OLMOS PARK — Citizens from across Texas took to the Olmos Park streets on Saturday, carrying their weapons openly and proudly.
"I am just here today to support open carry gun rights in general and I feel that every American has the right to defend themselves, for their family, personally, or others," said Richard Morrell of New Braunfels.
Open Carry Texas organized the rally after they say Olmos Park police arrested a number of people for openly carrying firearms in the area. Some of those arrests were captured on cell phone cameras and uploaded to social media. Last week, Olmos Park repealed an ordinance that made it illegal for anyone other than a law enforcement officer to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun on a public street.
"It was never about that ordinance. It's about the behavior and, frankly, the criminal behavior of an out-of-control police chief and his department," said David Amad, vice president of Open Carry Texas.
Amad added that he wants the Olmos Park Police Department to be held responsible for violating citizens' Constitutional rights.
A small group of counter-protestors also showed up at the rally. They say that they want legislation that either overturns open carry or requires licensing for long arms similar to the requirements in place for handguns.
"We really did make an effort to not have a large amount of people counter-protesting because we felt that it would make it really difficult for the law enforcement. We don't want to cause a problem, we don't want to make their jobs more difficult, they've undergone a lot of threats and harassment over the last few weeks," counter-protester Becca Defelice said.
Open Carry Texas says that they want to make it clear they are not anti-police, they're just against bad policing.