A San Antonio man was reportedly arrested while openly carrying his rifle while on a walk near his home on Monday. The incident, which was video recorded by the gun owner, started out as a calm and reasonable conversation but ended dramatically with cops tasing the man before they put him in handcuffs.
While it is perfectly legal to openly carry a rifle in Texas, police reportedly arrested Henry Vichique, 19, under a local ordinance that apparently prohibits residents from carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun within city limits.
In a video posted on YouTube Monday, Vichique is seen being approached by officers and immediately ordered to put his rifle on the ground.
“I’m not doing anything wrong, sir,” Vichique replies to the command.
One of the officers then claimed they received complaints that he was “pointing” his rifle at people. Vichique denied pointing his gun at anyone and informed officers that his rifle was loaded.
After several minutes of chatting between Vichique and a reasonable-sounding officer, it seemed as if the situation would be diffused and the gun owner would be sent on his way.
“You are not under arrest. You are free to go,” the cop says in the video. “You’re just going to happen to walk home, and I’m just going to happen to make sure you get home safely — and as soon as you get home safely, you will never see us again.”
Then the situation took an unexpected turn.
A short time later, another officer inserted himself into the situation and took a more aggressive approach. A few minutes before the more assertive officer arrived, another officer can be heard confirming that the “sarg” was on his way.
“We are going to take that gun off your shoulder, do you understand that?” the officer is heard saying. “Do you understand that?”
The other officer then asks Vichique if he is going to “fight” if they grab his gun, to which he replies, “I’m not going to grab it, sir. I have not been arrested and the law says unless I’ve been arrested, you can’t take it from me.”
Though he had already confirmed several times that his rifle was loaded, the officers asked him again.
“It’s chambered,” Vichique replies, claiming again that he’s not breaking any laws.
Then, suddenly, an officer pulls out his taser uses it on Vichique, who mumbles that he is being unlawfully arrested and that he doesn’t consent to any searches or seizures.
Watch the full exchange below:
In a Tuesday press release provided to TheBlaze, Open Carry Texas argued the ordinance under which Vichique was arrested “directly violates state pre-emption laws pertaining to firearms as contained in Local Government Code 229.001(a)(1), which states: “a municipality may not adopt regulations relating to…the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, licensing, or registration of firearms, air guns, ammunition, or firearm.”
San Antonio Ordinance Section 21-16 states: “It shall be unlawful for any person, other than duly authorized peace officers, to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun on any public street within the city or in a motor vehicle while the same is being operated on any public street within the city.”
The pro-gun group also accused the San Antonio Police Department of lacking the “proper training, experience and common sense” on guns and Texas law.
Messages left with the San Antonio Police Department seeking clarification on the local ordinance and whether it is overruled by state law were not immediately returned.
Open Carry Texas said it plans to hold a rally in support of Vichique on April 6 at 1 p.m. outside of the San Antonio Police Department.
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