Man Carrying Assault Rifle Publicly Was Totally Fine. But His Brass Knuckles Were Illegal.
On June 13, a man in a tactical vest in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma openly holstered a semi-automatic rifle and pistol. Not surprisingly, people were pretty freaked out.
Employees at the Broken Arrow Justice Center -- a government building that houses the local courthouse and police force -- locked their doors and someone called 911. Other people called 911 as he approached a target.
But the police couldn't really do anything about this guy. Officials determined that his actions were perfectly fine based on Oklahoma's constitutional carry statute, which allows anyone age 21 and older to carry firearms in public without a license or training.
And it's a preview of what's to come after the Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a New York gun control law, setting the stage for further restrictions on firearms.
The Oklahoma man continued to scare people. He then entered an AT&T store and told employees to "run out the back of the store."
Police were eventually able to apprehend the man because, in the course of this chaos, they discovered he had a recently issued, independent warrant for his arrest. Officers then found that he was carrying brass knuckles — which is actually illegal under state and city law — and a .50 caliber semi-automatic pistol that was concealed in a pocket rather than in a holster, which was also illegal.
But again, running around with the semi-automatic rifle was perfectly fine.
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton told Tulsa World that "nobody has to be walking down the street with a gun."
“But I don't make the laws; We're just trying to live by them and do a very difficult job in a world where these people live," he added.
Thursday's Supreme Court decision is likely to put police - and everyone else - in more of these difficult and dangerous situations.
The court's conservative six-member majority overturned the New York law that requires people to obtain licenses to take guns outside their homes. The state had required people to prove they needed a weapon for self-defense.
"Exercise of other constitutional rights does not require individuals to demonstrate special needs to government officials," Judge Clarence Thomas wrote in the lead opinion. "The Second Amendment right to bear arms in public for self-defense is no different."
The decision, which broadens the reading of the Second Amendment significantly, has far-reaching implications that could make it significantly more difficult for states and localities to enact gun restrictions.
In other words, expect more situations like what happened in Oklahoma.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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