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Marchers carry long guns and rally
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
It's not an everyday site.
"It's surprising actually, but I'm just curious. I was just driving by and I thought it was interesting," one woman who stopped to dozens marching down Dowlen Rd. in Beaumont said.
"This just thrills me to see this," a man watching the group of people carrying long rifles Saturday.
"We're getting together so that Beaumont will be able to have citizens that can open carry their long guns without fear of being arrested," Terry Holcomb, the regional director for Come and Take it America, said.
The event follows last month's arrest of Derek Poe, the owner of Golden Triangle Tactical, previously in Parkdale Mall.
"On this particular day when I went into another store on the way to mine and Beaumont police officers came in and stole my rifle," Poe said.
Dec. 28th, Poe carried a long rifle through the mall.
"We got complaints and people who called in were very concerned and just outright fearful when they saw Mr.Poe walking through the mall with his weapon," Sgt. Rob Flores with the Beaumont Police Department said.
Poe was later charged with disorderly conduct.
"Because of that, we did confiscate the weapon as evidence," Flores said.
Saturday, signs are posted on the front door and around the parking lot of Parkdale Mall. One reads, "No guns on mall property."
"I'm not gonna be in there where I can't defend myself," Poe said.
It's why Poe said he's moving his store to a different location.
"One of Texas' biggest secrets is you can open carry a long gun but no one's used to seeing it and no one's gonna get used to seeing it until people don't start open carrying," Poe said.
It's a law the marchers proudly embraced, passing by 'no weapons' signs with their long guns slung across their backs to a rally in the Lowe's parking lot. A way marchers said they can educate the public on second amendment rights.
Beaumont Police said they worked closely with the group to ensure everything went safely.