San Fran Chronicle: Open carry was legal until armed Black Panthers protested

Can’t let them thar black folks walk around armed… Guessin’ we’ll haf ta disarm everybody.

By Warren Olney | on May 2, 2018

One May 3, in 1967, Gov. Ronald Reagan was scheduled for lunch with eighth-grade schoolkids on the Capitol grounds. He’d been elected just a few months before, and the presence of a Hollywood-star-turned politician had increased the size of the press corps.

Then, suddenly, several cars pulled up to the 10th Street curb. As passengers got out, they made no attempt to hide the fact that they were heavily armed.

About two dozen African American men and women, some wearing leather jackets and black berets, started toward the Capitol carrying rifles, shotguns and pistols. They were not holding the weapons in a threatening manner; they were pointing them in the air as they marched into the building.
When the armed group entered the chamber, Democrats and Republicans dived under their desks as the president pro tem called for order. Meanwhile, one of the armed men began a harangue about “gun control.” Speaking to the TV cameras, he denounced “the racist California Legislature” for “keeping the black people disarmed and powerless
Open carry was legal until armed Black Panthers protested

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In fairness the panthers at the time were a black separatist group threatening to overthrow the US gov’t by force. That kinda pretty reasonably scared the hell out of everyone when they started marching in armed protest to go along with their terrorist activities.

This too, I shall defend.


What is unamazing is that you cannot debate the facts.

Everything I said was perfectly true.

Extreme actions tend to precipitate extreme overreactions. What they did was not right but it was understandable under the circumstances.

Reagan was a lot of things but he was never a lover of the 2nd Amendment.

I had heard that many gun control laws had started to disarm black people. (White deputies could, of course keep their guns.)

I don’t really actually really understand what the Black Panthers were complaining about though.

If they were legally armed with rifles and shotguns, what more did they want? Scary-looking weapons?

Read up on the movement, they were a terrorist organization hell bent on the violent overthrow of the gov’t and the creation of a black separatist state.

Yes, it is all true. And not one bit of it changes the fact that millions of people had their Constitutionally recognized rights violated out of fear of black skin.

I meant what guns were disallowed that caused
“one of the armed men began a harangue about “gun control.” Speaking to the TV cameras, he denounced “the racist California Legislature” for “keeping the black people disarmed and powerless.”

What crime did they commit that day?

It wasn’t fear of their skin, it was fear of their professed desire for violent revolution as a group.

I’d need more context to comment intelligently on it.

The event that triggered the change in law was them marching on the capitol armed. Their professed intent was well known as were the many terrorist acts they had threatened and committed.


Of course it was.

That was at best questionable which is why the law was changed.

If that were true the law would have been passed decades earlier.

They didn’t.

Article point is gun control was passed to disarm black people.

I note that the legally-armed protesters were protesting the fact that some guns, were already illegal. Appo they were protesting to relegalize those other guns.
My question is “Which guns were already illegal?”

Of course it was. They even passed such laws on the East Coast reference Italians because they weren’t white.

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Basically that would be NFA firearms on a federal level and you’d have to look back at whatever statutes were on the books in CA at the time to see what was illegal under state law.

I’m thinking it went some mething like this:

  • California outlaws scary looking weapons or zip guns or something else.
  • Black Panthers declare disarming the ghetto a racist plot and march in a legal protest openly carrying legal ioen-carry weapons.
  • In a possibly racist response, scared Californians of both parties expand California gun control.

Sound likely?

It’s interesting they decided to run this story as I’m sure the paper supports gun control as currently practiced in that state.

Wonder what the motive is.