Pro-gun activists descended upon the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to support a new bill that would legalize the open carry of handguns in the Lone Star State. During their demonstration, some of the advocates reportedly ambushed a Democratic lawmaker in his office and other representatives who refused to support the bill.
Members of the so-called Tarrant County chapter of Open Carry Texas — which is not actually affiliated with Open Carry Texas — reportedly confronted Representative Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass) in his office and questioned him about his stance on the open carry bill and the Second Amendment. The exchange quickly turned tense after the Democrat refused to support their cause.
“The Constitution… is coming to Texas,” one of the activists is heard saying on video.
“Alright, so is Santa Claus,” Nevarez replies.
Another open carry advocate is heard warning the Democrat, “You won’t be here very long, bro. We the people are coming to take Texas back.”
Nevarez repeatedly asked the activists to leave his office, but they were not eager to comply. The man who was recording the video, identified as Kory Watkins, head of the Tarrant County chapter, even appeared to have put his foot in the door as Nevarez tried to close it.
“I’m asking you to leave my office,” he told Watkins.
“I’m asking you to leave my state because you don’t take your oath seriously,” Watkins replied before seemingly using his foot to prevent the door from closing.
“Get your foot out of the door,” Nevarez said.
“What are you going to do?” the activists taunted.
After video of the unfriendly confrontation emerged online, Open Carry Texas chief CJ Grisham took to Facebook to make it clear that he does not condone the way Watkins and other activists behaved in the Capitol.
“I am so pissed at the actions of people today inside the Capitol. Totally counterproductive and unprofessional. We might as well beat our heads against a wall. It’s just as effective,” he wrote.
He also vowed to clean up “the horse manure Kory Watkins dropped throughout the Capitol today instead of building support for constitutional carry.”
Watkins later responded to Grisham’s criticism:
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the so-called Tarrant County chapter of Open Carry Texas is not actually affiliated with Open Carry Texas.