Fervent Donald Trump supporters are planning to make their presence known at the Republican presidential candidate’s town hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday.
According to the Pittsburgh City Paper, a posting appeared on Reddit stating that “roving support units” are planned to patrol the perimeter of the building where Trump is scheduled to speak tonight, for the purpose of deterring protestors.
The City Paper obtained a screenshot purporting to be from Reddit, though the post appears to have been removed. It read, in part, “The majority of us will be open carrying sidearms and long arms (AR-15 style preferred, but AK’s and such are fine)… This isn’t gonna be a place to mess around!”
“Pittsburgh Police are aware of and are monitoring various social media commentary and threats regarding the Donald Trump rally today,” said Pittsburgh’s public safety office in a statement. “We will continue to monitor and validate the credibility of these threats throughout the day, and will respond accordingly. As always, our first and primary concern is the safety of the City,” the statement read.
“We have developed a robust operational plan to ensure that we are prepared to deal with any emergency situations that might arise during the day and evening,” the statement continued. “We will be executing that plan with the same crowd management philosophy that we always use, which includes protecting constitutional rights.”
The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, where Trump is taping a town hall event for Fox News, is on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. School administrators warned the armed supporters would not be allowed on campus.
“We expect that these demonstrators, if present, will abide by the law and remain off private property, which includes University of Pittsburgh campus areas,” said Kathy Humphrey, senior vice chancellor for engagement and chief of staff of the school.