Texas man who carried on his back inside mall says charges not warranted
CNN — A Beaumont store owner charged with disorderly conduct insists he never broke the law and was just exercising his second amendment rights.
On December 28, Derek Poe stopped by GameStop in Parkdale Mall before going to the store he owns in the mall, Golden Triangle Tactical. While at GameStop, he was stopped by police officers and the AR-15 that was slung around his back was seized. Poe says he was just exercising his right to open carry a long rifle.
Police have charged him with disorderly conduct because he displayed a firearm "In a manner calculated to alarm."
Poe disagrees saying his rifle was facing barrel down on his back and his hands weren't even on the gun.
"It was clearly obvious I didn't have criminal intent. I had a drink in one hand and a bag in the other. I didn't commit a crime. I legally carried a long arm in Texas,"
Poe said. Detectives say witnesses gave statements that they were "terrified" and "thought they were going to die."
An Open Carry Freedom Walk is scheduled for January 18 in the Gander Mountain parking lot. The event was planned before Poe was stopped in the mall with his firearm. The walk will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.