A man has been charged after he allegedly pulled a gun on a couple in a Kentucky Sam's Club over their "Make America Great Again" hats.
WNKY-TV reported that James Phillips made an "obscene gesture" at a man and a woman who were wearing MAGA hats. The man returned the gesture at Phillips, who drastically escalated matters by pulling out a gun. Police said that Phillips had a .40-caliber Glock, and had already chambered one bullet.
He was also carrying two extra magazines.
One of the alleged victims in the incident, Terry Pierce, told WNKY his version of events while still sporting his red MAGA hat. According to Pierce, he and his wife had been shopping at Sam's Club when she thought she saw someone flipping them off.
"She hollered at him, 'hey, did you flip me off?'" Pierce recounted. "And he turned around and he done it again, and he said 'Yeah, I flipped you off. Because of them expletive hats you've got on.'" Pierce says he confronted the man and a shouting match ensued, then "next thing I knew, he drew a .40 caliber and stuck it in my face."
Good Samaritans who called in the incident said that Phillips had said "it's a good day to die, bitch" to Pierce's wife. Pierce told WNKY that the Phillips had said "it's a good day for you to die" to him after he drew the weapon.
But Pierce was apparently unfazed. He said that he told Phillips to "put the gun down or pull the trigger."
At this point, according to Pierce, Phillips left the store and Pierce, despite the protests of Sam's Club management, went after him and confronted him in the parking lot.
"He couldn't leave because his mother was still inside the store shopping," Pierce said. The two men continued to shout at each other until police arrived.
The incident occurred on Saturday in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Phillips is from Tennessee, but the two states have an agreement that allowed his Tennessee concealed carry license to still be valid in Kentucky.
According to the publicly available inmate database of the Warren County Regional Jail where Phillips is being held, he was charged with Wanton Endangerment in the first degree. According to the Kentucky state government website, "[w]anton endangerment, first degree, is a Class D felony carrying a penalty of one to five years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000."
Phillips is being held on $10,000 bond.