St. Louis Zoo Obtains Restraining Order Against Man Planning Open Carry March

A man open carries a 1911 handgun while listening to Connecticut Citizens Defense League President Scott Wilson during a CCDL gun rights rally at the Connecticut state capitol in Hartford, Saturday April 5, 2014 agai... A man open carries a 1911 handgun while listening to Connecticut Citizens Defense League President Scott Wilson during a CCDL gun rights rally at the Connecticut state capitol in Hartford, Saturday April 5, 2014 against the state's gun control law passed one year ago on April 4, 2013 in response to the Newtown school shooting. (AP Photo/The Bristol Press, Mike Orazzi) MANDATORY CREDIT MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A judge on Friday granted the St. Louis Zoo a restraining order against a gun rights activist planning a march at the zoo on Saturday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jeffry Smith, who organized an open carry march in downtown St. Louis last year, said he planned on carrying firearms into the zoo on Saturday in order to protest the zoo’s policy banning weapons. He invited others to join him on the gun rights demonstration and created a Facebook event for the protest.

Missouri state law prohibits firearms from amusement parks, but Smith said that the zoo may not fit into that category because it’s taxpayer-funded and public, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“That signage, unless it’s backed up by case law or statutory law, is nothing more than the zoo’s attempt to reinforce their biases and to deceive people into not exercising their rights,” he told the Post-Dispatch. “This is not about protecting oneself from the wildebeests in the zoo. This is about the zoo deceiving people into thinking they don’t have that choice.”

Smith told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday that he was on his way to St. Louis from the Cincinnati area with his .45-caliber Taurus handgun. And as of Friday afternoon, more than 40 individuals responded in the Facebook event that they would attend.

After Smith’s announcement, law enforcement in St. Louis scrambled to block his ability to bring a gun to the zoo.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told CBS St. Louis that he had asked attorneys to see if police could keep the protest outside of the zoo.

The St. Louis Zoo then asked for a temporary restraining order against Smith and “anyone acting in concert with him” to keep him and others from entering the zoo with firearms or other lethal weapons.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty signed a temporary restraining order against Smith, and a court date for the matter is set for June 22, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

It’s not clear whether the restraining order will stop Smith.

He told the Post-Dispatch that the restraining order was a victory.

“I consider this a win,” Smith said. “It’s a win in that they have finally shown their hand.”

He may still attempt to enter the zoo without a weapon, but with a holster. Smith was inspired to organize the protest after another gun rights activist, Sam Peyton, was told his empty gun holster was forbidden at the St. Louis Zoo, according to the Post-Dispatch.

As of Friday afternoon, a message on Smith’s Facebook event noted that the details of the challenge to the zoo’s weapons policy may change:

*** The time/date and the exact nature of this challenge may change ***, so please keep an eye on this event page for the latest news and schedule, because communications with the Zoo and the authorities are ongoing.

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. Idiot … take your dick off your forehead and put it back in your pants.

  2. It’s just what Rosa Parks would have done, if she were a sociopathic, middle-aged white guy

  3. A sociopathic, middle-aged white guy who was a coward, yeah.

  4. I say give them one bullet total and dump them over the wall into the Zoo’s Big Cat Country exhibit.

  5. I’m kind of hoping that he runs into a good baboon with a gun.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

73 more replies

Participants

Avatar for frustum Avatar for srfromgr Avatar for littlegirlblue Avatar for marby Avatar for nickdanger Avatar for jloomis3 Avatar for pickwick Avatar for leftflank Avatar for vonq Avatar for thx1138 Avatar for bradbennett Avatar for trumpdog Avatar for inlabsitrust Avatar for sandyh Avatar for cvilledem Avatar for psyclone Avatar for arrendis Avatar for ottnott Avatar for radgal70 Avatar for martinheldt Avatar for stiggy Avatar for mrf Avatar for view_from_the_front_porch Avatar for lkeitherz

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: