There is a right way to open carry and wrong way, and two idiots in Gulfport, Mississippi took the “wrong way” to the extreme Sunday, brandishing and racking a loaded shotgun in a crowded store:
Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania held a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss a situation that had many Walmart shoppers terrified Sunday evening.
“That’s not normal.”
That’s what Papania said about two men who went into Walmart, Winn Dixie and Krispy Kreme armed with a shotgun.
While openly carrying a firearm in Mississippi is legal, Papania said this situation could have turned into “a very violent misunderstanding.”
According to authorities, the two men walked into the Walmart on Highway 49 around 8 p.m. Witnesses said the man holding the shotgun was actively loading and racking the firearm. Walmart does not have a policy about guns inside its stores.
I don’t confess to be knowledgeable about the specifics of firearms law in Mississippi, but if the account is correct that these men were loading and racking (chambering a round) a shotgun inside a store, they would have certainly been violating multiple laws in most states.
For example, here in North Carolina they would have been arrested for brandishing a weapon, going armed to the terror of the public, and possibly other offenses (a prosecutor may determine that racking the slide in the store constitutes multiple charges of assault with a deadly weapon).
They are also lucky that they avoided being shot by a concealed carrier for actions easily mistaken as those of an armed robber or mass killer about to start murdering his way through a store. This moron with the shotgun, racking it inside the store, sounds every bit as aggressive than the two cop killers in Las Vegas that also murdered concealed carrier Joseph Robert Wilcox a year ago before dying in a firefight with police.
If a concealed carrier saw this man racking a shotgun, interpreted it as the beginning of an attack, and shot him dead based, no jury on Earth would convict him.
For that matter, I don’t think a prosecutor would think seriously about bringing charges.
But let’s get back to charges… which the local police chief says these men will not face.
“If I were in a situation where I’m in the store shopping with my family and I see an individual loading a 12 gauge, and racking it, I’m not coming to the conclusion this is good,” said Papania. “While the actions of these two men are sanctioned by state laws, what they did negatively impacted our community.”
Papania said his department’s resources were stretched thin while officers and the SWAT team responded to this situation.
According to Papania, no one was threatened, no weapons were discharged, no one was shot and police officials and civilians responded to the situation appropriately.
Gulfport police will not release the names of the men, because they did not violate the law.
“If there was something I could have arrested these people for, I would,” said Papania.
Is brandishing a weapon not a crime in Mississippi? The police chief in Philadelphia, MS certainly thinks so according to a 2013 story about changes to Mississippi open carry laws.
Cox said the new law does not allow someone to walk down the street with a gun in hand. This is considered brandishing a weapon, which is still a crime, he said.
These two open carry idiots terrorized what appears to be dozens of people, and no doubt turned many of them into supporters for more gun control laws.