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February 13, 2013

Gun rights group meets in Plaistow

PLAISTOW — An organization that pledges to defend the Constitution is not typically who uses the meeting room at the public library.

But, having met all library policies, the New Hampshire Oath Keepers will hold at meeting there tonight.

“As long as they meet the criteria of being nonprofit, free and open to the public, we allow them to be here,” said Diane Arrato Kavrish, Plaistow Public Library director.

The Oath Keepers will be hosting their first meeting in the area. Members of the group have all taken pledges to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution. The group is primarily comprised of armed forces and law enforcement officials.

Shem Kellogg of Plaistow said the group is primarily focusing protecting their right to carry guns.

“I don’t think that individual rights are necessary policy decisions,” Kellogg said. “The right to bear arms is a natural right and I don’t think that rights can be voted away.”

Kellogg organized the meeting and said it will serve as a general introduction to the Oath Keepers’ beliefs.

“We are a group of people who take their oath to the Constitution seriously,” he said. “We try to reach out to other similar folks to spread that message.”

Lara Croft, administrative assistant at the library, said the library often sees a diverse number of groups meeting at the library.

“We get everyone from the Plaistow Republicans to Girl Scouts to knitting groups,” Croft said. “We don’t discriminate against any nonprofit groups.”

Bryan Doe, president of the Massachusetts Oath Keepers, has been with Oath Keepers since its inception in 2006. He speaks at many meetings around Massachusetts and hopes to help spread the word into New Hampshire.

“This isn’t just about gaining membership,” Doe said. “It’s a community of like-minded people who can get together, discuss and meet about these issues. We try to specifically reach, teach, and inspire active law enforcement veterans. These people swore an oath to the Constitution, so we just want to teach people about the oath they made.”

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