On Saturday, nearly 40 armed men, women, and children waited outside a Dallas, Texas area restaurant to protest a membership meeting for the state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety advocacy group formed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
According to a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action (MDA), the moms were inside the Blue Mesa Grill when members of Open Carry Texas (OCT) — an open carry advocacy group — “pull[ed] up in the parking lot and start[ed] getting guns out of their trunks.” The group then waited in the parking lot for the four MDA members to come out. The spokeswoman said that the restaurant manager did not want to call 911, for fear of “inciting a riot” and waited for the gun advocates to leave. The group moved to a nearby Hooters after approximately two hours.
MDA later released a statement calling OCT “gun bullies” who “disagree[d] with our goal of changing America’s gun laws and policies to protect our children and families.” The statement added that the members and restaurant customers were “terrified by what appeared to be an armed ambush.” A member of OCT responded by tweeting, “I guess I’m a #gunbullies #Comeandtakeit.”
This is not the first time that gun advocates have rallied at MDA events. In March, a group of armed men crashed a MDA gun-control rally in Indianapolis. Other gun advocate groups will hold rallies this upcoming December 14th, the anniversary date of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Licensed gun owners are allowed to carry concealed weapons, but Texas is one of six states that prohibits open carry of handguns. Attorney General Greg Abbott, a likely Republican successor for Gov. Rick Perry (R), has vowed to permit concealed handgun owners to display their firearms in public. Four GOP contenders for lieutenant governor similarly hope to put in place open carry laws if elected.
This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Texas bans the open carry of handguns, not all firearms.