A man by the name of Mack Worley says he is on a second amendment mission to educate the public about gun rights. So he decided to show up Saturday at the Burgerville in Vancouver, Washington with his semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder.
A security guard at the mall asked him to leave, and when he didn’t, the guard called police.
By the time they arrived, Worley had walked to a fireworks stand in the parking lot at Big Al’s Family Fun Center.
Panicked employees closed the stand, and also called police.
But Worley, the man with the rifle, says all of this was completely unnecessary.
“I didn’t break any laws. Whether or not you disagree with open carrying of a fire arm or not – it’s not illegal,” Worley tells KATU.
Except that it is illegal if you openly carry onto private property against the owner’s wishes.
Big Al’s has a no-weapons policy — unless the gun owner has a concealed weapons permit. That’s the police version, anyway.
“I was breaking no laws,” contends Worley. “I was arrested for trespassing on a public sidewalk.”
And so, Worley pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of trespassing with a weapon capable of producing bodily harm, and he got his gun back once police determined it was not stolen, which means he is free to continue his crusade for gun acceptance.
So if you see a young man on public property openly carrying a rifle, or a pistol, as LONG AS HE IS NOT AIMING AT ANYBODY — you just tip your hat and say thank you for your service.
“If the public is afraid – that’s not my fault,” says Worely. “I don’t control their point of view and in fact, I welcome it. I encourage a debate on the subject. But I am not responsible for their fear.”
Not everyone who openly carries a gun at the Fun Center is going to shoot you. And just to be fair, I should also point out that not everyone who wears a hockey mask and carries a chainsaw is going to hurt you. We all have to be more accepting of men and their tools.
KIRO Radio’s morning news producer Owen Murphy contributed to this report.