- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2013

A police chief in eastern Pennsylvania with strong gun rights views who was captured on video ranting against Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.N. arms treaty was placed on 30 days suspension without pay — though city officials rushed to say the punishment wasn’t for his remarks.

Council members in the town of Gilberton said Wednesday that Police Chief Mark Kessler was suspended for using “borough property for non-borough purposes without prior borough permission,” when he filmed his video, which includes images of him holding and shooting weapons, CNN reported.

Mr. Kessler still has the backing of the town, however. More than 750 came to this week’s meeting where the vote was taken on his suspension, touting their own firearms to show support.

Mr. Kessler never apologized for his actions.

He said to the council, after members voted 5-1 to suspend him: “I make no apologies, and I have no regrets. [I’ll be back] 30 days from tonight.” And shortly after, Mr. Kessler posted a statement on his website accusing the mayor and two council members of “conspiring behind closed door for [my] full termination.”

In the video, Mr. Kessler rants against those who seek to scale back gun rights, naming Mr. Kerry and decrying the secretary of state’s support of the United Nations’ arms treaty. He even issues a dare to Mr. Kerry to try and confiscate his guns, CNN reported.

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“It wasn’t a threat,” Mr. Kessler said, to a local television station about that segment of the video. “It was, ‘if you want them, come and take them.’ “

Mr. Kessler has held the police chief title for 14 years, and has helped organize and oversee several pro-Second Amendment gun rallies during his tenure.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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