Armed man at town hall has right-wing ties

Aug. 13, 2009 at 10:23 AM
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PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The armed man who stood outside the New Hampshire school where President Obama held a town hall has ties to a right-wing group, an Internet search indicates.

William Kostric, 36, formerly of Scottsdale, Ariz., stood outside the Portsmouth, N.H., healthcare town hall meeting Tuesday with a gun holstered at his thigh and carrying a sign saying, "it is time to water the tree of liberty," alluding to a quote by Thomas Jefferson used by separatists and militia groups, reported Thursday.

New Hampshire state law permits people to carry a pistol or revolver openly without a license.

"When someone's wearing a gun, they're not automatically a criminal," Kostric told CBS News. "The only way to do that is to make it an average everyday thing."

He said he was asked by Portsmouth police to move 1,000 feet away from the school -- required under federal law -- but then said he could stay on church property because it was private.

The Arizona Republic reported Kostric has ties to a right-wing group that calls for "resistance ... against unconstitutional or illegal behavior by government officials."

Web sites indicate that Kostric is a "team member" of the Arizona chapter of We the People Foundation, which states as a goal the return of "America to its founding principles," the Phoenix newspaper reported.

Kostric's MySpace page has tributes to militia ideology and individuals, the newspaper found.

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