“Police this week arrested a man they say had been openly carrying an AR-15 rifle in Lincoln and calling 911 on himself, pretending to be a concerned citizen.” So reports the Lincoln Journal Star. It seems young Master Benjamin Brantner was doing his level-best to provoke a disproportionate police response.
Exactly what Brantner’s motive was is anyone’s guess. Is he an open carry advocate looking for an overzealous reaction to an openly carried “assault rifle” and maybe an eventual payday from the city? Could be.
Is he another in a long succession of left-leaning hoaxters trying to fraudulently demonstrate the plight of people of color at the hands of an inherently racist society and jack-booted white supremacists in uniform? Maybe.
Whatever his motive, Brantner was risking his own health, if not his life, had the responding Lincoln police officers acted as he hoped they would. Unfortunately for him, they were very professional throughout.
The first call on Benjamin Brantner, 19, came Tuesday, when someone alerted police to a man walking around University Place with an AR-15 rifle, Officer Angela Sands said.
Five officers rushed to the area, Sands said, because the caller sounded afraid and they were suspicious. They arrived at North 48th Street and Walker Avenue and determined Brantner was lawfully carrying the rifle, Sands said.
When that didn’t work, he tried it again a couple of days later. Only he forgot that caller ID is a thing these days.
On Wednesday, police fielded a similar call, this time near 31st and Randolph streets. That call came from the same phone number that had previously reported Brantner’s activity.
Officers learned the phone number belonged to Brantner, Sands said. They responded to the area and found Brantner with his AR-15 rifle, looking around as if he was anticipating police, she said.
First, congrats to Lincoln’s finest for their professional response to legal open carry, however disappointing that may have been to this contemptible fraud. Brantner was arrested and is now facing a charge of obstructing government operation which is apparently Nebraskan for making phony calls to the local cop shop. He’s now out on bail.
There’s no word as to whether the police have taken custody of his AR. In any case, he richly deserves both our ridicule and the coveted honor of being TTAG’s Gun Zero of the Day.