Citizens Armed on Voting Day, Should We Be Worried?
In this picture series, Richard Bednarski looks into the question of armed citizens and whether we should be worried as Election Day unfolds and results come out later tonight.
Legal in Nevada
It is legal to openly carry a rifle, handgun or any legal firearm while walking in Midtown Reno, down the Las Vegas Strip or anywhere in Nevada unless you have previously been convicted of a crime or otherwise disqualified. With a permit, you can carry a concealed handgun in the Silver State. At recent protests, in Reno and in rural areas of northern Nevada, there have been visible firearms, mostly carried by biker gangs and extremist militias, who typically support incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.
I wanted to hit the streets and find out how people feel about the president’s call to his supporters to show up to the polls en masse and how our neighborhood voters felt about guns being present at polling locations.
“I got here at eight o’clock,” Joy Horan said of an early morning voting line at Reno High. While waiting in line, Horan said that “the times are changing, this year voting is making a statement of who we are and getting out there and voting is a huge opportunity to show how Nevada wants our future state to be ran.” She said she was not concerned with guns being present at voting locations and believes it is everyone’s right to bear arms.
Anxiety with Results to Come
As a new American citizen who emigrated from Austria, Kanut Wagner is glad to “have my voice heard.” Wagner says he wants “a fair election and acceptance of what is to come.”
Every poll location is marked with signs to denote the distance campaign supporters must be from the polls.
“I believe in our country and our rights,” says Christine Coan at the Bartley Ranch Regional Park. “I’m anxious to see what our people think,” she said.
She is concerned about guns being present at polling locations and believes it is not right but understands people watching the polls to support a candidate.
How tonight’s early results are accepted, and how the days ahead will shake out remains to be seen with many stores in Reno and elsewhere boarding up and fearing possible violent unrest, and some gun owners undoubtedly ready to walk around in public armed, with the ramifications of this explosive cocktail still uncertain.