Whether you think it’s a good idea or bad idea to open carry a rifle in public, the simple fact of the matter is that it is legal in Texas, and now a man has been arrested for trying to help educate people on what the laws actually are. Watch video at end of post.
A member of the “Come and Take It” pro gun rights group has been arrested after taking a walk in Andrews Texas with a rifle strapped to his back. The group says it’s trying to spread awareness of the legalities of carrying a firearm, and after this arrest the group has an even stronger point. After all, it’s only because someone who saw the man with the rifle and thought he was doing something illegal that the police were called and an arrest was made.
According to Newswest9,
“I was driving down Main Street to go get lunch and I saw a man with a rifle on his back,” Angela Arthur said.
That was the sight that sparked concern and a flurry of 911 calls to the Andrews Police Department on Wednesday afternoon.
“I was gonna stop at Allsups but then I thought he maybe was gonna go in there so I changed my mind and just went somewhere else because it’s scary,” Arthur said.
The man is Michael Keoughan, a U.S. Army veteran.
Arthur snapped the picture while Keoughan was walking down the street not far from Andrews Middle School
“He was just calmly walking,” Arthur said. “You wouldn’t think anything of it unless he didn’t have a gun.”
But moments later, the middle school was put on lockdown and Arthur said Keoughan was surrounded by police.
Because the police simply couldn’t charge the man with “legally carrying a firearm” they had to come up with something else. So the charges were disorderly conduct and displaying a weapon in a manner calculated to cause alarm. Even if you think it’s stupid to carry a rifle in public, it IS legal. But if carrying it on your back is considered “a manner calculated to cause alarm” then what other way is there to carry it? In a cello case like the mafia used to do?
Nowadays anyone who is totally ignorant of the law can call the police and say someone is “causing alarm”. And I’m sure all the anti-gunners are gearing up for this one and looking for any signs of a gun owner so they can call the police with trumped up accusations of disorderly conduct.
A school was put on lockdown as the police investigated the matter, but the report never says how close the man actually was to the school. Probably because it wasn’t really close enough to justify alarm.
Despite the gun group’s possible lack of tact, if the goal is to help educate people that it is legal to carry firearms in a state that still respects the 2nd amendment, then this story clearly illustrates they are doing their job. The media attention this story gets will help educate at least a few people out there and it brings more attention to the pro gun rally this weekend in Andrews.
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