LOGAN, Utah -- A man is standing outside a military recruitment center in Logan and carrying an AR-15 rifle, and he says he has taken it upon himself to protect military members inside.
Joshua Van Natter is 28 years old and a civilian, and he said he is standing up to protect military personnel.
“These guys are sitting ducks, so I’m not going to let that happen,” the man said.
Van Natter is referring to a federal ban that makes it illegal to carry a gun on military installations.
“These are trained military fighters, and they can't even, they can't do anything for themselves,” Van Natter said.
He added, “As you can see, there's a no gun law right here posted. You can't be inside with a military weapon, or any weapon really."
Van Natter said the shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee last week were unacceptable.
Army reservist Kaleb Perry said he approves of Van Natter’s actions.
“Since I’m in the U.S. Army Reserves, we are proud of him serving to see if we can get our weapons back, and we're just proud of…. Proud of him representing us," Perry said.
Van Natter said he had to move out of the parking lot and closer to the building after surrounding business were flooded with calls concerning him and the rifle.
But Van Natter said, for the most part, once people know what's going on he's had a good response from the public, police and potential recruits who come to the center.
“I felt really secure having him outside when I was inside,” potential recruit Kayden Marcham said.
Van Natter said: “A lot of people thank me. A lot of people just drive by and honk and wave."
Van Natter said he plans to be here Monday through Friday until the law is changed and military personnel can arm themselves.
“I’m ready for action,” he said. “Anything that happens, I mean if anything happens, then I’m here."
Van Natter said he would love it if others wanted to join him so they could take shifts when he has to work.
He said he hopes nothing happens, but he adds the whole point is to make the statement, in his words: "Don't mess with America."