A 22-year-old man who carried an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle into a Kroger grocery store in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend will not face criminal charges because he broke no laws, police said.
People who saw 22-year-old say he entered the store empty-handed, but then returned to his vehicle and retrieved the weapon, carrying it inside briefly before bystanders spotted the man and called authorities.
Police got the call around 5 p.m. on Sunday, according to WVIR-TV. The man was questioned and released after stating he was demonstrating his Second Amendment rights.
North Carolina does not have a law banning open carry of most rifles. Although the demonstration was constitutionally protected, the man was permanently banned from Kroger.
The AR-15 is the same weapons platform used to kill 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut, including 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It has been at the epicenter of the nation’s debate over gun control ever since, with some lawmakers proposing an assault weapons ban that includes some semi-automatic weapons.
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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