Patriot Prayer Members Had ‘Cache’ of Guns on Rooftop Before August Protest

Members of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer were found on the roof of a downtown Portland parking structure “with a cache of firearms” before an Aug. 4 protest, The Oregonian reports. In a press conference Monday, Mayor Ted Wheeler said the Portland Police Bureau discovered the group. Assistant Chief Ryan Lee added that authorities seized the weapons, but the guns were later returned to their owners. No arrests were made, he said, because the protesters did not break any laws and were all licensed to carry concealed weapons. A mayoral aide told the newspaper the weapons included “long guns.” Patriot Prayer’s leader, Joey Gibson, told The Oregonian he first heard of the rooftop incident through Monday’s press conference. “It sounds like they completely exaggerated it,” Gibson said of the authorities’ remarks. He said those who spoke at the press conference made it seem like the members were “some sniper pointing his gun down at people” and claimed arrests would have been made had the situation been serious. The press conference comes after a Saturday protest involving Patriot Prayer members turned violent.