A self-proclaimed Second Amendment “auditor” has been arrested in Oklahoma City after carrying an AR-15 and a handgun into a Twin Peaks restaurant.
Timothy A. Harper said he was celebrating the state’s new permitless carry law by carrying “my rifle everywhere I can for one day,” according to The Oklahoman.
Harper regularly carries his firearms openly and publishes his interactions with police on YouTube (see below). He aims to educate the police on gun laws and to acclimate the public to seeing lawfully armed citizens.
Police claim Harper’s latest move violated state laws against carrying a rifle into any establishment where alcohol is served. The Oklahoman reports that prosecutors have already decided to pursue a felony charge against Harper.
There is disagreement between Harper and police about how the incident unfolded.
“The restaurant actually did not have any ‘No Guns’ signs. They allowed me in,” Harper said in his online interview. “The manager walked up to me and he said it was OK. And he shook my hand and got a selfie with me with the rifle in the restaurant. Then I went to the restroom. And when I came out, he said, ‘Well we’ve had somebody complain about it. Do you mind taking it to your car?’ And I said, ‘No problem.’ I walked it to the car.”
Oklahoma police contradicted Harper’s account, claiming that Harper told them he was “not going anywhere” when asked to leave. The affidavit also says a shift supervisor at the restaurant asked Harper to leave. Harper at first refused to do so, and instead asked if he could use the restroom. When he was told no, he returned his rifle to his car, put on a coat, and walked back inside.
Oklahoma police have sharply criticized Harper for what they believe is a pattern of irresponsible behavior.
Without naming Harper, Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley complained to The Oklahoman about “people that like to create drama and want to create a situation that they can put on Youtube.”
“We are prepared to deal with those,” the chief said. “But those kind of situations drive our resources away from what we need to be doing.”
Harper isn’t without his critics in the Second Amendment Community, either.
The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association condemned Harper earlier this month for his “continued antics” after he carried an AR-15 and a handgun in front of the Israel United in Christ Church in Oklahoma City, according to The Oklahoman.
“We would … like to remind the residents of the state of Oklahoma there are more than 400,000 gun owners that do not carry firearms to draw such negative attention and elevate the concerns of citizens,” the association said. “Don’t let one person be considered the norm for Oklahoma gun owners.”
As of Tuesday, Harper was being held in an Oklahoma County jail and bail had not been set.