Hoo boy. An Oklahoma man “going for a walk” was arrested in Enid, OK earlier this month on a misdemeanor charge of “complaint of unlawful carrying of a weapon”, after police received six 911 calls and five non-emergency calls reporting a man walking down the sidewalk wearing a camouflage jacket and carrying a “military-style weapon” against his chest.
The man, identified as Russell Andrew Anderson of Hunter, OK, was confronted by two Enid, OK police officers – Mike Atchley and Brett Moore – and was taken into custody after two area schools were put on lockdown when citizens reported him walking nearby. Andersen stated that he openly carries his rifle in his home town frequently, and that he had a concealed weapons permit for the two pistols also in his possession. The AR-15 he was carrying had a fully loaded magazine, but did not have a chambered cartridge.
Oklahoma’s Self-Defense Act allows for the carrying of handguns in the name of protection, but not long guns. When Anderson was taken into custody, he had in his possession one AR-15 rifle, two handguns – one a 1911, and another smaller handgun, along with three knives. From the picture in the news article, there appear to be seven topped-off magazines for the 1911, and many 30-round magazines for the AR-15 as well. “Hundreds of rounds of ammunition” were reported in the local news story.
Anderson went into custody without incident, and stated that if he violated the law he will accept the consequences.
What can we learn from this? While I am 100% in support of open-carry laws, and exercising those laws and the right we have to bear arms, I am also 100% in support of doing it correctly. Know your local laws and comply within them, lest you give the gun rights movement a black eye. Also, know your area, and the consequences of carrying a firearm where you are. Chances are this man could have gotten off with a warning, maybe only having his long gun taken to be picked up at a later date, if he hadn’t caused two schools to be locked down and local citizens to be alarmed. People take this stuff seriously, folks, and if you cause a disturbance or put people at risk, you’ll have your rights stripped from you. Be smart and evaluate your situation; you likely don’t need to take your AR-15 with multiple loaded mags for a walk in suburban America. Now this guy will be lumped in with the Texas Chipotle jokers, or worse, labeled a probable school or mass shooter, and used as an example for anti-gunners. He really didn’t seem like he was up to any harm and was fully compliant with the police. KNOW YOUR LAWS!