A member of the gun safety group that encountered dozens of armed demonstrators during a meeting over the weekend described the “disturbing” run-in during an interview with MSNBC host Chris Hayes that aired on Tuesday.
“It was very unsettling. It was very disturbing,” the unidentified member of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America told All In. “At the beginning, they just congregated, they just stood around. And about 30 minutes into it, that’s when they all strapped on their weapons.”
Hayes explained that the woman’s identity was concealed to ensure her safety. On Saturday, she and three other members of the group were meeting in a Dallas area restaurant when they discovered about 40 members of the gun owners’ organization Open Carry Texas in the parking lot outside, brandishing assault rifles and other firearms to demonstrate their support for the state law allowing them to do so.
In a separate phone interview with All In, Open Carry member and “Liberty Republican” congressional candidate Kory Watkins seemed to corroborate Moms Demand Action’s allegation that a gun owner had gathered information on the meeting while posing as a gun safety supporter online.
“I got word where it was and we were like, ‘Hey, let’s go peacefully assemble in that area and do one of our walks,'” All In quoted Watkins as saying. “We all went to our cars and got out our self-defense tools, or firearms, whatever you want to call them.”
The woman told Hayes that her group exited the restaurant after Open Carry members left the area to go to a nearby Hooters restaurant, where they posed for pictures.
“At no point did I go out there when they were there with their guns,” she said. “I was too afraid to do that. The idea of that was terrifying to me.”
Watch All In’s report on the encounter, aired on Tuesday on MSNBC, below.