The government of Missouri is scrambling to find a legal pretext to remove Oath Keepers from Ferguson.

Four armed members of the constitutional association of current and former U.S. soldiers, police and first responders arrived in the strife-torn city last night to assist business owners in an effort to deter looters and arsonists.

A recently passed law permits citizens to open-carry firearms in Missouri. The law, however, states that openly carried firearms may not be presented in an “angry or threatening manner,” Marcia McCormick, a professor of law at St. Louis University Law School, told Reuters on Tuesday.

McCormick said the law is open to interpretation.

“Clearly the people who are carrying these weapons are trying to send a message that some might see as threatening but it’s probably not a violation of the statute,” McCormick said.

Authorities, however, may use the stipulation to shut down the presence of Oath Keepers in the city.

The corporate media has relied on propaganda disseminated by the Southern Poverty Law Center to portray the Oath Keepers as a “a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival.”

In 2009, “the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center both name-checked the group in their reports on rising anti-government extremism,” reports Mother Jones.

This “extremism” — an oath taken to defend the Constitution and not follow unconstitutional orders issued by government and the military — may provide all the pretense required by authorities in Missouri to run the Oath Keepers out of Ferguson and thus allow looters and arsonists to inflict the sort of damage they did last August.

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