California Man Open Carries, Gets Booted from Store
MERCURYNEWS.COM--A news report in a San Jose, Calif., newspaper says that a man apparently inspired by Open Carry gun activists strolled into an East Palo Alto supermarket with a handgun on his hip Wednesday and began shopping for groceries, police said.
The store manager at Mi Pueblo Food Center in the Ravenswood 101 shopping complex alerted police after patrons became frightened, said East Palo Alto police Sgt. Roderick Norris.
About four officers responded and found the man with an unloaded, holstered handgun on his hip and a loaded magazine in his pocket shopping in the store. Police determined he hadn't broken any laws, but the store manager asked him to leave, Norris said.
"Each business has the prerogative not to serve anyone that they want," Norris said. "He's not part of any group or organization according to him. He just wanted to exercise his rights. I guess he ... saw on TV that it was legal to do so."
The man, who lives in Redwood City, later apologized to police and said "he didn't really think it out," Norris added.
Open Carry advocates have made headlines in recent weeks for displaying unloaded, holstered guns in public places around the Bay Area. The group has said it wants every state to legalize carrying loaded guns in public.
California Penal Code bars carrying concealed weapons without a county-issued license but says it isn't a crime to openly display a firearm in a belt holster. However, it remains illegal for the gun to be loaded in most cases.