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Armed men prompt parents’ concern in Braselton

Armed men with long guns who regularly walk Braselton neighborhoods are concerning some parents in the area who fear for their children’s safety although local authorities have informed them there are no laws being broken.

Two men who appear to be in their 20s and dressed in tactical gear have been spotted in neighborhoods along New Liberty Church Road for months.

Neighbors and police have confronted them but the men have been undeterred, citing their Second Amendment rights.

“They essentially espouse anti-government rhetoric and anti-police rhetoric,” William Cooper, who lives in the area and has confronted the men and called police multiple times, told Channel 2′s Matt Johnson.

Cooper said he’s a gun owner as well, but is confused about why the armed men are choosing residential neighborhoods to exercise their rights.

“What’s the purpose of their presence every day?” he asked. “I’m not exactly sure what they’re protesting or what the purpose would be in these local communities.”

Last Friday, employees at Suwanee Prep Academy in Jackson County spotted one of the armed men with a long gun near the daycare.

The director made the decision to trigger a soft lockdown at first and then eventually a hard lockdown when the person was in the area for longer than she would like. Several parent chose to pick up their children early in response. The director said dispatchers told them no laws were being broken and no law enforcement response was needed.

Braselton Police tell Channel 2 Action News they’re aware of who they call “Second Amendment activists.”

In a statement, Major Michael Steffman said, in part, “They have not violated any laws, as they are just exercising their Second Amendment right.”

Lauren Bruner lives nearby and says she worries about the armed men potentially being around her child because they typically appear during daylight hours and when kids can see them.

“I’m concerned with my daughter getting off the bus right here at the main road and them being out here regularly,” Bruner said.

She and other neighbors have spoken to law enforcement about pressuring the men to take their activism elsewhere, but they say they’ve had no success.

“I don’t know what their purpose is,” she said, “and I don’t know if they have plans any kind of action or something.”

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