Texas Group Says Man Arrested in Andrews for Openly Carrying a Firearm was Unlawful 01/23/14
January 23, 2014
Andrews – A Midland man is arrested in Andrews after carrying a gun strapped to his back. The man is associated with the organization; Come and Take It, a group meant to educate the public on their rights to openly carry firearms.
According to officials he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by displacing a weapon in a manner calculated to cause harm. However Michael Keoughan, them man arrested, says the arrest was unlawful. “Just because someone is alarmed, that does not take away my constitutional rights.”
Keoughan says he was visiting Andrews to scout out a walking route for an upcoming “open carry march” this weekend. “I wanted to find out so that I can personally tell other members in the group and be confident in saying that yes, Andrews is going to uphold what they said they would and not have a problem with open carry.”
Michael was carrying two guns, a pistol on his hip and a 12 gauge shot gun strapped to his back. Something he says was completely lawful and followed all rules of the penal code. However authorities say Michael showed up unannounced and after a massive amount of concerned 911 calls flooded the system, they had no other option but to step in.
“He didn’t tell anybody, they say they don’t have to, and yeah they probably don’t but when they disrupt the community like they did, something has to happen,” said Andrews police Chief Bud Jones.
“Did it seem like a hostile environment when you arrived?” CBS 7 asked.
“No it wasn’t necessarily a hostile environment, but again you have an armed individual and I’m not going to go into detail on what we consider a hostile environment,” responded Jones.
The event caused the Andrews middle school to go on lockdown for almost an hour, and according to Chief Jones, that is more than enough panic to cause an arrest.
“He should know that it’s a good possibility that he could cause somebody to be alarmed and be scared,” said Jones.
Chief Jones also points out that the permit for the open carry march planned for this weekend has been approved by the police department and they welcome anyone who wants to come out.
According to attorneys CBS 7 spoke with, anyone can walk wherever they want with their firearm openly displayed as long as you are not near locations such as a school, court house, or hospital just to name a few. Attorney’s say that by implication, you can carry a firearm anywhere else as long as you are not carrying it in a way to cause fear, such as holding it in your hands or aiming it at an object.
To read the full penal code chapter regarding weapons visit the link below.
Andrews – A man was arrested yesterday afternoon in Andrews after openly carrying a firearm around town. Michael Keoughan was charged with disorderly conduct and displaying a weapon in a manner calculated to cause alarm. Keoughan was a member of Come and Take It, a group that says their mission is to actively educate fellow Texans about their rights to openly carry firearms in public in a responsible manner.
The press release from Come and Take It states – “ This is the second documented case of official oppression in Andrews, Texas in reaction to citizens acting lawfully.”