A Texas pastor has begun to attract attention for his public forays wearing an assault rifle strapped to his back.
Think Progress reported on Tuesday that Terry Holcomb has begun posting videos on YouTube of himself at businesses in Huntsville, Texas, wearing an AR-15 “Bushmaster” rifle strapped to his back, which he says he is doing to protest a state law banning handgun owners from doing so. The state requires licensed handgun owners to hide their firearms when wearing them in public.
“We don’t want to carry our long guns,” Holcomb told KHOU-TV in a story aired Friday. “We would prefer open carry our handguns. But since this is the option they give us this is what we do and we’ll continue to do it until they remove that restriction.”
In his most recent video, Holcomb, a member of the gun advocates group Open Carry Texas, stood on an overpass in Conroe, Texas waving at motorists while wearing the rifle, before officers approach, with one telling him, “People are calling because they don’t know what the laws are,” pointing out that since Holcomb was not wielding the firearm in a threatening manner, he would not remove him from the bridge.
“Wonderful experience,” Holcomb tells his cameraman. “[The officer] absolutely knew the law. That’s the way it’s absolutely supposed to be. We’re not gonna have any more problems out here today.”
Holcomb has also posted videos of himself going to local Walmart and Starbucks stores. While he was nearly immediately asked to leave the Walmart, a request he fulfilled peacefully, he was allowed to complete his purchase at Starbucks during his first visit. However, KHOU reported that his second visit to Starbucks prompted a witness to call police after seeing him with the weapon.
Watch Holcomb’s most recent video, posted on Sunday, below.
And watch KHOU’s report, aired Friday, below.