'Open carry' supporters rally in North Richland Hills

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by CARLA WADE

WFAA

Posted on June 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas -- Do actions speak louder than words?

“I don’t walk around with this AR-15 for the fun of it," said Chris Donawho. "It's kind of a heavy gun. I’d much rather have my sidearm."

Donawho was one of several people who attended a rally for Open Carry Tarrant County Saturday in North Richland Hills.

Or, should words be enough to get the point across?

“Having the conversation is more important than strolling around and proving the point with action,” said Glynn Wilcox, who took part in an opposing demonstration.

Open Carry Tarrant County had its guns on display again Saturday, this time outside a Home Depot. Representatives of Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense and other individuals held a counter demonstration, but instead of a clash, it turned into a conversation.

Members of the opposing groups shook hands and introduced themselves while discussing their respective viewpoints in the store's parking lot.

The rally came a week after Chipotle banned guns in its restaurants following an Open Carry demonstration at a downtown Dallas store.

The gun rights group is also entangled in a legal battle with the city of Arlington over the right to hand out literature to motorists. Organizers said Saturday's demonstration in North Richland Hills was planned nearly a year ago.

"There are very few times that we have any negative encounters," said Kory Watkins, one of the rally organizers. "It's all positive, really."

Still, some said gun-waving volunteers distracted from the message.

"Responsible gun ownership is responsible gun ownership,” said Wilcox. "Flaunting it and throwing it in people’s faces... that’s where the dialogue becomes restrictive."

"I understand where it can seem intimidating to some people,” Donawho replied. "However, we still have the right to do it."

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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