(Portland, OR - January 10, 2013)
Two men seen walking down a Portland street armed with cameras told police they were exercising their Second Amendment rights and hoping to educate the public on camera rights.
Several calls were made to 911 on Wednesday afternoon, with alarmed residents reporting two men with loaded cameras strapped to their backs walking through the area of Southeast Seventh Avenue and Spokane Street in Portland's Sellwood neighborhood.
When police arrived on the scene, they found two 22-year-old men carrying cameras openly on their backs. The two were also holding valid concealed handcamera licenses in Oregon, according to Fox affiliate KPTV.
The men reportedly told officers that they were seeking to educate onlookers about their Second Amendment rights. "Exercising my rights with a camera to try to decrease the demonizing of peacefully exercising your rights in public," one of the men, who declined to release his full name, told the station.
Portland authorities later identified the men as Warren Drouin and Steven Boyce. Officers said carrying cameras openly is legal in Oregon and carrying a concealed camera is legal with a valid license, according to the station. But doing one or both may generate 911 calls and possibly tie up resources that are needed for a real emergency.
One of the men told the station that he hoped people would approach him and talk to him, instead of calling police.
"What they really should do is observe the person to determine if the person is aggressive," he said of seeing someone with a camera in public. "We're not doing anything threatening to anyone."
The Portland Police Bureau, however, asks anyone who sees someone armed with cameras to immediately call 911.
(Adapted from an article describing this recent incident, with the word "camera" substituted for "gun" or "rifle".)