This story has been updated to include Poe's decision to remove his store Golden Triangle Tactical from Parkdale Mall. (Jan. 11th 12:53pm)
Parkdale Mall in Beaumont is clarifying its ban on all guns on it's property in response to an incident where Derek Poe was charged with disorderly conduct for carrying an AR-15 slung across his back. The man, who owns a tactical equipment store in the mall, still maintains his innocence and is now engaged in organizing an open carry march described as, “a stroll down Dowlen Road to exercise our Second Amendment Rights Long Guns on display, slung in a non-threatening, casual manner, of course.”
Moms Demand Action on Gun Sense sent a letter to the mall property owners asking that they revoke the lease on Poe's store Golden Triangle Tactical, but Poe has preempted any decision by saying he will take his store out of Parkdale to a facility where he feels safe.
Poe posted this message on his Facebook:
Due to Parkdale Mall now providing an unsafe location for Golden Triangle Tactical employees and customers we are moving our store by the end of this month just down the road to a bigger location. We will now sell guns and ammo 5395 TX-105, Beaumont, TX 77708
See what gun safety advocates and open carry advocates are saying about this case…
As I suspected in my original report, the man's actions will be a setback for open carry advocates including Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. Concealed handgun license holders are also banned from taking their weapons on to mall property. Many 2nd Amendment and open carry supporters have also agreed that carrying weapon in such a way that causes a disturbance is counter-productive.
The owner of one company that holds firearms training for CHL holders told 12 News in Beaumont that he didn't agree with Poe's actions but he also disagreed with Parkdale Mall's response saying, “There's 760,000 CHL carriers in the state of Texas. We'll just take our business somewhere else.” Parkdale Mall is Beaumont's only mall.
Now Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense is, “calling for CBL properties, the parent company of Parkdale Mall, to immediately revoke Poe's store lease.”
Poe violated the mall's code of conduct and should no longer be allowed to maintain a store within Parkdale Mall. Poe's “exercise” shows a complete lack of judgment and disregard for local citizens, store employees, the mall owner and law enforcement resources. – Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense
The group has also criticized the impending open carry rally saying, “This planned event reveals recklessness and support of behavior that is calculated to threaten regular citizens and American businesses.” One of the organizers of the event Brian Smith disagrees. He says that he went door to door to shops along the route in order to gauge who would be welcoming and, “able to handle our large group of PATRIOTIC AMERICANS!!”
The event is being organized by Golden Triangle Tactical, Freedom 1300 radio and Come And Take It Beaumont. The radio stations website claims, “Beaumont Texas has now been added to the list of cities where law enforcement have confiscated firearms from lawfully carrying citizens.” Ironically, the Beaumont Police Department has agreed to be on hand, “continuing to work with the organizers of this rally to insure a safe and successful event.”