Members of the Ku Klux Klan may seek an alternative venue for a rally canceled due to the federal government shutdown.
A Maryland-based KK group had been granted a special-use permit in September to hold the rally at Gettysburg National Military Park on October 5. However, the event was canceled Tuesday after the federal government shutdown forced the park to rescind all event permits.
However, the shutdown isn't stopping the KKK group from heading to Gettysburg for the weekend. Richard Preston, leader of the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, told PennLive that his group was looking into the possibility of using the town square as an alternative location.
“If the borough laws say we can be there, we will be there with a bull horn,” Preston said Monday prior to the shutdown.
Gettysburg Borough Police Chief Joe Dougherty said that no KKK group had applied for a new permit yet, but that the process would not take long if they decided to do so at the last minute.
“It can be done in couple of minutes,” he said. “It’s a First Amendment issue, therefore it’s protected by the constitution... You can fill it out in 15 minutes.”
In an interview with the Evening Sun, Preston said other KKK groups are planning to be in Gettysburg on Saturday.
"We're trying to build this back to the way it was in 1925," he said. "That means no more of the racism group. There's no need to scream profanities. We do not yell racial slurs, we do not scream profanity."
He added that the group would again apply for a permit to rally at Gettysburg once the government is back to normal operations.