Two men armed with rifles who said they were just trying to educate the public about gun rights by wandering the streets of southeast Portland prompted at least 10 911 calls.
The calls started coming in around 2 p.m. Portland police responded, but did not arrest the men, who were carrying rifles on their backs and were valid concealed handgun license holders in Oregon.
"I don't know if they're fake or real, but they look like black rifles," one caller said, reporting them walking around Portland's Sellwood neighborhood.
Some 911 callers struggled to grasp that the men's actions were within the law.
Caller: "We've seen some people with a gun." Dispatcher: "I think we've gotten multiple calls on it. Yeah, we are aware of these guys. They are testing the system out. We've been following them since Gresham. Police are tracking them."
Caller: "I'm sorry, you said they've been given permission?"
Dispatcher: "No permission, but they have concealed weapons permits and are able to carry. Police at this point, like I said, have been keeping an eye on them."
Caller: "Are you allowed to carry a gun with you, out in sight of everybody?"
Dispatcher: "Yup, you have the right to bare arms."
Dispatcher: "Police are trying to curb it, but you can only do so much legally."
A school administrator also called 911, asking whether a lockdown was in order.
Caller: "Are they getting out of the neighborhood? That's not the neighborhood to be doing that crap in." Dispatcher: "I don't know if they're getting out of the neighborhood or not. The officers have spoken with them and they're valid permit holders. They are purposely exercising their right to carry."
Officers said carrying firearms openly is legal in Oregon and carrying a concealed gun is legal with a valid license. However, doing one or both may generate 911 calls and possibly tie up resources that are needed for a true emergency.
The Portland Police Bureau, however, asks anyone who sees someone armed with guns to immediately call 911.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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