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UPDATE: Charges Against Gun-Toting Priest Have Been Dropped

By: Teresa Mull

GPM reported last week that the Gun Control Lobby had set its sights on a priest in Colorado.

According to a message the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) sent to supporters, Fr. Peter Raleigh, a concealed carry permit holder and parish priest of Holy Innocents Catholic Church in southern Colorado, went to dinner at a restaurant with some parishioners following some target practice at a nearby gun range.

The sight of Fr. Raleigh’s gun “triggered a nearby table full of woke leftist snowflakes,” NAGR reported, the police were called, and Fr. Raleigh, with a safely holstered gun, was put in handcuffs and charged with disorderly conduct.

NAGR’s legal arm, the National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR), immediately intervened to defend Fr. Raleigh.

Now, NAGR reports in a message to supporters, “The bogus charges against gun-toting priest Fr. Peter Raleigh have been DROPPED!”

According to the organization, “Thanks to YOUR generous support, we were able to help fund an excellent legal team for Fr. Raleigh, which was able to successfully fight off these spurious charges.”

Fr. Raleigh himself released a statement, saying:

“NFGR & RMGO gave financial assistance towards my defense against a bogus charge of a firearms violation that had no merit. It was due to the generous donation of time and financial aid that I was able to overcome these false allegations.

“This experience has only confirmed that our 2nd Amendment Rights are under siege. Had NFGR & RMGO (Rocky Mountain Gun Owners) not intervened, the outcome could have been different.

“I fully support and recommend that NFGR & RMGO be given the full support and backing by all those who love America and Her Freedoms.”

Here’s a recap of the press release NFGR sent out when Fr. Raleigh was unjustly targeted:

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), Colorado’s only no-compromise gun-rights organization, along with the nation’s premier Second Amendment legal foundation, the National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR), announced today that they would be backing the legal defense team of Father Peter Raleigh of Holy Innocents Catholic Church in Trinidad, Colorado.

On August 15th of 2020, Fr. Raleigh and a group of parishioners went out to eat at a local restaurant after a day at the shooting range. After being seated, Fr. Raleigh showed his Ruger LCP handgun, after removing the magazine and extracting the round from the chamber, to a guest at the table who was scheduled to receive his concealed carry permit the next day.

This caused an uproar from the table next to them. The police were called, and he was initially charged with possessing a firearm while under the influence – despite no evidence that Fr. Raleigh was intoxicated. Charges were later amended to disorderly conduct – displaying a weapon “in a manner calculated to alarm,” also despite zero supporting evidence.

“This is just another case of a power-hungry DA expressing his anti-gun views on an innocent citizen. RMGO along with NFGR are going to do everything in our power to help out Fr. Raleigh,” said Taylor Rhodes, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

Fr. Raleigh’s trial date has been set for May 10, 2021, where Erica Anderson of O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC is representing him.

“After reviewing the case, it is clear the DA’s office has no evidence of misconduct. The old saying goes, the punishment is the process, and unfortunately, the anti-gun District Attorney’s office is using that against Fr. Raleigh,” said Rhodes.

RMGO, along with NFGR (National Foundation for Gun Rights), have committed substantial financial resources to help fund the defense of Father Raleigh.

Hannah Hill, Policy Analyst for the National Foundation for Gun Rights, added, “Pro-gun laws mean nothing if they aren't respected by local authorities. This DA’s office is weaponizing the laws that should protect Fr. Raleigh and using them to carry out a personal agenda. We stand with Fr. Raleigh as he fights these bogus charges.”

For more information about NFGR, check out https://gunrightsfoundation.org/.

Teresa Mull (teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.

 
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