Gun Rights Activist Adam Kokesh Arrested in Va.

Kokesh posted a video of himself on the Fourth of July loading a shotgun with live ammunition at Freedom Plaza in D.C. He is refusing to leave his cell.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A judge will go to the Fairfax County jail Thursday to arraign Adam Kokesh after he refused to attend his own court hearing today. Chris Gordon reports. (Published Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013)

    An activist who made a video of himself loading a shotgun in downtown D.C. was arrested and has refused to come out of his cell for an arraignment.

    Adam Kokesh was arrested Tuesday evening after U.S. Park Police searched his Herndon home and found drugs and several guns, authorities said.

    Gun Rights Activist Arrested, Refuses to Leave Cell

    [DC] Gun Rights Activist Arrested, Refuses to Leave Cell
    A gun rights activist who uploaded a video of himself loading a shotgun in downtown D.C. was arrested and is refusing to come out of his cell for an arraignment. (Published Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013)

    He faces two charges: possession of a Schedule I or II drug, and possession of a Schedule I or II drug while in possession of a firearm, both felonies.

    Kokesh had been scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Wednesday. A coworker close to him told News4 Washington's Adam Tuss that Kokesh's refusal to leave his cell is meant to be an act of civil disobedience.

    Home of Gun Rights Activist Searched

    [DC] Home of Gun Rights Activist Searched
    Police officers searched the Herndon, Va. home of a gun rights activist who last week posted a video of himself loading a shotgun in downtown D.C. News4's Shomari Stone has the story. (Published Tuesday, Jul 9, 2013)

    A judge will visit Kokesh's cell Thursday to arraign him there, reports News4 Washington's Chris Gordon.

    Kokesh is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. He has refused to be photographed or fingerprinted, the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office said.

    It is unknown whether he has a lawyer yet.

    Friends and roommates of Kokesh say that authorities entered their home with a battering ram Tuesday night and used a flash-bang grenade.

    "It was not a valid search, and he has more than ample defenses to have all the charges dismissed," said Elizabeth Kelly, a friend and lawyer who is trying to help Kokesh.

    They were there to search for the shotgun seen in a YouTube video of Kokesh uploaded last week, according to Kokesh's producer and roommate, Darrell Young.

    In the video, titled "Open Carry March on DC a Success," Kokesh looks directly into the camera as he loads bullets into a shotgun.

    "We will not be silent. We will not obey. We will not allow our government to destroy our humanity," Kokesh says in the video, punctuating his words by loading bullets and then cocking the gun. "We are the final American Revolution. See you next Independence Day."

    Kokesh told NBC4 on Monday that the shotgun and ammunition were real and that no green screen was used.

    He had planned a mass armed March on D.C. on the Fourth of July but changed his strategy to the YouTube video.

    It is illegal to carry guns in the District of Columbia.

    According to charging documents, authorities seized the shotgun apparently used in the video, as well as half a dozen other weapons.

    They also confiscated hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    "We were expecting this," Young said. "We were expecting the government to raid our house."

    Kokesh, an Iraq war veteran, told Washington's News4 Monday that his actions in the video were intentional. It doesn't make sense that he can have a gun on one side of the river and not the other, he said.

    "I was ready to stand by my word, and I was ready to commit the civil disobedience that I had committed to," he said.

    Kokesh said he believes he is the legal owner of the gun shown in the video but declined to say where -- or if -- it was registered.

    Friends say Kokesh is not so much a gun rights activist as a staunch libertarian.

    "I was here, and I loaded a shotgun on Independence Day, but I didn't kill anybody. I didn't drone any children," Kokesh said Monday. "I didn't steal any children's future. I didn't sell this country into debt. I didn't do any of the crimes that the man two blocks over at the White House is responsible for."

    A spokesperson from Kokesh's organization, Adam vs. The Man Studios, released this statement following his arrest:

    "...We will continue to spread the message of liberty, self ownership, and the non-aggression principle regardless of the government's relentless attacks on our operation. We will continue to combat its desperate attempts to crush a worldwide, revolutionary shift in the people's understanding of the state's illegitimacy -- after all, good ideas don't require force."

    He was also arrested in Philadelphia while speaking at a marijuana-legalization rally in May.

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