Hundreds celebrate second amendment in "Open Carry March" - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Hundreds celebrate second amendment in "Open Carry March"

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TYLER (KYTX) -  July fourth might mean grilling out by the lake with your family and watching fireworks, but a group of East Texans is reminding their community that independence day stands for our country's freedom.

There were about 200 people from all over East Texas, marching through downtown Tyler, guns in hand.

Event organizers say they want to make sure Texans, and all Americans stay aware of their constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms, which has been the subject of a lot of recent political debate.

"There was an incident down in Temple, Texas where a man was disarmed for carrying a long rifle. We all knew that was a completely legal activity, so he had no right to be disarmed and arrested for that," Says   event organizer Stephen Lee.

Lee says the march is not for politics, but education.

"The state of Texas does not restrict the open carry of long rifles, whether it be loaded or unloaded except for certain places. Specifically, for our purposes, those would be a voting place, a school property, and a courthouse," he says.

For the purposes of this march and demonstration, organizers asked people to carry their guns with the top down pointed towards the ground, but state law actually does not restrict how you carry your gun in public.

"We're passionate about our rights as citizens. Our founding fathers put the second amendment in place so we would have the ability to bear arms," says Tyler father Caleb White. 

White and his son McClaine came out to march for a reason dear to both of their hearts.

"So we can free our nation!" 7-year-old McClaine says.

White says his concern is for his son's future.

"I don't think that our president wants to be a dictator or anyone up there wants to be a dictator, but what we don't need to do is we don't need to lay the groundwork so that 15, 20, 30 years down the road can just step in and do that if they want to," White says.

So they spent their independence day using the rights they so strongly believe in.

The march Thursday was approved in advance by the police and the sheriff's department.
Sheriff Larry Smith even signed off on it, so the march could include the courthouse grounds, which would normally be illegal.


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