An 18-year-old openly carrying his shotgun was stopped by police in Aurora, Colorado, and ordered to provide ID, sparking a debate about Second Amendment rights and public safety.
Steve Lohner video recorded his encounter with police and uploaded it online. He says he has openly carried his shotgun several times, but this was the first time he was forced to show ID. He claims he was breaking no laws as open carry is legal in Colorado, therefore isn’t required to provide ID.
“I simply carry this for the protection of myself and those around me,” Lohner can be heard saying in the video.
However, police, citing public safety concerns, argue Lohner’s display is “alarming to the citizens,” which requires police to respond to the situation.
“He may be within his rights and legal, the law to carry this gun but if we’re investigating it and he refuses to cooperate that may violate other municipal laws,” Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania told KDVR-TV.
Lohner said he disagrees with the police’s position, saying that “the police treat open carry like you’re a criminal until proven innocent.”
Regardless of how the police feel about his open carry walks, the teenager said he plans to continue openly carrying his shotgun to raise awareness about gun rights. He said if more people start to lawfully open carry, people would “end up feeling comfortable about it.”
Aurora is the site of the horrific 2012 movie theater shooting where James Holmes killed 12 people during a screening of a Batman movie.
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