HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A man arrested for having a gun at a Huntsville immigration rights rally Saturday, wound up being charged with reckless endangerment and menacing, in part to due to a wrinkle in state law.
Alabama law bars possession of a firearm at a public demonstration, but it also requires the would-be offender be given a warning and chance to put it away, before an arrest can be made.
Shane Ryan Sealy, 34, was a counter-protester at the “Families Belong Together” rally at Big Spring Park. He circled the stage while rally members were speaking and said “Whoop, whoop,” video from the rally shows.
At some point there was a disturbance noticed by police officers at the scene, said Lt. Michael Johnson, a Huntsville Police Department spokesman.
Several people in the crowd told officers he had brandished a gun, Johnson said. He was taken into custody.
But in seeking the arrest warrants officers learned about the warning provision in the law barring guns at demonstrations. That mean the charge wouldn’t apply to Sealy.
But, officers reviewed video taken from the scene that Johnson said shows that Sealy “pulled a gun in a criminal manner” and used it to try and “intimidate” people at the rally.
Sealy was then charged with reckless endangerment, which carries up to a year in jail upon a conviction as a Class A misdemeanor and he was charged with menacing, a Class B misdemeanor which carries a sentence of up six months in jail.