A federal judge chose not to impose any jail or probation time for a gun rights activist who openly carried a rifle on the grounds of the Thomas S. Foley U.S. Courthouse earlier this year.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Rodgers called Anthony Bosworth “a man of principle” and said the two years of probation requested by federal prosecutors for a failure-to-comply charge would not serve any purpose.
“Nothing I’ve seen, in the facts that are being dealt with here, show any violence or threat of harm to any individual,” Rodgers told Bosworth at a sentencing hearing Wednesday afternoon.
Bosworth, an Iraq war veteran who’s attended gun rights rallies in Olympia and elsewhere, was arrested on the steps of the federal courthouse in February in a confrontation with law enforcement that was captured on camera. A rally was being held there to support the 10th Amendment in response to the charges against marijuana growers.
Federal prosecutors charged Bosworth, who was openly carrying an AK-47 rifle, with failing to leave the plaza at the direction of courthouse marshals. Bosworth and his attorney, David Stevens, contended the plaza was not included in federal rules banning firearms from facilities and that no signs were posted in the area barring guns.
“This is a miscarriage of justice,” Bosworth told Rodgers before he was sentenced. “There was no way for the public to be aware” of the ban, he added.
Stevens said his client would have his gun returned and that they planned an appeal of Rodgers’ guilty finding.
“I really liked what the judge said, and I thought it was a fair sentence,” Stevens said after the hearing.
Following Bosworth’s arrest, U.S. Chief District Court Judge Rosanna M. Peterson signed a court order extending the firearm ban to the plaza. That order was rescinded a few weeks later.
Bosworth left the court Wednesday afternoon after Rodgers imposed a $250 total fine for the misdemeanor conviction. He was greeted by several supporters, including Spokane Valley state Rep. Matt Shea.
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