In short the ACLU of New York argues that weapons restrictions near protests is a good thing. Leftist would say this because it disarms potential victims and keeps conservatives from "scaring" Antifa or whoever. The article is garbage and I'm not linking to it.
Open carry is a protected form of speech. It's not popular speech though, because the message behind it is "Push us too far and we'll kill you." That's the intent of the Second Amendment. Californian cops and politicians really hated it when blacks did it in the late '60s so they banned loaded open carry. The Black Panthers had armed rallies to protest police brutality. Now the Panthers were scum, but that doesn't mean they didn't have a right to do that, and from the perspective of a black American at the time, yeah, using guns as symbolism against police brutality and discrimination was constitutional.
Guns highlight the Second Amendment and the general preservation of rights, plus their inherent connection to American culture, making them part and parcel of a protest. As to whether guns are a good or bad idea; that's a different debate.
Guns present at a protest can serve as a deterrent to those who might try to disperse or attack unpopular speech. I'd bet that's why the Panthers carried guns (to dissuade the police) and why guns are starting to show up at protests now. Washington state was so intimidated by right-wing people who might carry guns in public that they banned open carry near protests. Any lawyer worth his salt needs to attack that on a First Amendment basis.
Weapon restrictions quashes freedom of speech. As we say, the Second Amendment protects all others. Look at Australia. You think cops would be behaving the way they are towards protestors if members of the crowd were armed? That can't happen in America without a lot of dead cops. Second, Kyle Rittenhouse would be dead if he weren't armed during that riot. We're seeing Antifa attack conservative events and protests and even murder right-wingers. Yeah, we need guns to safely express our opinions.
No, concealed weapon regulations do not protect the right to free expression. Weapon restrictions only serve to disarm victims for leftists and ensure a monopoly of power to the left.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West