Do you remember the incident last weekend in Gulfport, Missisippi, where a pair of morons brandished, loaded, and then racked a round into the chamber of a shotgun, and the local police chief attempted to claim that he couldn’t charge them with anything?
After being hammered relentlessly and reminded of the numerous charges he could and should have charged them with, the pair have now been arrested.
Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania had said early this week two men who entered Wal-Mart and two other businesses Sunday with a shotgun wouldn’t be charged with a crime, but Friday the department said the two were arrested for disturbance of the peace.
Holton Wade Saucier, 19, of Saucier, who carried the shotgun into the stores, was arrested on disturbance in a public place and disturbance of public peace charges. Bond was set by Municipal Judge Fant Walker at $1,054.50.
William Cordell Kennon, 18, of Gulfport, was arrested on a disturbance in a public place charge and Walker set his bond at $677.25.
The two were released pending trial.
Police said Saucier “engaged in the lawful open carry of a pump-action shotgun,” but he then loaded the shotgun and pumped it in front of witnesses, creating a breach of the peace.
It’s stunning that Police Chief Leonard Papania and the Gulfport Police don’t grasp that carrying a firearm in your hands is brandishing, or that loading a shotgun and racking the slide inside the Walmart, chambering a round, constitutes menacing.
One might even get the impression that Papania is against open carry and wanted to inflame the public again the practice by acting as if what these idiots did was in any way lawful, when it clearly wasn’t.
Quite frankly, the shotgun-cocking Saucier is very lucky that a concealed carrier didn’t pull a concealed weapon and drop him on the spot for loading a shotgun and chambering a round in a Walmart on a Sunday, assuming quite reasonably that someone would only do something like that because he was about to attempt either an armed robbery or a mass shooting. If someone had shot Saucier for that reason, it is doubtful that the concealed carried would be charged with a crime for shooting him, much less convicted under the “reasonable man” standard.
Fortunately, Papania has received enough heat that he finally felt compelled to charge Saucier and Kennon with at least one of the charges they should have faced from the very beginning.
Hopefully these charges will reduce the cries from more restrictions on open carry that resulted from the Gulfport Police initially claiming that this absurd act was an example of lawful activity, when it clearly was not.