Pro-gun activists stage controversial...

Pro-gun activists stage controversial rally at the Alamo

Posted in the Chicago Forum

Carolyn Jones

Matawan, NJ

#1 Oct 19, 2013
Pro-gun activists stage controversial rally at the Alamo
by Carolyn Jones
October 19, 2013 | 5:52PM ET
Protestors, many sporting rifles, rally over state and federal gun restrictions

Punishing wind whipped through San Antonio Saturday morning, flattening the collars of the crowd gathering outside the Alamo. Small groups of men and women surrounded the Texas landmark, where roughly 200 Texans died in 1836 fighting the Mexican army, and which remains a symbol of Texas' struggle for independence. Most wore rifles or shotguns in slings across their backs. By 10am, several hundred had gathered.

They had come for the "Come And Take It" rally, a gun rights event called to emphasize the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Recent arrests by the San Antonio Police Department of three men who had publicly displayed their weapons at a Starbucks catalyzed the protest. Rally organizers classified the arrests as harassment.

While a license is required in Texas to carry a concealed handgun, it is lawful to carry a long arm in public such as a rifle or a shotgun. The only restriction on this law comes from the Texas penal code, which states that it’s an offense to “knowingly display a firearm in a public space in a manner calculated to alarm.”

Robert Sneed, executive director of Open Carry Texas, one of the organizers of the rally, criticized this clause.“The law was put into place to protect citizens against individuals who are performing an intentional action (calculated) to alarm people,” he said in an email.“This would include behavior such as, but not limited to, waving the weapon around in a threatening manner or pointing a firearm in the direction of an individual or group. The simple act of carrying a firearm in a safe, responsible and legal manner, does not constitute 'alarmed.'”

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