A gun dealer who has taken his armored truck to post-Parkland rallies across the country compared his interactions with police to the treatment of African Americans during slavery.
“The hostile environment created toward gun advocates in the Northeast is not unlike the hostile environments a black man would have experienced in the South hundreds of years ago,” Utah Gun Exchange owner Bryan Melchior told the Salt Lake Tribune.
The armored black Bearcat truck he and his fellow gun advocate friends have taken on a tour across the country “is usually topped with a replica machine gun that is propane-powered so it sounds like the real thing, but doesn’t shoot bullets,” the Tribune‘s report noted.
UGE “posted a video of an interaction between dozens of New York City police officers and attorneys who said the replica Browning machine gun violated a city ordinance around fake guns,” the report continued. “While the gun had a pride flag attached to its barrel, it didn’t have other markings that are required to distinguish between real guns from fakes, police said in the video.”
While Melchoir complained about his interactions with cops in the Northeast, the Tribune‘s report noted he’s gotten a warmer welcome from officers down South.
In another video UGE posted, a Georgia officer approached the Bearcat (this time without the replica machine gun atop it) and told the men inside it that when he saw it, he knew he had to speak to them. The officer, the report continued, “had a tattoo that appears to be the logo of a paramilitary organization called The Three Percenters, which bills itself as a national defense organization.” The Three Percenters are perhaps most infamous for providing security to white supremacist protesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.