The three men behind an “open carry” demonstration conducted outside of a San Antonio Starbucks are each facing charges of “disorderly conduct” because some observers reportedly complained about the stunt.
The group posted video of the entire demonstration, which included a disagreement with police officers, on YouTube. The men were seemingly well within their rights.
Under Texas law, it is legal to openly carry rifles and shotguns. However, gun owners must do so in a manner not “calculated” to cause alarm.
But San Antonio police Chief William McManus told KENS-TV that gun owners can still be charged with disorderly conduct if anyone feels threatened at any point during a demonstration. In other words, if anyone around you is uncomfortable with firearms, you could technically be charged with a crime.
“It’s a disorderly offense that officers will address accordingly,” the police chief said.
KENS-TV has more details on the demonstration:
The 23-minute video was posted the YouTube on Aug. 24. It shows three men sitting outside a San Antonio Starbucks displaying rifles. Several passersby stop and talk to the men. At least one woman stops to take video on her cell phone.
Police eventually showed up after they received a call from a woman who claimed she was “freaked out” by the display of weapons. Officers approached the men, questioned them about the situation and told the gun holders they needed to leave.
The suspects were placed under what’s called a non-custodial arrest, which means they were charged with a crime but were not taken into custody.
The men do not appear to be belligerent or aggressive in the video.
“Gotta love open carry,” one of the men says.
Another man says they are merely choosing to “enjoy” their “freedoms.” However, it didn’t take long for police to intervene and break up the gathering.
Watch the entire video via YouTube below:
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with more accurate information on Texas open carry law.