protestors on the side of the road in Spokana

Anti-government gun rights activists open carried rifles, handguns or both yesterday at a protest outside Spokane Valley, Washington police headquarters that was organized by the Rattlesnakes Motorcycle Club, according to the Spokesman-Review.

At least 300 self-described “constitutionalists” took part in the protests sparked by controversial comments made by Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Knezovich recently went viral in a video segment thanks to conspiracy-theorist talk show host Alex Jones, who featured a clip of him explaining the percieved necessity for a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP) that the department received for no cost as military surplus. In the video clip, Knezovich tells an unnamed citizen that the MRAP is needed because “We’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, a lot of ammunition.”

The Spokane Valley event was organized by M. Scott Maclay, president of the Rattlesnakes Motorcycle Club, which he described to the Spokesman Review as a “political action club.” The group’s website explains the club’s purpose:

The purpose of this club is that of people who want to work
towards affecting change in local politics and law enforcement for
the better for riders and all citizens.(a true grass roots movement
because we can affect change in our own back yards) We will
have a clubhouse with dues, 3 piece patch, colors, officers, and
Chapters in local communities who are politically active as a
group, supporting biker friendly candidates, supporting the rights
of victims of out of control law enforcement, and calling attention to
governmental and law enforcement abusers who are primarily
responsible to our governmental chain of command but abuse
their position.

We are law abiding citizens with traditional biker muscle and
values with a strong willingness to display such. This is a
“patched” group with a “prospect” venue. We respect all riders
and other patched clubs, avoid illegal activities, show a healthy
enthusiasm for influencing local elections and politics and work for
a better future for all citizens.

Maclay, who has a criminal record but has never been convicted of felonies, may not be protesting solely for upholding the Constitution. Maclay donated money to Knezovich’s election opponent, Doug Orr. He is also in the process of suing Knezovich, the Sheriff’s Office and the Spokane County Jail. (His lawsuit claims that he was not given needed medication while he was in jail for four days in February 2011 after being arrested on a civil bench warrant.)

According to the Spokesman-Review, Maclay’s criminal record dates back to 1984, when he  was arrested on suspicion of second-degree burglary, a felony, under his previous last name of Dunwell. (He was convicted of first-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.) In 1999, he was charged with reckless endangerment and malicious mischief, but the charges were dismissed. Maclay also has a history of using guns to settle his problems:

In 1997, Maclay was the victim of a road-rage incident and responded by drawing his handgun and firing two shots over the man’s head, according to past news articles. In May, he drew a handgun inside the Timber Creek Grill, 9211 E. Montgomery Ave., during a meeting of the Inland Empire Motorcycle Coalition.

Maclay said he drew his gun in self-defense during a fight with members of another motorcycle club who were also armed. No arrests were made after those involved in the incident declined to press charges, Knezovich said.

The Inland Empire Motorcycle Coalition has voted to ban Maclay and other members of his group from future meetings citing his reckless behavior.

The Rattlesnakes Motorcycle Club’s Facebook page shows Maclay has some friends in high places out of state.

Gov. Butch Otter and Snake President Scott Maclay at the home of Duane Hagadone.
Gov. Butch Otter and RattleSnake President Scott Maclay at the home of Duane Hagadone.

Stevens Co. Sheriff Candidate Ken Barker, second from the left front row, met with with members of the Rattlesnakes on a “training mission”  last August.

Stevens Co. Sheriff Canidate Ken Barker, second from the left front row, with members of the Rattlesnakes on a recent training mission.
[Image Credit: Rattlesnake Motorcycle Club, Facebook]
Gavin Seim, who recently hosted a large open-carry rally in defiance of Initiative 594, also spoke at the protest at the police station. He says the problem is that law enforcement is becoming increasingly militarized, and the result is that citizens like himself are arming themselves to the gills.

“Read my lips, Ozzie Knezovich, the people should be armed equal to the police” Seim said. “If they can have an MRAP, we can have a tank,” he said, echoing his calls for citizens to be prepared for an armed confrontation with the government. “When the government fears the people, there is liberty,” he said. “Nothing terrifies a bully more than someone who will stand up to them.”

State Rep. Matt Shea, (R-Spokane Valley) also attended the protest. “If loving the Constitution is now terrorism, we don’t live in a free country anymore,” he said. “No more. The line in the sand is here. We won’t back up one inch.”

The Sheriff’s Office released a statement Saturday saying the deputy should have used the word “extremist” to refer to people who believe their ideology justifies violent attacks.

Extremists.

In other words, “activists” who think the best way to “demilitarize police” is to show up outside their offices with an arsenal of weaponry, threatening to bring tanks to outgun the police.

[Top Image Credit: The Spokesman-Review]

  • What, no teargas?

    For his next trick, Sheriff Knezovich will point at the people waving guns and say, “see?”

    Meanwhile, the NRA and the gun industry are high-fiving as gun sales boom in the chaos.

    • guns and tanks, guns and tanks for all!

      nothing good will come of this on either side except an increase in gun and other weaponry sales and govt acquisitions too

      • See how that formula inevitably defaults to the right?

    • danboone143

      Indeed it seems like these groups are nothing but agents provocateur; they are essentially a self fulfilling prophecy; they allege they are being picked on so they become antagonistic and belligerent toward law enforcement. They make up their own version of the Constitution, feel they are some sort of little Tin Gods who can interpret the law as they please and anyone who dares disagree with their version of things is naturally a jackbooted thug.

  • raypc800

    SO much for the motto of “Protect and serve”. Now there are two, for armed white guys it is, “ignore and hide”, for unarmed minorities it is, ” Shoot to kill”.

    • Pedro

      Race bait much?

      • raypc800

        Not at all I am just bringing out the difference that the police treat people. When I was growing up the police were considered to be a helper. Now the police treat people very differently. I guess it works for them. It would give them far less to do for I use to call the police to let them know there was a problem in an area. Now I do not for I do not want to be responsible for someone getting shot or at the very least roughed up.
        SO I was not race baiting as you call it. I was describing the change in the way the police treat people especially minorities and blacks.

        Or are you claiming that the police would of left alone and stayed away if all of the protesters had been Black and Muslim or hispanic

    • Mary Brown

      So quit whining and go buy a gun, nothing stopping you unless you are an illegal alien who is a CRIMINAL for crossing the border

      • raypc800

        So then you are advocating for minorities to arm themselves and shoot local law enforcement officers then? That is a very interesting take on the situation, but I bet the local police would not like your solution, nor would their families.

        • Mary Brown

          If they are legal citizens there is nothing stopping them from purchasing a gun is my point moron. But if they are illegals they are banned from gun ownership as it should be.

          • raypc800

            Then your post shows that you are very naive about how easy it is for criminals and anyone else to get a weapon. Thus you just have to be a TP/GOP member. Only someone that supports them could be so uninformed about weapons.

          • Mary Brown

            Oh really? I guess my safe full of various weapons means I know nothing. Including building my own AR-15 for a specific purpose, long range hunting.

            Sure criminal types get guns off the street, they do NOT get them from a gun dealer unless they steal them. And this is off the topic, criminals always have access to guns and no laws will stop them. Doesn’t mean they are not banned from ownership, banned means banned, doesn’t mean they can’t buy off the street. And no they don’t buy at gun shows, ATF data showed less than 2% of guns used in crime are purchased that way. Any gun dealer at a gun show still has to do a background check, doesn’t matter where he is selling.

            Back to being a legal citizen. They can go into any gun store, fill out a form 4473 and walk out with their new toy once the ATF/FBI/State database clears them. Nothing stopping them, claiming being a minority stops them from buying a gun is total bullcrap

          • raypc800

            What your safe full of weapons shows how afraid you are of the world around you.
            I never claimed,” claiming being a minority stops them from buying a gun is total bullcrap.” you did.

            Again you show a total lack of knowledge on illegally purchasing weapons. You must desperately have a need to feel criminals and illegal minorities cannot get weapons. Wake up lady they can easily attain them on the streets. No criminal is going to try to purchase a weapon legally. Keep hugging all of your guns as you crawl in your safe with them to feel safe and sleep well, if you can.

          • Mary Brown

            My safe is full of various weapons because each one has a different purpose moron. Shotgun for deer and bird hunting, 223 bolt action rifle for deer hunting up north in the rifle zone, AR-15 for coyote and prairie dog hunting, the Chinese type 53 just because it is fun to shoot at the range, the 9mm pistol is my favorite for the range, my 380acp pocket pistol for conceal carry.

            You are showing your ignorance of guns and regurgitating libtard talking points

          • Mary Brown

            I think I said criminals don’t obey the laws and get guns off the street moron

          • raypc800

            Ah the classic TP/GOP yet again of name calling. I am surprised, well not at all shows a clear lack of intellect. Thanks for the confirmation. Now go get your money for being a TP/GOP troll. Be sure and tell them you actual used a five letter name to call someone instead of the standard two or three letter word. You might get a bonus! Have a good day hugging your weapons!!

          • Mary Brown

            LMFAO calling me a paid troll is rich coming from an obama bot

          • raypc800

            Thanks for confirming that you are a TP/GOP paid troll for no where in your response do you deny it. Now all on this site will know what you are and to ignore your comments.
            That would also explain why it took so long for your response. Your TP/GOP handlers had to write your response for you.

          • Mary Brown

            Dude I have 19,000 up votes so your pathetic threats are a joke

          • raypc800

            There was no threat. It was supporting the fact of who and what you are. Yet again another post that does not deny the issue of you being a TP/GOP paid troll. By the way you could have 30,000 votes it does not matter they are from your TP/GOP supporters and other paid trolls.

          • Mary Brown

            You have zero proof that anyone from the conservative side is paid to post while I have proof Obama is paying people http://www.prisonplanet.com/yes-there-are-paid-government-trolls-on-social-media-blogs-forums-and-websites.html

          • danboone143

            Did you really just cite prisonplanet.com as a source of “proof”. I guess it proves one thing though; that you are an IDIOT! LOL!

          • Mary Brown

            And they have been accurate more times than not troll

          • danboone143

            So you are a Jonesbot? Do you have your guns ready for when Obama hands over America to the Chinese or will you join me in succumbing to the New World Order peacefully comrade?

          • danboone143

            Clever attempt to dodge the whole story by presenting only one side of the story. Here is the other side:
            Gun shows. While there are gun dealers with tables and booths, there are also lots of non dealers conducting private sales. The most common method is to put your rifle over your shoulder and hang a sign on it saying how much you want. There are also plenty of sellers with no scruples other than cash and there are no legal requirements for them to have any.

          • Mary Brown

            and it amounts to 4% or less of sales. Plus the majority of gun owners will not sell to just anyone because of the liability. I have done a dozen private sales. I made sure the buyer had a Minnesota Permit to Purchase before completing the sale plus I had a sales receipt made up so if anything would happen with a gun I sold I have proof it went to a safe buyer.

            Gun owners are not stupid, nobody is going to leave themselves open to a lawsuit. Now your average gang banger or other criminal could care less and that is where the bulk of illegal guns come from. Even the FBI has said that very few guns used in crime come from a gun show, such a small number that they are not worried about it.

            And I can tell you have never been to a gun show and are spouting talking points. I have watched private sellers go to the nearest dealer and run background checks before transferring the gun. Again, it is protecting yourself from a lawsuit. Common sense, something that liberals lack

          • danboone143

            Four percent? How do you know this since those are private transactions between individuals. Currently there is no law requiring them to report the transaction. This is known as the private sale loophole.
            “The majority of gun owners will not sell to just anybody because of the liability”. While that may be true, it is not proof in any way that they follow the form 4473 procedure.
            I have seen people sell and resell guns to individuals on a private basis many times. I have an M1 carbine that I got in a trade for a shotgun for example. That shotgun was obtained in trade for a crackerbox welder. I have no idea where the shotgun came from but did get a bill of sale.
            Some do this deliberately to try and cloud the trail of the guns ownership out of their incessant paranoia about a national gun confiscation (which is logistically impossible in America). If the gun is used in a crime they plan to claim the gun was stolen or they don’t remember who they sold it to.
            You can tell I have never been to a gun show? Really? How is that? Is it because I think you are a nutjob for listening to Alex Jones? LOL!

            In fact, I have been to MANY gun shows and have sold and bought guns there (as well as purchased a lot of ammo at great prices). I usually put a sign with the price and particulars stapled to a wooden dowel rod, put the dowel in the barrel of my rifle and carry my rifle slung, muzzle up, on my back. I insist on seeing a valid drivers license and only accept cash. In return they insist on a bill of sale with my information.
            Sorry if the truth doesn’t fit into your convenient and distorted world view. Typical right winger, you presume because you suspect something, that is some sort of proof. You must be a birther.

  • Spiderwoman

    I’m sick of all the intimidation and bullying that is going on with people gathering in groups with their weapons. How are we supposed to tell a bad guy with a gun from a good guy with a gun? People are getting way more aggressive these days and now they openly bring guns into the mix. Oh, yeah…. this will end well.

    • Maheni

      We can’t. It seems like the good blend into the bad and the bad into the good. There is going to be no way to tell anyone apart unless they all start wearing amazing uniforms that show exactly what their stance is.

    • Mary Brown

      Real simple, the bad guy will be shooting at you and stealing everything you own and not protesting

    • danboone143

      Most of them strike me as losers with a huge and fatal case of “nobody tells me what to do”.
      They have been strutting and posturing around like a bunch of tough guys but they really aren’t without their guns. They seem to enjoy the thrill of alarming and scaring the hell out of regular folks who have no idea if they are seeing a good guy with a gun or a bad guy about to commit mayhem; I mean who the hell needs to being their AK47 or AR15 in for a burrito? They smirk and write off the reactions as the fault of these innocent folks.
      Meanwhile every time these pathetic little cowards go out and do this crap they engender more and more people who start to think that maybe we DO need to start having gun bans and gun restrictions.
      I’m a gun owner and I despise these idiots and think they are cowards.

  • Mary Brown

    What a pile of anti-American drivel

    • danboone143

      That’s so funny coming from a “patriot” who has a fantasy version of America in their minds and hates the real America that they actually live in. Why don’t you get out of my country and go to someplace like Somalia or a dictatorship that shares your idiotic fantasies.

      • Mary Brown

        YOU leave, my ancestors were here first.

        • danboone143

          I doubt that but even if they were, you are the one who hates America and wants to distort it into some kind of paranoid third world dictatorship. I like this country for the most part as it is and love it, you don’t.

  • Jessy

    Maybe all you Libs want to move to Paris where you can live in peace, love, and have no limits on your life. Seems to be working out pretty well for them.

    • danboone143

      Maybe all you psychos want to move to Somalia where you can get in your fantasy gunfights and strut around like you are king sh*t. Of course over there you will be encountering some real bad asses who will snuff you out in a matter of seconds.