Open Carry ‘Activist’ Arrested in Oklahoma for Carrying Rifle into a Twin Peaks

Timothy Harper. (Photo: The Oklahoman)

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.”

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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.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • louis January 1, 2020, 12:17 am

    This happened a few blocks from where I work. I go to this place every other week for lunch. Oklahoma Police are the definition of conservative. The right sides with gun rights, but expects its population to be very judicious with the use of those rights. This guys failure was ignorance. There is a state law which says you cannot have firearms where liquor being served. Dont get on the laws bad side here. If all states were run like Oklahoma, we would not have the problems like California or cities like Chicago. I have spent most of my life in California. I love having gun rights. This poor soul is reading audit crap from other states.

    To that gentleman i will just say this- “We have few gun laws here. Respect your rights and the law. Execute your rights by the law! You have paid a high price to find out you didn’t know as much as you thought. Take some classes on Oklahoma law. Dont rely on YouTube for your knowledge!”

  • alex gregis November 20, 2019, 8:38 am

    what an asshole! just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should always do it.i’m a big 2nd amendment guy but all this is going to do is force the government to step in again.if he wants to do public training,rent a hall somewhere and teach a course on gun safety,hunter safety,kids and guns,etc.,not strut around like a big dick getting attention for himself and screwing up our rights as he does it.

  • Patrick McWilliams November 15, 2019, 3:20 pm

    The Declaration of Independence includes the phrase “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”, meaning we need to be careful not to unnecessarily offend people who may not understand what we are doing. While cops carry handguns openly, in uniform, they do not routinely tote long guns, except during emergencies and special operations. The sight of long-guns in the hands of ordinary police overseas is the mark of a police state or dictatorship. I think a lot of people realize that if only subconsciously.

    Every school or mall shooting began with some ununiformed individual approaching the scene with an AR-15 or similar rifle in his hand. To fail to recognize the impact such a sight would have on the public is gross stupidity. What might happen if a concealed-carry proponent sees such an act and responds could be just plain gross.

    While I support the right to open carry, at least to prevent run-ins for accidentally revealing part of one’s pistol while bending or reaching, I think it comes close to a form of exhibitionism, aimed at rousing the passions of those not so “enlightened” or enthusiastic about the 2nd Amendment, and who could be swayed by political pandering. Don’t give those people more “ammunition” than they already have. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a good policy to follow.

  • SIGO November 15, 2019, 1:20 pm

    I conceal carry everywhere. I consider open carry with pistols (unless part of a uniform) as rude behavior, but it doesn’t bug me too much. Kinda like using profanity in public places. I have the right to swear in public. It does not make it right.

    As far as the long gun carriers. You’re idiots and do more damage to 2nd Amendment advocacy than help. “He aims to educate the police on gun laws and to acclimate the public to seeing lawfully armed citizens.” When folks see you walk into public places with your long gun, they wonder if they are about to be part of a active shooter situation. That includes people who are carrying concealed. Imagine the impact of unintended consequences.

    Lets see how much attention you want to attract while in confinement.

  • Godfrey Daniel November 15, 2019, 12:11 pm

    Yeah, the law says you can but, to me, this kind of “auditing” may get the “yes you can” laws reversed somewhere down the line, thereby defeating their intended purpose for everyone else. It makes out gun owners, to the antis, to be crackpots, right or wrong, and gives them more fuel for the fire. The right to do something can be abused.

  • pete November 15, 2019, 11:49 am

    Open carry A-holes are doing so much harm to our 2nd A rights! Stop it you idiots! It’s the gun equivalent of wearing your pants down around your knees in public or playing your thumping car stereo so loud that others blocks away feel themselves vibrate. It does no good. Just pisses others off.

  • Robert Messmer November 15, 2019, 11:05 am

    He may not have known that the restaurant served alcohol but since he is not an illegal alien ignorance is not an excuse. The lack of a no rifle sign might help him in court since the restaurant should have known it was unlawful for patrons to carry and therefore should have posted a sign. Then again since the man is simply trying to exercise his right to carry, the handgun was all that was necessary in the restaurant.

    • Richard November 15, 2019, 2:51 pm

      It is lawful to carry, open or concealed in a restaurant in Oklahoma where the serving of alcohol doesnt constitute the primary purpose of the business.

      The police were wrong. This wouldn’t be the first time certain municipal police in OK violated an individuals rights

  • December November 15, 2019, 10:24 am

    And it is idiots like this that make it even harder for the rest of us. I sure hope after his felony conviction he enjoys his life without being able to own or touch a firearm again.

  • Walter November 15, 2019, 10:21 am

    I think this confrontation turned out about as well as any reasonable person could have hoped for. Nobody got shot. Everyone returned peacefully to their own homes when the day was over. I was especially impressed with the generally good-natured and supportive attitudes of the policemen. They were obviously not a bunch of “shoot first ask questions later” hot dogs so characteristic of big city cops. Congratulations to Oklahoma lawmakers for recognizing the fact that in 99.9999% of violent crimes, the perpetrator is armed while the victim is not. And congratulations to Mr. Harper for helping Oklahomans to become comfortable with the practical applications of the open carry law in Oklahoma. It is sad that so many people in America have apparently drifted far away from the Founders original concept that one of the primary duties of citizenship is maintaining at all times and in all situations the ability to defend yourself, your loved ones, the weaker members of society, and your community and the nation as a whole against violent assault by the human predators that exist in all societies. Even the Supreme Court has ruled that policemen are only a backup, hired to assist in finding and arresting criminals, but NOT required by law to protect ANYBODY! Thus the common sense meaning of the truth expressed in the age-old maxim: “When seconds count, call the police. They are only MINUTES away”.

  • Eric November 15, 2019, 9:59 am

    I have no problem with people exercising their rights. I have no problem with individuals striving to educate those around them how “un”-scary guns are, when carried by those who are responsible.

    However, in light of all the public shootings, one must execute common sense that sensitivity is high, and there’s a political war unfolding, concerning the right to carry. This man took a mile when given an inch, and that was an irresponsible judgment.

    I do hope he’s released without charge, but I also hope he’s learned a lesson. You can’t change uneducated minds by forcing “friendly-owned” guns in their faces. Pushing too hard, too fast is not going to help us desensitize the phobic public.

  • Kane November 15, 2019, 9:11 am

    The responding Police all seem to be reasonable, confronting law enforcement unnecessarily to test the Constitution is very dangerous.

  • Jimmy November 15, 2019, 9:09 am

    How is this productive??? Are you trying to get the ATF to reclassify this pistol braces as rifle components. Man, this isn’t helping things.

  • Hubcap November 15, 2019, 9:07 am

    A story at Twin Peaks with no pictures, wrong just wrong.

  • tim November 15, 2019, 8:04 am

    If the Chicoms or zombies are coming over the hill I’d be packing my AR, till then a 9mm concealed will do especially from anyone bent on mayhem. I’d be the first one he’d take out.

  • Will Drider November 14, 2019, 7:57 pm

    Businesses don’t need posted “no gun” signs in order to ask you to leave (gun or other reason). Failure to comply (including your delay) is commision of Trespass. If you have anything in your possession that is classified under Statute as a “weapon”: will move the Charge up to Trespass while Armed.

    This guy better have the video backing his version of events. I’m not a fan of any type of “In your Face protest or education” if that’s what he wants to call it. You can be 100% lawful in your conduct and still be held responsible for disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct: just ask the Wally “Experimenter”!

    • Ti November 18, 2019, 3:39 pm

      Love your comment.

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