Varg Freeborn, president of the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter at Youngstown State University in Ohio, had no idea the levels that his local government would stoop to in order to not only deprive him of his rights but also to silence any public protest.
The City of Campbell enacted an ordinance in January that would ban the sale of guns within city limits. The law had
a fair amount of critics. Ohioans for Concealed Carry (OFCC) warned Campbell that the law was in violation of Ohio state law and a lawsuit would soon be coming their way if it was not soon repealed.
The libertarian-conservative Freeborn decided to launch his own campaign and up the pressure on the anti-gun City Council by organizing a rally in support of gun rights outside Campbell City Hall. In an interview with The New American, Freeborn explained how he envisioned the rally. “I wanted to organize this rally to not only protest their sales ban but also to promote gun rights. It was about being for something, not just against something.”
When Varg and a friend from YAL first met the Campbell City Administrator, they were assured that they would get their permit to hold a rally and no fees would be charged. Over the following weekend, the rally was heavily promoted at area events and via the Internet, which garnered them a lot of attention. As Freeborn explained, the rally went “viral” and soon city officials changed their tune. When Freeborn’s friend returned for the permit, the City Administrator now said the request for a rally would need to be in writing. Shortly after Freeborn provided them with a written request, the City Administrator told Freeborn that they would have to pay for three to four police officers to provide security for the event. This was five days before the planned event! Freeborn was shocked, “We heavily promoted it and then they said you have to pay us $2,000 to hold the event.” After a pretty heated exchange over the phone, Freeborn went back to City Hall to meet with officials and was able to negotiate the fee down to $480.