An Oklahoma man who gained a lot of attention (and cash) with his “audits” of local police departments and their compliance with the state’s carry laws has had charges of illegally carrying a rifle in a business where alcohol is served dropped by the Oklahoma County District Attorney.
Timothy Harper was charged with the felony after bringing his AR-15 rifle into an Oklahoma City restaurant back in November of 2019, but DA David Prater dropped the charge last week “in the interest of justice.”
Now, Harper, 53, of Choctaw, insists he is done with carrying a rifle or AR-15 pistol in public to see what the reaction will be.
“I’m not going to be doing that,” he said Monday.
He said he already has accomplished his purpose and police no longer react to a citizen carrying a rifle like there was a mall shooter.
“Pretty much everyone knows what the law is, what we can do. The police have been educated. … Even Edmond changed their policies a little bit,” he said. “So there’s no need to go out and do these … anymore.”
He warned gun owners not to take rifles into restaurants until legislators change the laws.
“Don’t do that. Don’t do what I did until they fix that law,” he said. “You could get into trouble for that.”
Harper found himself not only in legal trouble but isolated from other gun rights activists in the state. After all, the gun owner wasn’t just conducting an experiment to see if the state’s gun laws were being followed, he was streaming each of these “audits” and monetizing the videos. After Harper’s arrest last year the state gun rights group OK2A blasted Harper for his “needless escalation of concerns and tensions with citizens and law enforcement.”
“Mr. Harper is NOT a member of OK2A and has never had any authority to use or represent OK2A at any time. His actions to draw attention to himself while escalating tensions for profit of a social media platform is uncalled for, unwise, and does not hold to the values of the Board of Directors of OK2A or the majority of Oklahomans. His claim to any such authority with OK2A is FALSE.
“For over six months, OK2A has requested multiple times that Tim Harper agree to stop conducting these so called “audits” of the First and Second Amendments while openly carrying firearms into private business property and some public property areas.
“The position of OK2A is that these audits are unwarranted unless there has been a previously established problem.
“While the state of Oklahoma continues to adjust to the new law of constitutional carry, we request gun owners and those who exercise this right to respect the concerns of business owners and the general public while adjusting to the return of this basic liberty.
Harper’s “activism” looks more to me like narcissism on display, and while I’m glad that he’s no longer facing felony charges for his stunts, I’m even more appreciative of the fact that he says he’s done with his “audits” that hurt the cause far more than they helped.
I support Constitutional Carry, open carry, and concealed carry. What I can’t get behind are attempts to use the Second Amendment to grandstand, and Harper made a name for himself by giving gun owners a bad name. When you manage to tick off gun rights groups in Oklahoma, which has some of the best gun laws in the nation as far as gun owners are concerned, you’re doing something wrong. In Harper’s case, it was using his right to bear arms to bring attention to himself at the expense of the movement and the activists who’ve actually worked within the system to bring things like Constitutional Carry to the state.