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Man shops at Utah JCPenney while carrying assault rifle

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, January 18, 2013 11:29 EDT
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A man carrying an assault rifle in a Utah JC Penny. Photo: Screenshot via ABC 4 in Salt Lake City.
 
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A man in Riverdale, Utah walked into a local JCPenney department store this week armed to the teeth, carrying a holstered handgun, a semi-automatic assault rifle and extra clips on his belt.

The strange display of firepower was enough to draw a scene, with bystanders taking photos and making concerned comments to one another. Images of the man published to Facebook caused a stir in the community and got the attention of ABC 4 in Salt Lake City.

The woman who took the photo that got the most attention said it happened on Wednesday, just four hours after President Barack Obama announced a series of executive orders relating to firearms.

Utah state law, however, says the man’s actions are legal, provided the weapons were unloaded. The man was not positively identified, and JCPenney’s public relations team did not respond to a request for comment.

The assault rifle he was carrying was an AR-15, the same firearms platform used to kill 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut in December. In the wake of that massacre, U.S. officials have called for banning those type of weapons from the civilian sphere, although taking such action would require congressional authorization.

This video is from ABC 4 in Salt Lake City, aired Thursday, January 17, 2013.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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