A fissure is developing between open carry groups in Texas after one group’s tactics led to a significant police response when fast-food employees thought that they were about to be robbed.
Fort Worth police say they responded to a bystander’s 911 call last week reporting that a group of men carrying rifles and shotguns had entered a Jack in the Box. Police say the restaurant’s employees locked themselves in a freezer.
Jack in the Box spokesman Brian Luscomb could not confirm that employees hid in a freezer. Both Open Carry Texas and the affiliate, Open Carry Tarrant County, dispute that account but are parting ways because of a disagreement on how their signature protests are carried out — exposing a rift in the state’s pro-gun movement.
Open Carry Texas has a policy that authorities must be notified in advance and that demonstrators should carry flags with the group’s logo, according to founder C.J. Grisham.
“We’re out there to make people feel comfortable. Whenever we do our events, we always let the police know,” Grisham said, adding that the Tarrant County group’s “desire to resist that effort” was harming the cause for more gun rights in Texas.
Earlier this month, Open Carry Tarrant County members with guns spooked customers when they strolled toward a Wendy’s, also prompting a call to police.
As a political matter, Grisham’s Open Carry Texas (OCT) is going to be the more effective model in this political battle. They let police know when and where OCT will be assembling, so that authorities have a “head’s up” and know to provide a measured response. This is very important, especially considering the promise of hysterical citizen control cultists to call 911 every time they see an open carry protest. They also carry flags (shown above) letting the public know that they are merely witnessing a display from a protest group.
Groups who follow the Open Carry Tarrant County model of simply “showing up” are only going to normalize the practice of large police force call-outs.
That lack of consideration and political intelligence only helps groups like Everytown push their “gun owners are extremists” messaging.