Gun rally to be held at Alamo
Weekend open carry rally has some questioning its appropriateness
This weekend, hundreds of gun right's activists plan to descend on the Alamo with rifles slung across their backs.
They are holding a rally to support the state's open carry laws.
The event will be held on the grounds of the Alamo and that has some people questioning if it's an appropriate use of the hallowed ground.
Walter Theis was visiting the Alamo Wednesday afternoon with friends. He said he's all for Americans standing up for their Second Amendment rights, but he's not so sure doing that on the grounds of the Alamo is very respectful.
"I'm a big Second Amendment supporter, but I really don't think it's appropriate. The Alamo to me is kind of hallowed ground," Theis said. "In front of the Alamo is great, but on the grounds is just something I don't totally agree with."
Several gun rights groups organized the rally as a response to a YouTube video in which San Antonio police officers ticketed a group of gun owners recently who were openly carrying rifles at a local Starbucks.
Event organizers feel the officers violated the gun owner’s rights and are now drawing a line in the sand.
Elmer Weber, a former police officer from Illinois, said he's not bothered by the rally being held at the Alamo.
"These people gave their lives defending the Constitution (so) what better place to stand up for your rights?" Weber said.
Others worried what kind of message the event could send to unsuspecting tourists.
"This is a big tourist area. It probably would confuse them," Raquel Zawrotny said. "They're not used to that."
SAPD Police Chief William McManus said they will have plenty of officers on hand and they've been reaching out to local businesses to keep them informed.
"We've gone to great lengths meeting with the merchants downtown, the convention and visitors center, the hotel/motel associations to let everyone know this is happening and we'll be there for the duration of the event," McManus said.
The Texas General Land Office took control of the Alamo in 2011 and gave the approval for the gun right's rally.
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said he thinks the open carry rally is an appropriate use of the grounds and will actually be taking part as a keynote speaker at the event.
Patterson said in the future there will be a policy put in place that would spell out appropriate uses of the grounds. He said it would require obtaining a permit and would prohibit any political or for profit events from being held on the Alamo grounds.
The open carry rally will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. this Saturday.
For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.
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