Response to Armed Persons (Press Release)

by Public Information Officer, Thursday, June 04, 2015, 17:11 (1356 days ago)

ABILENE TX- On Wednesday, June 3, 2015, Police received two 9-1-1 calls shortly after 6pm. One of the callers reported three men with large guns on foot in front of Frontier Texas. The second caller reported these same men were in the parking lot of Frontier Texas. Both callers were alarmed and called police.
When officers arrived, they contacted three men who had no identifying signs or any markings to indicate they were part of Open Carry Texas (OCT), a statewide non-profit “fighting for the constitutional carry of firearms” (See citation below). Because these men were armed with shoulder-fired weapons, Abilene Officers approached with caution. An OCT member demanded officers disarm themselves, whereupon there were tense exchanges. Ultimately officers learned these persons were associated with OCT and consequently were not at Frontier Texas to violate any laws.
The Police Department has worked cooperatively with local gun rights advocates to ensure our citizens remain safe and informed. In this case, however, no warning was given as to their appearance at a tourist location, nor were any signs displayed affiliating their presence with an educational effort. Balancing safety with gun ownership is important to the Police Department, and I regret this incident occurred. It could have been prevented.
It is important to recognize that provisions within Penal Code law 42.01 Disorderly Conduct articulate a violation of law if a person displays a firearm in a manner calculated to alarm. Two Abilene citizens were unnecessarily alarmed. Although no charges will be filed regarding this specific incident, I encourage everyone to work cooperatively with the Police Department to ensure we balance safety and education. Both are important.
Thank you,
Stan Standridge

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