A press conference held by members of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party ended when New Hanover County deputies seized members’ weapons.
The Sunday press conference was held on the steps of the New Hanover County Courthouse and about 25 people were present, according to television station WWAY.
A deputy told the group’s leader, Alli Muhammad, that the group was violating state and local law by carrying weapons onto courthouse property. The sheriff’s department said it was holding 10 weapons brought by members of the RBPP because they violated local county ordinance section 38-31 by possession of a weapon where it is posted “the display of firearms and possession of concealed handguns prohibited on this property,” according to a news release from the department.
Deputies also asked members who were wearing masks at the event to lower them according to state law prohibiting wearing masks at meetings or demonstrations.
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The group fully cooperated with a request to place all firearms on the ground. Deputies then seized the weapons and took them to the sheriff’s office, where deputies told the owners they could be picked up on Monday. The weapons included two revolvers, five semi-automatic pistols and three shotguns. All were loaded.
“We will not tolerate violations of the law,” Sheriff Ed McMahon said in the release.
Wilmington Police also were on scene – some in tactical gear, WWAY reported. As law enforcement left with the seized weapons, the deputy in charge shook hands with Muhammad, who said both sides “acted professionally.”