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A protest outside the Governor's Mansion in Carson City on May 2, 2020. Photo by Michelle Rindels.

A group of protesters, some dressed in military fatigues and open-carrying guns, gathered outside the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City on Saturday to call on Gov. Steve Sisolak to open all businesses.

Marked and unmarked vehicles from the Nevada Highway Patrol, Carson City and Douglas County sheriff’s offices parked several cars deep blocked vehicle traffic on some streets around the mansion. Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong said demonstrators had been around since the morning, and by 2 p.m., it appeared about 100 protesters were within a block of the governor’s residence.

“If you are an elected representative or a governor and you don’t like the Constitution, you want to govern or rule [like a] dictatorship, go to another country,” one protester said through a bullhorn.

A pickup truck parked outside the mansion had a wooden cross attached to the back hung with a Trump campaign flag, and wooden signs declared “Open our Churches,” “Open All Business Now” and “Set NV Free!!!” Some officers around the perimeter wore ballistic vests and held rifles, while others appeared less heavily armed, including some who stood on the lawn of the mansion monitoring the scene.

The demonstrations have been taking place on weekends since at least mid-April, with protesters pushing back on Sisolak’s business shutdown and stay-at-home orders. Sisolak announced modest rollbacks of the orders this week, including the reopening of golf courses and an expansion of retail sales through curbside pickup, but has said more broad revocations in a “Phase 1” of his reopening plan won’t come until perhaps mid-May.

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