Parents in Severn, Maryland are concerned after a man claiming to protest gun control measures has been regularly spotted walking around with an AR-15 near a school bus stop.
Per WBAL-TV, Severn Elementary School parent Jamie Sparrow is among the parents who have voiced their concern regarding a man who was shown walking around with an assault rifle near the bus stop his six-year-old daughter uses. Sparrow said that he's seen the man, who has identified himself as J'den McAdory, has been there multiple times over the past few weeks. "They train to hide if this thing enters their school, and it's right there," added parent Michael Haley. "How can they not be a little nervous about that? How can it not give them anxiety?"
While McAdory has prompted fear from both students and parents, he said that he's protesting recent gun control measures implemented by Maryland governor Wes Moore. One such law prohibits individuals from carrying guns in areas "for children in vulnerable adults," which includes schools. The law doesn't take effect until October.
"Guns can be safe if it's controlled by the right person," McAdory said. "I really wasn't coming out here for the kids. I was coming out here to show people that this is legal." In a video recorded by Sparrow, the man could be seen sporting a red hat that appears to be, or similar to, Donald Trump's infamous "Make America Great Again" caps. "I really want people to understand," added McAdory. "I mean no harm to no one. I'm actually a deterrent away from the crime we always have here."
In a statement shared by Moore's office, the governor condemned McAdory's efforts as "cowardice and intimidation." The statement added, " Scaring our kids and threatening our communities won’t help make Maryland safe." Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesperson Bob Mosier said that dismissal at Severn Elementary School was delayed earlier this week amid concern over McAdory.
Police have increased presence in the school area, but what he's doing is still legal right now. Severn Elementary School Principal Isaphine Smith cautioned parents and guardians to "increased their presence at bus stops," and to tell their children to tell McAdory to leave them alone if he approaches them.
On Thursday, McAdory said he will no longer protest during drop-off or pickup times.