Panthers from the 60s and 70s. Like the “New Black Panther Party”, this is a more overtly racist and hostile group invoking the Black Panther name for recognition purposes.

It’s worth noting that many members of the original Black Panthers (and in some cases their heirs) have publicly denounced these groups, and also that the New Black Panther Party in particular is considered a hate group by the SPLC (which generally doesn’t see a leftist group it doesn’t like).


So they were warned of the law and chose to violate it anyway, because they didn’t agree with it. To be sure, some people with power pass laws that they shouldn’t, but until their enforcers refuse to uphold it, you have to respect it. I’d much rather spend my money fighting a bad law than having it tied up in Bail.


not all laws enacted are legal… and in such cases, the correct course of action is to ignore the law as null and voi,d of no effect. The cops did theirjob, and seems well done.. the demonstrators did well in not resorting to violence. I believe this group SHOULD sue.. they now “have standing” as they suffered an immediate and personal harm.. they had their private possessions taken under colour of law, and unrightly so. I’m sure LE did their due dilligence and have determined none were in unlawful possession. If so we’d have heard about it. GOvernment HAVE no… Read more »


The comment speaks volumes by the Chief of Police….Regardless of what “political group”. The police will take “action” and “Seize” civilians arms! This is infringement, no matter what they say…If there not acrung violent…Then di as OPEN Carry advocates have done…This just goes to show you that government is to big..And the Paramilitarization of Law enforcement needs to stop…As much as I don’t agree with all of what the Black Panthers are about…They showed the Pro2 community that problems with civil rights still exisit…

Dusty Chandler

The real question is why they have to get permission to exercise multiple Constitutional right, assembly, bear arms, due process. May not agree with all that the black Panthers stand for but a Right is a Right.


Their second amendment rights a side. Showing up a carrying guns and wearing masks probably not the smartest idea.


I agree whole heartedly!

T.L. Davis

This is the tough part of many of our “freedoms,” such as the right to take drugs. What one does with his own body is none of my business, but there are societal concerns, nonetheless. This is when one must look inward and question their convictions, but in both instances, I have to come down on the side of more individual liberty, not less. Law enforcement has every right to be cautious when a group assembles armed and loaded, but concern in lack of deliberate hostility is just that: concern. Society must always struggle with those “lines.” It is when… Read more »


I’m most definitely not a fan of any racist group. My family is black, white, and Asian. I’m also very uncomfortable with government restrictions on private firearms possession.

That being said, armed groups demanding their brand of JUSTICE has never been good. It’s certainly well worth some scrutiny. I’d prefer a alternate group, with more diversity, also conduct an armed freedom March and leave the government out of the event.

David, did you read the county ordinances?


@mac – 99% of city, county, and state ordinances/codes/laws are unconstitutional. They are written to restrict individual rights, established to “CONTROL” the people, a direct violation of our Constitution. The only way to get rid of all of these oppressive and illegal rules is for the people to fight them in court, as the panthers are doing, but most refuse to “buck the system”. If we did like God says we should punish offenders to the fullest. Murder, rape, and other severe, violent crimes should be punishable by death, crimes causing accidental death, injury or loss of property require compensation… Read more »

Frank Clarke

“shall not be infringed” sounds pretty absolute to me…


I really do believe in defence of the black panthers as the second amendment is clear it shall not be infringed upon not withstanding any race or creed.


Their mistake was they didnt show up with a couple hundred armed men…

Roy D.

If they are not prohibited by statute from possessing guns they should be able to carry them.