If you’re at SXSW and happen upon a large group of people openly bearing arms in downtown Austin on Wednesday, don’t be afraid (or at least not too afraid). It’s just a demonstration by pro-gun activists set to take place in part on Austin’s 6th street, the heavily foot-trafficked main drag. You’ll normally see all kinds of weird stuff there, but usually no loaded weapons unless you’ve wound up on the fighting side of the law.
As local radio station KUT reports, conspiracy-loving libertarian site Infowars asked Come and Take It Texas to organize the march in response to an anti-gun panel at SXSW. “We actively engage in conversation with fellow Texans to educate them on our rights,” member Justin Delosh told KUT, noting that passersby pose for photos with the marchers. Demonstrators can only hold their rifles vertically, and aren’t permitted to have a bullet in the chamber, though loaded magazines are okay.
The panel in question, “Disrupting the Gun Lobby with Digital Organizing,” took place last Saturday, and featured presenters from Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and Moms Demand Action. That was during the Interactive portion of SXSW, which ended yesterday. Delosh, though, said the demonstration wasn’t related.
“That’s not our objective. We go out and engage in conversation with people. I don’t care what [SXSW] is doing at all.” Check out a photo from Austin’s 6th street here, and watch Infowars’ preview of the event below.