The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is encouraged by local authority’s response to a recent open carry incident inside Parkdale Mall on December 28, 2013, where there exists a no guns policy. Derek Poe, owner of Golden Triangle Tactical, which leases a store inside the mall, walked through the shopping mall openly carrying an AR-15 while terrifying customers in Beaumont, Texas. He proceeded to walk into the Game Stop, where he was stopped by the Beaumont Police Department, who appropriately questioned him and confiscated his rifle. Poe later turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest at the request of the Jefferson County district attorney’s office. Moms Demand Action supports this charge and is also calling for CBL properties, the parent company of Parkdale Mall, to immediately revoke Poe’s store lease.
Poe faces up to180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of disorderly conduct. In addition to legal charges, Moms Demand Action is seeking a response from CBL Properties. Poe violated the mall’s code of conduct and should no longer be allowed to maintain a store within Parkdale Mall. Poe’s “exercise” shows a complete lack of judgment and disregard for local citizens, store employees, the mall owner and law enforcement resources.
Poe’s actions reveal the insanity behind open carry laws in Texas and in other states across the country. Texas permits open carry of loaded long guns in public and on private property where it is not prohibited by notice. Parkdale Mall has a policy prohibiting this behavior, but many businesses are not aware of the detailed and often onerous requirements for prohibiting open and concealed carry of guns onto private properties. Moms Demand Action is working hard to assist business owners in understanding their rights as private property owners. We stand ready to help any corporation or business in navigating state laws to assure a safe environment for its employees, clients and shoppers.
Gun rights extremists supporting Poe are currently planning an open carry march outside the Beaumont location of Gander Mountain on January 18. They claim that they will encircle the Parkdale Mall and possibly enter the mall itself. This planned event reveals recklessness and support of behavior that is calculated to threaten regular citizens and American businesses.