In addition to the unloaded rifle, a loaded Glock pistol was strapped to his hip when his picture was taken by shopper Cindy Yorgason on her cell phone camera. Speaking with the Salt Lake Tribune, the man — identified as 22-year old Joseph Kelley — said that he called the local police to let them know about his actions before he left his home and intended to display that weapons aren’t dangerous when handled by law-abiding citizens.
Kelley also said he was told that he was “well within his rights” and that bystanders’ reactions were positive.
“I felt no negative vibes from anyone,” Kelley said. “I think it went rather surprisingly well.”
Kelley added that he carries weapons to protect children and other people from “criminals, cartels, drug lords” and other “evil men.”
Kelley also holds a concealed-carry permit from the State of Utah and was formerly in the military. Utah has made the news several times lately in relation to their rather lax gun laws. A small town recently proposed every citizen owning a firearm, while a child at an elementary school in the state brought a handgun with him “for protection” in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook. Utah currently has absolutely no waiting period in place for purchasing firearms.