A tea party protester was temporarily detained on Tuesday after taking to an overpass in Hopewell, Va. with multiple guns to rail against President Barack Obama, according to WTVR, a Richmond, Va. CBS affiliate.
The protest was part of a campaign launched by conservative groups at the beginning of the summer, aiming to gather support for a movement to impeach Obama by standing on highway overpasses with signs.
Brandon Howard took his protest a little further: he was carrying a loaded assault rifle and a semi-automatic handgun on the overpass. He claimed that he was exercising his right to free speech and his right to bear arms by holding a sign that read "Impeach Obama" -- and wearing his guns.
“We have a tyrant in office right now; he thinks he’s a king," Howard said to WTVR. “If we don’t exercise these rights, the rights have no value."
Local police detained Howard, but did not press charges. Howard says the police also confiscated his weapons.
Other overpass protestors have also been arrested this month. In St. Charles, Mo., two men were detained after not obeying initial orders to leave the overpass after police said they presented a traffic hazard.
Marc Messmer, one of the men arrested, said his rights had been violated.
"Citizens have a right to peaceably assemble," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We were simply doing that. There were no laws broken."
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