Local group to protest at Belton 4th of July Parade - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

BELTON

Local group to protest at Belton 4th of July Parade

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BELTON -

Every year the city of Belton puts on a Texas sized July 4th parade but this year one group is protesting because of a new rule banning guns from the parade. The rule change came after the group had already bought a float to participate in the parade.

Now, Open Carry Texas will hold a 2nd Amendment rally outside of the parade and more than a hundred people are expected to join them to protest for open carry laws. The rally was organized with the help of Belton Police.

Open carry supporter Victoria Montgomery says, "There is no better symbol of freedom than the gun itself that's how we won the revolutionary war and won our freedom to start with."  

Another protestor, Robert Sneed says, "It's been a historic event in Belton for many, many years and it's always included firearms"

The group and open carry supporters are protesting because they're being kept out of the parade.   

"I kind of think it's pathetic in a way. That people all of a sudden feel so threatened by a bunch of hardworking law abiding American citizens who want to open carry proudly in a parade where in the theme is symbols of freedom," says Montgomery.  

CEO and president of Belton's chamber of commerce, Stephanie O'Banion says the recent gun control debate may have been a factor in bringing about a new insurance policy.

"Each item that comes up each year is developed throughout according to various incidences or maybe something that's new, so we follow our policy."

According to the chamber, this year's insurance policy won't cover any firearm claims.

"Our insurance carrier requires a list of items that are new… They do a risk assessment and then they provide us with a policy back in return. This year we had the addendum come back with our request that said there would be no coverage for firearms claims," said O'Banion. 

The chamber says more than 30,000 people are expected to attend the parade and the new gun ban doesn't change their main focus.

"Our number one priority is to put on a safe event and that's our top priority for all of years we've been involved," said O'Banion. 

The non profit organization Open Carry Texas raised money and offered to pay for their own insurance policy to be to participate in the parade but the chamber's lawyers wouldn't allow it.

O'Banion says the new rule may not be permanent since they have to get a new policy every year.

"We assess it each year, this is this years, we will asses it again next year," said O'Banion.

For more information about the event you can visit their Facebook page.

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