Angered by the Oregon Legislature’s recent approval of a new law requiring background checks for most gun purchases, a few hundred antigovernment “Patriots” from around the region gathered over the weekend outside the state Capitol to announce their refusal to comply with the law.
The rally was not only closely modeled after similar protests in the neighboring state of Washington earlier this year to protest a nearly identical voter-approved gun-control statute, it was in fact being led by some of the same extremists who led the rallies in Olympia.
Among the “Patriots” leading the rally were Mike Vanderboegh, cofounder of the so-called “III Percent” movement, and several “Will Not Comply” leaders from Washington state, notably Gavin Seim and Anthony Bosworth.
Seim is the “liberty speaker” from Ephrata, Wash., who organized the Olympia “We Will Not Comply” rally in December to protest Washington’s new background-check law, a gathering that featured such antigovernment figures as Richard Mack and Vanderboegh. Bosworth, who has also led antigovernment rallies in Spokane, led a follow-up protest at the Capitol in February that also featured Vanderboegh, in which marchers unsuccessfully attempted to defy the law by carrying their guns into the capitol building.
Oregon’s Senate Bill 941, requiring background checks on most gun purchases in the state, was approved by the Legislature in early May and signed into law by Brown. Gun-rights advocates have been threatening to organize recall elections against key politicians who voted for the law.