Constitutional Law

2 Men with Assault Rifles Legally Take a Walk Down the Street in Portland, Ore.

Two 22-year-old men committed no crime this week by openly carrying assault rifles, slung over their shoulders, in a residential neighborhood of Portland, Ore., known for its row of antique stores.

But the Wednesday afternoon stroll by Steven M. Boyce and Warren R. Drouin created a stir, resulting in a lockdown by at least one school, the Oregonian reports.

Police warned the two that there would undoubtedly be 911 calls over the weapons, but didn’t take other action because what they were doing was legal. Although Portland bans individuals from having loaded firearms in public places, the two men are exempted from that ban under state law because they have concealed-carry licenses, the newspaper explains.

“We support everyone’s constitutional rights, but we ask that they exercise them responsibly,” said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau. “Anyone walking around with a visible firearm is going to generate calls from concerned citizens that we have to respond to. That takes resources away from potentially more serious incidents.”

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