ArmedMen

Armed men stand outside the Buchanan County Courthouse seeking signatures.

Four openly armed men walking Thursday back and forth in front of the Buchanan County Courthouse and approaching people raised a level of concern.

The four armed men were directly outside the front door by a park bench approaching people. Two of the men carried clipboards and one had a notary public tag pinned on his shirt.

Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department deputies came out of the courthouse because the men were on courthouse property.

They explained the public area was out on the sidewalk, which runs around the courthouse and not on the walk leading to the front doors, said Sheriff Bill Puett.

The men moved out to the sidewalk but still raised concern.

“I was extremely upset about the presence of firearms in front of the courthouse,” said James Nadolski, a local attorney. “Is this what our country is coming to with guns outside the courthouse?”

The man who approached the attorney had a pistol tucked into his waistband.

He was a burly fellow and said he had a conceal-and-carry permit, Nadolski said.

The men said they have constitutional rights to carry guns.

Under the open-carry laws, they can have firearms, Puett said.

News-Press Now approached the men to ask what they were doing. They declined to speak.

Harry Roberts, the presiding Buchanan County commissioner, obtained a brochure from one of the men.

The brochure appears to be published by Missouri’s Liberty Alliance and asks readers to get the facts on right to work. The brochure says unions want to take freedom away from employees by using dirty tricks to overturn Missouri’s right-to-work law.

By about 11 a.m. Thursday, the four men disappeared.

Marshall White can be reached at marshall.white@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWhite.