A Maryland man has been wielding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle next to a school bus stop, terrifying parents and children alike, for weeks.
A video recorded by one of the children’s parents, Jamie sparrow, shows the man standing across the street from the bus stop, holding the firearm pointed downward. The man has been there for weeks, Sparrow told WBAL-TV.
The man in question has been self-identified as J’den McAdory. He admitted to protesting against Maryland’s gun laws by standing near the elementary school bus stop in Severn with his AR-15 rifle.
Parents have expressed concerns over potential dangers, claiming the bus driver has occasionally refused to drop children off at the bus stop due to the man’s presence.
McAdory claimed that his aim was not to frighten children or parents, but rather to highlight the legality of his actions.
A Maryland man has been wielding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle next to a school bus stop, terrifying parents and children for weeks
A video recorded by one of the children’s parents shows the man standing across the street from the bus stop holding the firearm
The man in question has been self-identified as J’den McAdory
McAdory admitted to protesting against Maryland’s gun laws by standing near the elementary school bus stop in Severn with his AR-15 rifle
McAdory claimed that his aim was not to frighten children or parents but to highlight the legality of his actions
‘I really wasn’t coming out here for the kids, I was coming out here to show people that this is legal,’ he stated, emphasizing that responsible gun ownership was the key.
‘Guns can be safe if they’re controlled by the right person,’ he said.
According to Sparrow, McAdory told him and his family as they were walking by: ‘You guys are looking at me like a bunch of scared bowling pins. Wow. Bowling pins.’
‘You know what I mean? I guess you’re the bowling ball if we’re the bowling pins,’ Sparrow said.
Anne Arundel County police confirmed that McAdory’s carrying of the firearm was permitted under Maryland law, but due to mounting worries, officers said they were upping their presence in the area to address concerns and ease tensions.
Another parent, Michael Haley, expressed anxiety over the situation
‘They’re trained to hide if this thing (a gun) enters their school, and it’s right there,’ said Michael Haley, another parent. ‘How can they not be a little nervous about that? How can that not give them anxiety?’
On May 16, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, a Democrat, signed the Gun Safety Act of 2023 along with other gun safety measures.
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signs one of several gun-control measures May 16, 2023
The governor explained that these laws aimed to enhance community safety and reduce gun-related crimes.
One provision of the Gun Safety Act, effective October 1, prohibits carrying firearms in areas frequented by children or vulnerable adults, such as schools or healthcare facilities.
However, not everyone supported the governor’s actions. The Maryland State Rifle & Pistol Association, the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association (NRA), filed a lawsuit against Governor Moore, asserting that the legislation violated the First, Second, and 14th Amendments.
The lawsuit argued that the new law further limited the places where law-abiding citizens with carry permits could exercise their right to bear arms for self-defense outside their homes.
This legal battle echoes a recent Supreme Court case involving the National Association for Gun Rights, which accused the city of Naperville and the state of Illinois of infringing upon the Second Amendment by prohibiting semi-automatic assault weapons.
The introduction of these gun safety measures in Maryland responds to the alarming rise in mass shootings throughout the United States, aiming to protect communities and ensure a safer future for Maryland residents.
One in twenty Americans own an AR-15 automatic rifle
There has been more than 13,900 people killed in gun violence so far in 2023
This comes after multiple recent mass shootings. In April, a Texas man massacred five neighbors including an eight-year-old boy after they asked him to stop shooting his gun at 11:30pm because they were trying to get a baby to sleep.
And just this Monday, an 18-year-old New Mexico gunman murdered three in AR-15 rampage.
Tolly Taylor, the WBAL-TV reporter who first covered the story, teased the segment on Twitter before it aired, suggestion there were ‘two sides’. Taylor’s tweet did not sit well for many and has been gaining criticism online.
‘A man with an AR-15 has been showing up for weeks to a school bus drop off for local elementary school students. Parents say their kids are afraid, the man says he’s protesting @GovWesMoore’s new gun control law. You’ll hear from both sides at 5+6pm,’ he tweeted.
In his interview with McAdory, Taylor asked: ‘For parents who might ask, just because you can do this, does that mean that you should do this?’
‘No, it does not mean that,’ he replied. ‘But I think that if I do this enough, that it will create enough deterrence from crime in the area.’
But McAdory told Taylor that he came to an agreement with school district officials claiming he will no longer protest during school pickup or drop off times.