Open Carry Rifle debate in Temple - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Open Carry Rifle debate in Temple

Photo Courtesy of Open Carry Temple Facebook Photo Courtesy of Open Carry Temple Facebook

It is legal to carry long rifles into public places but many locals are still not happy about it.

One local gun advocate has been making pit stops inside of restaurants to give rifles a better name.

"What I want people to get away with is hey, ‘Here is guy who just came in and ate Chinese food with his wife and two AR-15 rifles and nobody got shot, nobody got harmed nobody killed and it was very peaceful, and the guy paid his meal and left,'" said founder of Open Carry Temple, C.J. Grisham.

Open Carry Temple holds meetings at Dynasty Chinese restaurant and TBCY Yogurt in Temple.

"The only thing that can stop a bad guy, is a good guy with a gun," said Grisham.

The Dynasty Chinese general manager supports rifles in his restaurant.  He has seen no harm done, and he says he feels even safer with those rifles around.

"If I have people here with long rifles and they are walking around, lining up and getting their food and cashing out, then a robber comes into the store, looks around and then says, ‘Lets turn around," said general manager, Tony Hwang.

"It just doesn't make any offense, so it does deter crime in my opinion," Hwang said.

Local moms, like April, argue rifles make them "uncomfortable" even if they are meant to protect.

"I believe we have the right to use weapons, weapons are to protect us," said April, "But there's certain weapons that are the right time.  They are out in the middle of a field, [out in] the range, by all means carry a rifle. You don't need it to get soft serve or a hamburger."

And for April, a restaurant that supports open carry rifles will deter her from eating there.

"Smashburger and TCBY have been very publicly recognized for supporting these protests, by all means that is their choice of business owner but it's not the place to take my kids," April said.

Mothers are not the only ones uncomfortable.

Former military Sgt. Will Dankert says he is "terrified for his children" that one day something may go wrong with rifles inside businesses and restaurants.

"I have an AR-15 rifle…but, I don't carry them around and flash them around," he said, "That's just ignorant, ignorant, very ignorant."

Concealed hand-guns and long rifles are allowed inside places of businesses.  However, the decision is ultimately up to the owner to decide whether or not they allow rifles inside.

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