Kellye Burke, Texas chapter leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, released the below statement today in response to a group of gun extremists openly carrying semi-automatic rifles in the parking lot of a Home Depot and inside a Jack In The Box restaurant in the Dallas/Fort Worth area this weekend.
“We are alarmed and appalled by this weekend’s events – but this is not an isolated incident – it is one of hundreds of similar open carry events staged across the state in the last year. Texas moms were saddened to hear that, according to Fort Worth police, employees of the Jack In The Box were terrified of the armed group and even locked themselves in a walk-in freezer to protect themselves – and we can’t help but wonder, ‘what if one of our teenagers worked there?’
“Among the reasons why this is disconcerting is the fact that Texas currently allows people to openly carry loaded rifles in public with absolutely no training, permitting, or minimum age requirement. Combined with the fact that an estimated 40 percent of gun sales occur without a background check in the U.S., this means that people can legally carry loaded rifles in Texas without ever having passed a criminal background check. There is no way for employees, customers, law enforcement or municipalities to know who these armed men are and whether they pose a threat.
“Both Jack In The Box and Home Depot are disregarding the safety and peace of mind of patrons, employees and law enforcement by allowing groups and individuals to openly carry shotguns and rifles onto their properties. These businesses are subjecting hourly employees to danger and fear – and their customers, in search of building parts or burgers, to the potential for bullets.
Where state gun laws are so lax that individuals with no background check or training can buy semi-automatic rifles and carry them openly in public, businesses and corporations have a duty to protect their employees and patrons. That’s why we are calling on Home Depot, Jack In the Box and other Texas businesses to step up and prohibit the open carry of rifles on their property through proper signage and corporate policy. We also call on the Texas legislature to stop this type of irresponsible gun ownership by requiring background checks on all gun sales and enacting certain minimum requirements to carry a loaded gun in public.”