BATTLE GROUND — On Sunday, about 60 people gathered in Kiwanis Park for an event that featured American flags, military-style rifles and two candidates for city council.
As people, some with families in tow, sat on the grass eating barbecue, Joey Gibson, the founder of right-wing protest group Patriot Prayer, introduced Shauna Walters and Josh VanGelder, two candidates for Battle Ground City Council.
Since Washington voters overwhelmingly passed a gun-control initiative in November, Gibson, who made a name holding rallies in Portland and other liberal enclaves, has turned his attention to trying to keep the new law from taking root.
He and other gun rights activists have appeared before local city councils, including every small city in Clark County, seeking to persuade them to pass measures aimed at stymieing the new law, Initiative 1639. While local city councils have been sympathetic to the concerns of Gibson, each has stopped short of declaring themselves a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
He’s hoping that will change after this upcoming election.
“You have to be able to secure freedom at a local level, because no one else will do it,” Gibson told the crowd at the rally. He said Walters and VanGelder would do everything to “protect you guys and the Constitution,” and added, “you’ve got to do things that have not been done before, if that makes sense.”