Some Question Gun Enthusiasts' Black Friday Walk Downtown

Effectiveness Of Proposed Event Questioned

A group of gun enthusiasts is being urged to abandon plans to hold a demonstration in Indianapolis in an effort to raise awareness about Second Amendment rights.

Discussions online indicate some gun owners plan to openly carry rifles and handguns around Monument Circle on the day after Thanksgiving, 6News' Joanna Massee reported.

According to a flier that will be handed out by participants, the purpose of the walk is to, "educate our fellow Hoosiers about our rights to lawfully keep and bear arms."

A gun owner who said he plans to participate in the Black Friday walk contacted Massee by phone but would not give his name. He said similar events have taken place in the past and generated positive public interest.

Discussions on the website also show some gun owners may also try to bring weapons to the Circle Centre Mall downtown to, "see how long it takes to get asked to leave."

Les Morris, public relations director for mall owner Simon Property Group, told 6News via e-mail, "As part of our code of conduct, guns are expressly prohibited from being present on our property, including Circle Centre."

Some other gun enthusiasts said they don't believe the event is a good idea.

City-County Councilor Ed Coleman said he is a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights but has concerns about the walk.

"I urge this group to reconsider their actions," he said via e-mail. "I don't think it will have the desired effect that they are looking for."

Mike Hilton, of Pop Guns, called the plan asinine.

"It's kind of cowboy action. It's little children playing," he said. "The general population are intimidated by firearms, so why cause a problem?"

Indianapolis police Lt. Jeff Duhamell said police cannot stop properly permitted individuals from carrying weapons in full view on public property, but he said officers will monitor the planned walk.

"We have our intelligence groups that are aware of the situation and, in the past, they have been here before and it was a peaceful demonstration, basically," Duhamell said.

Organizers of the event told 6News they would not grant interviews until the day of the walk because they are worried about how it will be portrayed.