Even while some companies are telling gun owners to leave their guns at home, Home Depot hosted one of the largest open carry events in Texas yesterday.
Open Carry Tarrant County announced what it billed to be “the largest open carry to date,” which took place at a North Richland Hills Home Depot. The event featured a gun raffle that drew over 150 people.
Remember that in Texas it is against the law to open carry handguns, so many have decided to open carry long rifles in demonstrations to bring awareness in promoting a change in the laws. The practice of open carrying in businesses has been controversial, however, and has prompted some businesses like Chipotle, Jack in the Box, Sonic, and Chili’s to adopt no guns policies.
Anti-gunners are not happy about Home Depot’s decision to allow the open carry event and have been flooding Home Depot’s Facebook page to express their hate and lack of knowledge.
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According to Dallas News,
The heavily armed contingent came from the Tarrant County offshoot of Open Carry Texas, an organization that works to “condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to carry” guns.
Open Carry groups have staged such events across the state. C.J. Grisham of Temple, the founder of Open Carry Texas, said the “walks” are part of a public relations effort and a political push.
The goal of many in the group is the legalization of open-carry handguns in Texas. State law in general allows the open display of rifles and shotguns but not handguns.
To carry a concealed handgun requires a license.
“I’d much rather have a handgun on my hip,” said Mark Thompson, 54, of Garland. Instead, he attended Saturday’s rally with a Beretta semi-automatic rifle strapped across his back.
“We’re fundamentally changing America and changing Texas,” he said. “We’re letting people know they’re free.”
Although his weapon’s chamber was empty — all those at the rally were instructed to clear their guns’ chambers — Thompson’s gun had a loaded magazine attached. That, he said, was a matter of being prepared for any hostile activity.
“Every now and then we get some aggressive people toward us,” Thompson said. “We get so much hate, it’s incredible.”
Saturday’s event, monitored by several North Richland Hills police officers, took place without incident. It did, however, attract a few critics and protesters.
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