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Armed Oregon Standoff Brings in the FBI

It is now day three of an Oregon standoff as militia took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building in Oregon on Saturday because it "should be owned by the people not the government."

In addition, it is a symbolic protest against sending ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond to jail--they both admitted to setting fires on their federally-owned land. They had already served time, but a judge has sentenced them to four more years because the judge thought the initial sentences were not enough.

Protest leader, Ammon Bundy, states the protest is peaceful although they are armed because it's the "only way" to defend their First Amendment rights.

Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven Hammond, 46, report to jail today for a land ownership dispute. They admitted to starting fires to prevent the growth of invasive plants into their land in 2001 and 2006.

On Sunday, the Hammonds rejected the support of protesters and announced they would comply with local government agencies. Yet, Ammon Bundy--son of anti-government protester Cliven Bundy--said on Monday morning that "we understand each other" and they intend to stay there "indefinitely."

Bundy said, "We have to be willing to say, 'look, we'll do what it takes to defend our rights' -- and if we're not willing to do that they they'll be taken away."

Ammon was asked why they were armed at a peaceful protest, and he responded "In order to truly express our First Amendment rights we have to have our Second Amendment rights. That's why the Founders gave them to us, or at least, that's why the Founders protect them in the Constitution. It's important that we stand and people know that we're serious."

Late on Sunday, the FBI said that it is actively "working with the Harney County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and other locals and state law enforcement agencies' on the case."

Schools in the area have been closed for the day. Ryan Bundy told the Associated Press that he hopes land can be turned over to local authorities. They also want others across the country to seize local control of federally managed land.

Photo: Daily Tech

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