Opposing sides spar over Beaumont, Texas open carry

Beaumont Enterprise

Beaumont Police respond to the same call every day from different people. They all start, “There’s a man with a gun.”

In such cases, responding officers often have to decide whether someone presents a threat or is exercising his legal rights.

Several Beaumont Police Departmentrepresentatives discussed that issue at a Press Club of Southeast Texas forum on open carry gun laws Thursday at Cafe Del Rio. They were joined by State Rep. James White, gun lobbyistLarry Pratt and Derek Poe, who earlier was arrested for carrying his AR-15 rifle in the mall.

Although it is legal to openly carry a long gun in Texas, it must be in a “non-threatening” manner. That is subject to police interpretation.

The discussion expanded in Southeast Texas when police confiscated an AR-15 from Poe, 26, on Dec. 28. He carried the firearm into Parkdale mall where his store, Golden Triangle Tactical, formerly was located.

Poe will stand trial Oct. 20 for disorderly conduct.

Beaumont police don’t ask questions about how the gun is displayed when receiving calls. Officers respond and assess the situation when they arrive.

In Poe’s case, police received calls from shoppers who said they were “terrified,” Sgt. Rob Floressaid in previous Enterprise report.

Read More

Recent Posts