Brave Open Carry Group Goes To Court To Fight For Their Right To Scare The Hell Out of Motorists
Open Carry Tarrant County’s leader in Texas totally does not understand why approaching motorists in their cars while carrying a loaded weapon would be intimidating to the driver even though carjackings are an actual thing. So naturally, he brought it to court.
Kory Watkins was in federal court on Monday in Arlington, fighting for his right to scare the hell out of people on busy streets.
Watkins wants U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor to issue an injunction against the city after Open Carry Tarrant County supporters started handing out literature in busy streets and intersections with loaded weapons, which resulted in Arlington revising its ordinance against impeding traffic.
According to WFAA, the city lays out a list of the busiest streets and intersections, where it is now specifically illegal for pedestrians to approach cars for leaflet distribution.
Watkins is having none of that safety stuff.
Open Carry Tarrant County routinely posts videos of members walking with their loaded weapons strapped to their backs while approaching motorists in the street.
Watkins claims the ordinance stifles free speech and keeps supporters from joining him on the streets.
A city attorney asked Watkins in court if some motorists might feel intimidated.
Was his rifle loaded? He said it was.
What kind of rifle was it? An AK-47.
According to WFAA, Watkins’ lawyer said those questions show Arlington is reacting to guns — not traffic safety.
“How is that relevant?” said Warren Norred, Watkins’ attorney. “None of that was relevant.”
Norred also brought up an e-mail by Arlington City Council member Charlie Parker. In it, Parker referred to open carry demonstrators as “thugs” for their behavior at a Council meeting, and their treatment of some police officers.
“The problem is, some people are uncomfortable with this speech,” Norred said outside of federal court in Fort Worth. “They want to do anything they can to shut them up.”
The City of Arlington’s attorney said the leaflet ordinance is strictly about public safety, and is not aimed at any group.
Judge O’Connor asked dozens of questions during the two-hour hearing. He talked of the importance of protecting speech that some might find “uncomfortable.”
He said he’ll rule soon on Watkins’ request for an injunction to block Arlington from enforcing its ordinance.
It’s come down to this: The judge could rule in Watkins’ favor because making everyone around an Open Carry group ‘uncomfortable’ is within their rights.
Showing off loaded guns at a busy intersection while approaching motorists is certainly a detriment to traffic safety.
H/T: An actual good guy with a gun, @ComgenKDT.