Gun rights advocates in Texas are outraged following the arrest of a 19 year old man for carrying a loaded rifle on a northwest side street, and plan a rally to protest the arrest this weekend at the San Antonio Police Department’s West side Substation, 1200 WOAI news reports.
A police report shows Henry Gerald Vichique, 19, was approached by police as he was walking down Donaldson Avenue Sunday night with a PW Arms rifle, loaded with five founds, slung over his back.
The police report and a video of the incident reveal that Vichique repeatedly told the officer that he was doing nothing wrong. The officer said police had received reports that he had been pointing the gun at individuals, an allegation Vichique denied. Officers say were holding the man at gunpoint during the exchange.
At that point, the incident became tense, with officers ordering Vichique to put the gun on the ground, and Vichique respectfully denying their request, saying repeatedly he was not breaking any laws.
According to the video and the police report, officers threaten to Taze Vichique and then do Taze him.
"The Taser malfunctioned and did not stop after the five seconds," the police report says. "I had to manually shut off the Taser."
As Vichique was on the ground, he was disarmed and charged with a city code violation. The City code Part II, Chapter 21, Article 1, Section 21-16 forbids the carrying of a loaded weapon on a city street.
But Open Carry Texas says the arrest was illegal and abusive, and it says the police who carried it out 'lacked training, experience, common sense, and a basic understanding of Texas law and rights afforded to Texans.'
"Open Carry Texas strongly objects to the abuses suffered at the hands of San Antonio Police Officers against a law abiding citizen exercising his tight to keep and bear arms," the group said in a statement.
The city ordinance states that 'it shall be unlawful for any person, other than a duly authorized peace officer, to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun on any public street within the city or in a motor vehicle while the same is being operated on any public street in the city.'
But state law allows individuals to carry loaded rifles unless the weapon is being carried 'in a manner calculated to cause alarm,' in which case it is the crime of disorderly conduct.
Open carry advocates rallied at the Alamo in October to protect the city's gun laws. They say state law should override city ordinances.