OMG! A Soldier Carrying a Rifle! OMG!


“Bryan Scott Wolfinger is charged with going armed to the terror of the public.” Is that a crime? Or even a sentence? “Police said Wolfinger was carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, military ballistic panel carrier and multiple high-capacity rifle magazine when he was taken into custody.” Wolfinger was arrested yesterday at the Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, North Carolina (open carry of long guns is legal in the Tar Heel State). According to, the Ft. Bragg grunt said he came to the mall for a photo shoot . . .

Is Glamor Shots doing dudes now? Anyway, with the country on high alert for the holiday weekend, maybe environmental portraiture would have been a better choice than a studio session. We guess it all depends on what he wanted to do with the pics. [h/t WA]


  1. avatar Richard in WA says:

    Yeah, dude with an AR-15 and plate carrier in a mall is out of place. Coulda just carried it into the studio in a case without getting any second looks.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Out of place, according to whom?

      And under what statute does “out of place” constitute an illegal activity, that justifies not only investigatory detention, but also arrest?

      1. avatar Richard in WA says:

        I did not say it was criminal. I am saying it is unusual. Do not read beyond the words I write because I assure you they have no more meaning than face value.

        I don’t know anything at all about NC law, but in my state (where long guns can be carried openly), if you display with the intent to cause alarm or panic you are guilty of a crime. This sounds like a similar situation. It may have been unintentional, but it was a bad decision to walk so-equipped through a shopping mall.

        If I saw this guy I would be on high alert and certainly those who are fearful of guns would be panicky.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          ” but it was a bad decision to walk so-equipped through a shopping mall. “

          So, the GUN is the problem, eh? All the lip service we pay to the anti’s that guns are inanimate objects without agency is just that, I guess.

          We speak here a lot about “Normalization” of guns in public. Your response indicates we are a LONG way from that standard, and may in fact be our own worse enemy on that topic.

        2. avatar brainman says:

          If you unintentionally caused alarm, then you pretty clearly didn’t have intent to cause alarm.

        3. avatar Richard in WA says:

          No, it was not a gun that caused the problem. It was a man with tactical gear and a rifle in a place that people are expecting it – and an in area that may have been a posted no-guns-zone.

          Irresponsible open-carry is more an enemy of our gun rights than my opinion that it’s inappropriate. Legal, sure. Doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. This does not change hearts and minds any more than waving a Confederate Flag on the UC Berkeley campus would be. It fuels the fire for the people who would spend their every waking hour on disarmament, and it turns POTG against each other arguing with each other throwing around titles like “statist”. Right. Just because I think something was done in poor taste means I am actually a fascist in disguise or a subject waiting for someone else to tell me what to think. And right now, I’m exercising that liberty to not let YOU tell me what to think.

          He wasn’t even carrying for protest or protection, just transporting a rifle from place to place. A tasteful and completely innocuous way to do that would be a duffel bag, backpack, or a soft/hard case. That’s all I’m saying. Guy carrying a rifle in a mall = panicked people. Guy toting a Pelican case, fly on the wall.

          I support his right to do it but don’t think it’s a good idea for the time/place/manner that he did it. And I’m not alone, judging from the rest of the comments here.

        4. avatar neiowa says:

          Really? Think so?

          A guy carrying a 5ft x 1ft x 4″ hard case around says what to you? To me is says – “there is a gun owner carrying a long gun which he can access within 10seconds”. So what is the difference (to anyone with a brain)?

        5. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “No, it was not a gun that caused the problem. “

          No, I meant the problem in YOUR MIND. If he were walking into the mall dressed HS/LD but sans rifle, you’d not be posting your tripe about how inappropriate he was.

        6. avatar Mark Lee says:

          I don’t think that word means what you think it does.

          Do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to prove “intent”?

    2. avatar working4change says:

      bad timing…

    3. This sounds very much like a successful Bloomberg funded operation to demonize open carriers. The Sgt. was at the photo shoot for over an hour, had arranged everything in advance, and there was no alarm until he exited the photo shoot.

      I want to hear the 911 calls and determine if they were embellished or not. All the old media is going with the pre-primed meme that this soldier caused the problem.

      Maybe there wasn’t any problem until the police showed up.

      Maybe the police were primed by a Bloomberg activist. They have been actively promoting “embellishing” phone calls to the police for quite a while.

      Release the 911 calls before we rush to judgement.

  2. avatar Red In Texas says:

    “Anyway, with the country on high alert for the holiday weekend, maybe environmental portraiture would have been a better choice than a studio session.”

    Do you want the terrorists to win?


  3. avatar Don Davis says:


  4. avatar sacorey says:

    If you want glamour shots with your military uniform and battle rattle, take those pictures on deployment. If you just need pics for chicks, stick to your dress uniform.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      ding ding ding

  5. avatar Taylor TX says:

    WTAF dude… do you not have a gear bag of some sort? Im not even going to touch the photo shoot thing haha

    Good thing this isn’t the mall that Gecko45 works at 😉

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Open carry of long guns is legal in North Carolina.

      1. avatar CW3 Crusty says:

        Open carry of all guns is legal in NC, no permit required. However open carriers should not do stupid things.

        1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          As an open carrier in NC who has somehow managed to NEVER get arrested or even remarkably hassled by law enforcement, please define stupid

        2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          So open carry of long guns is legal, but carrying long guns openly is inherently stupid?

          With friends like these, POTG don’t need enemies. Either you support RKBA, or you don’t.

        3. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “As an open carrier in NC who has somehow managed to NEVER get arrested or even remarkably hassled by law enforcement, please define stupid”

          Stupid is, apparently, any behavior that gives anti’s and a good proportion of POTG the vapors.

          Liberty is indeed messy. Lots of big talk on the topic, but at the end of the day, the argument always comes back to who gets to set the bar, not if the bar should even be set.

      2. avatar Taylor TX says:

        Nothing at all against OC (rather looking forward to OCing a pistol), I wasnt 100% on the legality but assumed he wasnt breaking any laws. What makes me confused is that he showed up with a backpack and body armor also, even if it was for a photo shoot and he had the best of intentions. I know it isnt illegal for him to do this, and ideally there wouldnt be an issue but, I wouldnt define our current national climate regarding guns as ideal.

      3. avatar Virginia Gunner says:

        Being a dumbass is legal in North Carolina also. This guy was clearly exercising that right as well.

        I don’t think the guy should have been charged with anything, but the cops would have been called negligent for not responding to reports of a guy in a tactical vest and carrying an AR in a mall, at least to meet and greet him, and keep an eye on him. The wording of the charge concerns me because it sounds like somebody openly carrying a holstered handgun (more common at least) and minding their own business could be charged for the same thing if some hoplophobe freaked out and called police. So I find myself in the uncomfortable juxtaposition of feeling obliged to defend the guy on a legal basis while calling him out as a socially-retarded idiot whose actions may up turning the mall into another posted ‘No Guns’ zone, which is within the rights of the property owners.

        It sounds like this had nothing to do with OC advocacy, but some of the posts here and in related articles just reinforce my belief that there is a serious cognitive disconnect among many in the OC advocate crowd when it comes to long standing social mores and general public courtesy.

        It might be perfectly legal to stand just inside the window of a dimly lit room in your house wearing a monster mask and stare at your neighbors young child in their bedroom next door, resulting in a freaked out kid who can’t sleep, but it is clearly a dick move and un-neighborly. So is going to the mall in a tactical vest and plate armor with an AR and putting people in fear for their lives because of the clear parallels in appearance to some of the perpetrators of recent mass shootings. Nobody with any common sense can claim that they aren’t aware such actions will frighten a lot of people. Only the antisocial would say they don’t care.

        As with all things, there is a balance to be struck in exercising our rights and being conscientious good neighbors and community members. Community and society are not the same thing as the State, by the way. Some just don’t seem to get it and can’t think beyond their own rights and interests. They are an unfortunate burden not just to the people of the gun, but to the entire public.

        1. avatar karlb says:

          Well said.

        2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          I have a Sikh friend who knows that his appearance in public will frighten ignorant dumbasses who can’t tell the difference between a Sikh and a Muslim. Should he comport his behavior (in violation of his religious beliefs, no less) in order not to frighten ignorant dumbasses?

          By the same token: should law-abiding people willingly abdicate their right to bear arms, merely because similarly ignorant dumbasses are frightened at the sight of an inanimate object?

          We are under no legal or moral obligation to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of the perpetually aggrieved. We are only under legal and moral obligation not to intend to threaten others.

        3. avatar Virginia Gunner says:

          Chip, if there is a religion whereby you would violate a deeply held religious belief by not carrying an assault rifle and tactical vest everywhere you go, you might have a starting point for an argument of equivalency. You don’t. This is about choosing how to behave in public.

          People do not have to abdicate rights to not be idiots in this regard. The simply have to decide to be conscientious of other people when choosing how to exercise their rights.

          I am not giving up any right to free speech by choosing to speak to other people in public in a courteous way instead of randomly insulting every person I come across. I am just choosing not to be an antisocial dick.

          I carry a gun every day. Nobody has ever been aware of it that I know of. Am I practicing my right to bear arms any less than the idiot that scared people at the mall? No. I’m just not being an idiot about it.

        4. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Chip, if there is a religion whereby you would violate a deeply held religious belief by not carrying an assault rifle and tactical vest everywhere you go, you might have a starting point for an argument of equivalency. You don’t. This is about choosing how to behave in public.

          First, an AR-15 is not an assault rifle. Don’t stoop to the narrative of the disarmists.

          Second: my friend has also been asked not to carry his Kipan, which is even carried concealed. So, yes: there is, in fact, a religious argument regarding deeply held beliefs that can be infringed by not being able to carry a weapon of one’s choosing in the manner of one’s choosing.

          People do not have to abdicate rights to not be idiots in this regard. The simply have to decide to be conscientious of other people when choosing how to exercise their rights.


          If the lawful manner in which someone else exercises a natural, civil right – especially, a constitutionally protected right – offends me, then the problem is mine, not the person lawfully exercising his rights. When the hell did the people of this country get the idea that we have the right to tell each other how to exercise our rights?

          Christians are barred by the government from proselytizing the Muslim community in Dearborn(istan) – and have, in fact, been arrested merely for doing so – because their efforts are offensive to the Muslims. The loss of freedom to exercise RKBA in the lawful manner of one’s choosing should be as abhorrent to those who cherish liberty as such loss of freedom of religious exercise.

          I am not giving up any right to free speech by choosing to speak to other people in public in a courteous way instead of randomly insulting every person I come across. I am just choosing not to be an antisocial dick.

          A person lawfully carrying an AR-15 into a portrait studio to have pictures taken, and then leaving, is not doing anything to anyone else, and is not engaging anyone else, through speech or otherwise. As such, he is not insulting anyone, nor is he being a “dick”, antisocial or otherwise. He is minding his own business.

          I carry a gun every day. Nobody has ever been aware of it that I know of. Am I practicing my right to bear arms any less than the idiot that scared people at the mall? No. I’m just not being an idiot about it.

          Some people are scared by the mere appearance of another person – my Sikh friend, or a rough-looking biker in beard and leathers. Should such people refrain from going in public, lest people with irrational fears be bothered or offended by their appearance?

          The same is true for any other lawful endeavor, especially the lawful exercise of a natural, civil right.

          P.S. as for those allegedly frightened people: the guy sat for an hour-and-a-half photo shoot. Yet somehow, the LEO didn’t get to him until he had left the mall and was already in the parking lot – whereupon they slapped him with a bogus charge.

        5. avatar Virginia Gunner says:

          You are right, Chip, an AR is not an assault rifle, and I am generally the first to correct other people on that when I hear it, so I am embarrassed that I typed it. What I had in mind was “AR” and my fingers apparently went to auto-fill mode as my brain was preoccupied with my argument.

          “Christians are barred by the government from proselytizing the Muslim community in Dearborn”

          I don’t know the backstory to that, but on the face of it, it sounds unconstitutional and ridiculous.

          As for the Kirpan thing, I think it should be no more threatening than the knife I carry clipped in my pocket. Carrying a pistol or knife in public are very old American traditions anyway. Thomas Jefferson went out with both. His EDC was a small pistol with a removable barrel and a knife like a precursor to the swiss army knife.

          With regards to the Kirpan, though, I do not think any exception should be made for Sikhs on places where knives are prohibited for whatever reason. It should be permitted for all or none. America was not founded as a Sikh culture and we should not be expected to assimilate to their cultural norms. Rather the inverse, if anything.

          I don’t consider people to be irrational or unreasonable for feeling paranoia about a guy in a tactical vest and assault rifle at the mall. The reason is context, both historical (traditions) and contemporary (mass shootings). I have an AR and it stays in a case when I go out in public for this reason, on the way to the range for example. Not because I feel required to do so, but because I choose to take other people’s perceptions into account as a matter of courtesy.

          To me, public courtesy is in part about weighing the costs of altering your actions and speech against the scale of alarm or offense it might cause to others. It costs me little or nothing, and indeed benefits me generally, to temper my exercise of free speech with considerations of the situation and how it will impact others. If the situation arose where my silence or self-censorship would cost me in a meaningful way, I would change my behavior accordingly.

          How much would it have infringed on the mall guys rights or thwarted his intended photo mission to keep his gear in a bag and explain himself before gearing up at the photo booth? I suspect it would not have had much of an impact on him, especially if he also had a concealed handgun to protect himself with. But it probably would have made a significant difference to the people in the mall who saw him and were panicked. So the smart and courteous thing to do would have been to take that into account and act accordingly. That is all I am saying.

          I doubt I need to explain all of this to most gun owners, Chip, and I doubt I really need to explain it to you. I suspect you are ignoring your better judgement about public courtesy in the interest of debating a political principle you feel passionate about. You are free to do so, and we will have to disagree on the finer points of how to responsibly exercise our RTKBA.

          On an unrelated note, judging from your profile pic, you and I apparently do agree on one thing, and we are not alone. You are eligible for membership in an elite group:

        6. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          The reality is that I choose to comport myself very similarly to the way you choose to comport yourself. My concern is that what is a matter of choice based on free will is becoming a legal/moral standard – and therefore represents loss of freedom. That’s why I choose to support – vehemently, even – those who make different choices than the ones I make.

          There is nothing dangerous about what this guy did – nothing at all. Likewise, there was nothing irresponsible about what he did. And the day that we are required to comport ourselves in a manner that does not offend others is the day that we will have given up our liberty for an Orwellian nightmare. There is no right not to be fearful. There is no right not to be afraid – rationally or irrationally. And there is no right not to be offended.

          As for my beard: the only problem there is, there’s nothing tactical about me. I enjoy shooting, but I’ve never claimed to be tactical, tacticool, or anything in-between.

        7. avatar Virginia Gunner says:

          Don’t sell yourself short, Chip. Your beard knows better. Recreational shooting and hunting qualifies under the group’s tactical requirements. As training, your hobby helps prepare you for future armed conflict contingencies, should they ever arise. You are a more capable member of the militia because of your hobby.

          Should the SHTF, you will already be more tactically capable than your neighbors who have never fired a gun and who get busy signals when they try to dial 911. Also, your chin will be ready for winter.

        8. avatar Roymond says:

          Any time the law is subject to the subjective reactions of some citizens, we’re already in tyranny. If going armed scares people and makes the legally armed person subject to arrest, then carrying a Bible and religious literature openly should be equally subject to arrest — many “evangelists” who do so are quite scary.

          That said, he should have had his tactical clothes in a duffel, not the perfectly legal AR. Carrying a firearm is freedom of expression, which comes under freedom of speech, and surrendering that freedom because there are whiners out there is wrong. Changing your dress so the firearm doesn’t seem to scream “Danger!” is just tailoring the expression to the audience.

  6. avatar Omer Baker says:

    Was he carrying the rifle and ONLY wearing the panel carrier? Oh, and a smile?

  7. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    Now that was dumb. You don’t do that.
    I’m seeing a discharge from the service for that ignorant stunt.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:


      The police officers who illegally arrested him should absolutely lose their badges over their abuse of power and illegal arrest.

      1. avatar Removed_californian says:


        Serious note: probably not the best time and place for OC in a mall, esp with all sorts of terror hype and people twitchy as is. I personally believe it is all about demeanor (ie how is he walking, how is the rifle slung, etc) but I know personally I would be a little suspect. I know it’s legal, and I know I support OC, but by courtesy goes a long way. Carrying his rifle in a bag would have probably been a better option, but he chose what he chose.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          The heightened terror threat is the very reason that more law-abiding people should carry – openly or concealed, handguns or long guns.

      2. avatar AndyNC says:

        It was a legal arrest. “Going armed to the terror of the public” is a crime in NC, and it is generally up to a cop’s discretion.
        It’s certainly a law that needs changing, but until it is, open carriers in NC need to think ahead, and in this case it appears that he didn’t. I’m well aware that carrying a long gun is legal here, but scaring the public with it is not. One must make the judgement call as to whether or not carrying a rifle and gear in certain places will likely result in that. He made the wrong one.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          If all he was doing (based on what was reported) was carrying a firearm, then it was, in fact, an illegal arrest. Again, from US v Black:

          More importantly, where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention. Permitting such a justification would eviscerate Fourth Amendment protections for lawfully armed individuals in those states.

          The mere carrying of a lawful firearm in a lawful manner is not evidence of unlawful activity, and cannot be the basis of an investigatory detention. If it cannot be the sole basis for an investigatory detention, then it cannot be the basis for arrest for some unlawful act.

        2. avatar Peter says:

          Andy, not necessarily. There are commonly held conditions that must be met for the NC common law offense of going armed to the terror of the public. One of them is an intent to terrorize. There is no evidence of such intent (even the cops words suggest otherwise). I bet this gets dismissed: he doesn’t even fit the vague common law statute.

      3. avatar Retired LEO. says:

        Cross Creek Mall is a posted location prohibits open or concealed firearms.

        1. avatar Ben says:

          But do those carry force of law in North Carolina?

        2. avatar Retired LEO. says:

          Criminal Trespass after notice

        3. avatar Peter says:

          True, the mall has such signs posted. But that does not support what he was charge with under NC common law.

        4. avatar Retired LEO. says:

          Same day a shooter is reported at the navy yard, guy walks into the posted mall with an AR & Kevlar vest. The basis for.the stop was the trespass. You have to remember one thing he is in the military and is subject to different charges and the UCMJ not. just state law. He would be better as a: civilian than getting an article 32 hearing. When you become the property of the Army you better get some sense. Also why did he even have ammunition with him? Personally I think he’s just an idiot but a guy carrying an AR walks into a mall with over 30, 911 calls is where the terror charge comes from. Realistically if you saw this after all the ISIL hoopla & warnings daily in an area you are legally prohibited from having your pistol. Would you be scared? Be truthful to yourself. He is lucky he didn’t get shot. One thing not mentioned is the gang shootings in Cumberland county

        5. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          So why was he charged with “going armed to the terror of the public”, instead of being charged with an infraction as specified in the relevant NC statute regarding carrying in a posted property?

        6. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Also: mere “policy” does not carry the force of law. Statutorily compliant, posted signs carry the weight of law. According to this report:

          Cross Creek Mall already has a ‘No Weapons’ policy in place, with signs posted in general areas.

          “signs posted in general areas” does not meet the statutory requirement for posted signage, which is:

          On any private premises where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by the
          posting of a conspicuous notice or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises.


          If no such notice was posted at the entrance he used, then he was not in violation of the statute.

        7. avatar Retired LEO. says:

          They have them at the parking lot entranced and all public doors. At least they did a few months ago when I went up for a cousins retirement after 27 years at training command. Still miss the good.Vietnamese food noodle shops.

  8. avatar Matt Richardson says:

    All the commenters up to this point are the first to go all “hurrdurr-constitution-MURICA!-mah-second-amendment!!!!”

    Then somebody open carries…

    None of them understand freedom

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      I am all for this dude and the guy who showed up at the airport with his AR to do whatever steams their broccoli regarding OC. If he didnt actually commit a crime and is getting charged with one (particularly if his story ends up being true), complete horseshit as well, but I personally feel that this wasnt a well thought out plan by Mr. Wolfinger.

      1. avatar Removed_californian says:


  9. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    So, unless I’m mistaken, North Carolina is in the 4th District. Perhaps LEO there should read US v. Black, since it happened in their own state, and is directly binding upon them:

    To wit:

    More importantly, where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention. Permitting such a justification would eviscerate Fourth Amendment protections for lawfully armed individuals in those states.

    1. avatar Sheepdog6 says:

      The legality of what he did has been completely proven.

      That the local POPO needs to lose a few good statists from their ranks is beyond doubt.

      That every time open carry is discussed among people of the gun about half of us go all derpy and begin applying “good idea” or “not stupid” justifications to the legal carriage of firearms. It’s the same as applying “social utility” justifications to the 2nd Amendment. DERP…

      1. avatar AndyNC says:

        Not when there are well-known laws in place that might cause one issues. Idealism is okay in theory, but on the ground the smart man takes even these things into consideration.

  10. avatar QuantumZen says:

    Open carrying a rifle is not illegal in NC, wearing body armor and magazines is also not illegal in North Carolina, nor should either of those activities be illegal. Yet somehow, with the circumstances combined, the statists on here believe a legitimate crime has been committed? If you believe so you are endorsing the slippery slope the gun grabbers use against us.

    1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      I haven’t bothered looking, but one or two of the other malls locally here in NC have the occasional ‘guns free” stickers posted at primary entrances, it’s possible the Fayetteville mall is posted no-carry Granted the department stores don’t have said stickers in THEIR entrances, so I enter through those. It’s not enough to keep me from getting arrested, but enough to challenge the poorly written law that requires “weapons free” signs be “conspicuously” posted at entrances. If they’re at once entrance and not others all you need to do is enter via a non-posted door.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        If that were the case, wouldn’t he have been arrested for trespass, rather than for scaring the sheeple?

        1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          He would have been asked to leave. Any return visits afterward are considered trespassing.

        2. avatar Matt Richardson says:


          He could have been arrested/charged based on the sign on one door as opposed to the lack thereof on another. The whole mall inconsistency (as well as RDU’s improperty posted/placed “gun free” signs which are another issue altogether) are ripe for a court case. I don’t have the money or the energy for it, otherwise I’d challenge myself.

        3. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          Chip, just for completeness, NC has a specific statute about not carrying when a property is posted. It’s not a ‘trespass’ charge; it’s violation of THAT statute.

          In the short vernacular, it means our signs have “force of law.”

          The issue then becomes, as Matt has eluded to, if the signs follow the law. Most take the position that ALL entrances have to be “conspicuously posted” (the language in the law) to carry legal weight; you cannot, morally at least, charge someone with violating the signage law if they did not KNOW the property was posted.

          This “to the terror of the public” stuff is bunk as it is too subjective. I could make that argument about someone’s shirt, for crying out loud. I don’t want to believe the charge in this case will stick (if carried through appeals process), but I’m also a realist.

          This kind of case is all the more reason “normalization” of guns, via MORE open carry, is needed.

        4. avatar Peter says:

          THis^^^^. What he did DOES NOT support the charge he is facing.

        5. avatar Tile floor says:

          Scaring the sheeple? If I see some jackass walk into the mall looking like he’s walking through downtown Baghdad with a plate carrier loaded with magazines and an AR at the slow ready or slung across his back, you’re damned right I’m going to be looking pretty hard at him. There’s no reason for that. And me saying that does not mean I am anti RTKBA, it means I think it’s stupid and unnecessary to be dressed like you’re in a combat zone in your local mall.
          And what kind of idiot gets glamour shots in full battle rattle?? That’s the kind of thing that would get your ass beat in my old unit

        6. avatar 2Asux says:

          Would you mind sharing your complete list of natural human rights you give up for fear of offending someone? Looking hard at an armed open carrier is a good idea. Arresting same because someone gets the vapors is designed to suppress the exercise of RTKABA. I once thought only countries run by tinpot dictators allowed the police to make-up criminal charges to fit the moment. Guess our country has been fundamentally transformed into one run by tin-pot dictators.

          First Amendment free speech is being rapidly curtailed by a culture that finds anything they don’t like to be offensive, thus illegitimate and not protected by the 1st.

        7. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “Looking hard at an armed open carrier is a good idea. Arresting same because someone gets the vapors is designed to suppress the exercise of RTKABA.”


          The issue comes down to one of threat assessment.

          Checking someone out to assess threat level is one thing; rushing to judgment that because he was dressed a certain way or “OMG!!!!1111” Open Carrying a GASP rifle is another thing completely.

          The GUN does not make a person a threat. At least that’s what we argue here all the time. But, it never ceases to amaze me that a lot of the same RTKBA “supporters” come out of the woodwork to criminalize OC-ers.

          I’m once again reminded of the guy going door-to-door while OC-ing a holstered handgun…displaying precisely ZERO threatening behavior, and folks here were falling all over themselves to say stuff like “He shows up like that on MY front porch I’m opening fire.”

          Yeah. The gun is NOT the problem. Too many of preach it without practicing it.

      2. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        I should also point out that I have never carried a slung rifle in public. Never felt the need as I consider myself an advocate rather than an activist.

  11. avatar Grindstone says:

    >Do something completely legal
    >Morons freak out
    >Get charged for morons freaking out about doing something completely legal


    1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      Read my above post.

      Some entrances may be posted “no carry” while others may not. I always conceal when I enter the mall because I’m almost exclusively taking one of my kids to do something and it’s not worth the trouble to deal with getting arrested with children in tow.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        Except he was charged with going armed to the terror of the public.

        If he were carrying in a posted business, he would have been charged differently:

        1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          Interesting charge, I didn’t find the specifics of it in the link as my firefox reader doesn’t allow me to search text. That said I didn’t realize municipalities could still regulate open carry, I thought that was fixed last year. I’ll look into that.

          That said “going armed to the terror of the public” is exactly the sort of horseshit I’d expect a state like ours to have on the books. Open-ended crap that allows any DA with a bug up his ass to prosecute someone for nothing in particular is exactly what you’d expect in a state that only allows state-run stores to sell a bottle of bourbon. 😉

        2. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          Being charged in a “conspicuously” posted business is a different issue altogether. Again, the two local malls I have been two do NOT conspicuously post “guns free” signs at the entrances so that can/will get sticky when somebody has the stones to challenge it directly.

    2. avatar Bob says:

      Grindstone, that has to be the most stupid comment in this chain. Best to keep those low IQ indicators under lock and key at home.

  12. If it is legal, it seems the police are just trying to come up with something to charge him with. To hell with the laws. If there isn’t one we will make one up. Was it a good idea for this soldier to do this? No of course not. Was it a crime? Again No. Hay the police who arrested him were armed. So they were “going armed to the terror of the public.”
    Personally I am more scared of armed police than armed soldiers.

  13. avatar Jim G says:

    Oh this should be fun…shouldn’t be long now til the other geniuses jump in here to express moral outrage that the referenced fellow genius was even so much as given a questioning glance much less arrested for merely “exercising his 2nd Ammendment rights”. Yes the mental midgets of the same caliber (pun intended) as those who proudly claim “credit” (how about “blame”?) for recent passage of a muddled and statistically insignificant OC law here in TX.
    Sad thing is this particular genius grunt (yes I can call him that lol) wasn’t even smart enough to at least TRY to lie and claim he was merely exercising his rights 🙂

  14. avatar Stephen Rivera says:

    More than anything, I feel sorry for all the guys in his command who now have to suffer through another informative safety brief about how not to cause a public panic.
    F’n boot.

  15. avatar Tom Jenkins says:


    A person guilty of this offense

    (1) arms himself or herself with an unusual and dangerous weapon

    (2) for the purpose of terrifying others and

    (3) goes about on public highways

    (4) in a manner to cause terror to the people.

  16. avatar Frank says:

    With all the hyped up terrorist crap, I think he was reacting appropriately. Don’t want caught at the local mall with just a Glock when the shtf.

  17. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Heard his lawyer man on TV. Seems cognizant of the whole 2A realm. I suspect the young man has a lawsuit in his future and will be putting some nice dollars in his pocket LOL…

    1. avatar AndyNC says:

      I strongly doubt that.

  18. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    The charge looks like BS to me; more like we will make up a law off the top of our head and charge him with it. He will be out on bail in no time and the DA, if he has more brains than the cops, will drop the charges rather than take a case this stupid to court.

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    It’s going to be hard to prove any charge against Wolfinger. Trespassing? Maybe, but unlikely. Did the mall post any signs? Was he asked to leave? Probably not.

    Terrorizing the public? Are you sh1tting me? Everything terrorizes this public. Did he have any intent to terrorize anyone? Probably not. Did he brandish his rifle or threaten anyone? Probably not.

    OTOH, his CO is going to chew Wolfinger a new @ssh0le, and there may be an Article 15 in his future. That’s gonna hurt more than any bogus civilian charge that will be dismissed.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Good points except NC has specific statutory prohibition (“force of law”) against at least Concealed Carry against “properly” posted property. It’s not a mere trespass charge if properly posted and CC-er carried there anyway.

      I am personally unclear as to how that statute applies to Open Carry.

      Also, it remains unclear in this case if the property was properly posted (if posted at all).

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        Also, the charge is different. “Going armed to the terror of the people” is a specific, common-law charge that has nothing to do with the misdemeanor infraction for carrying in a properly posted property. It seems clear to me that he was not arrested for the latter, but rather only for the former (bogus) charge.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          True, and that’s a ridiculous charge anyway.

          I was just trying to be clear on NC law…while carrying into a posted property is trespass in may States, here there IS specific statutory prohibition. I was nit picking, if you will.

    2. avatar Roymond says:

      I can’t imagine any jury convicting this guy. Unless things are wildly different there, all his attorney would have to do is point out that his client was not merely a soldier, but a sergeant, which indicates more than mere competence, and that with the terror alerts, he was _exactly_ the person to be armed and dressed as he was, where he was, and when, and should be applauded.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        But now he has a gun-related arrest record. Anybody wanna guess how long the punishment for than will last?

  20. avatar BigBoy says:

    Carrying a rifle, etc IS normal for a soldier. Would you want him to sneak in wearing a Burka and the gun in a sack? Now, THAT would have gotten him killed by the responding police. Fayetteville is a military town, the police should know better. If he gets a lawyer the charges will be dropped.

  21. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    +1 Ralph-just trying to think up something to charge him with-like “stop and frisk” for fun…

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I think so too. They wanted to charge him with something, and “interfering with police officers’ donut time” isn’t a crime in Fayetteville.

  22. avatar DJ says:

    Those poor bastards stationed at Bragg are probably going to have to deal with an hour long safety brief because of this.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      “Those poor bastards at Fort Bragg” ought to get a few hundred of themselves together and do the very same thing — not just once, but on a frequent, random basis.

  23. avatar John Esparza says:

    Everything is context. [He who will not be named] was for all intents and purposes legal in walking in the parking lot at Aurora theater in full “tac gear”…. until he started killing people. If any here would honestly tell me that if they saw someone walking around openly armed such as this person that it wouldn’t put them on their mental radar…well… sorry, but you need more study in situation awareness. It’s legal to do a lot of things, but in context isn’t always advisable. As far as “gun normalization” argument, it’s classic “boiling the frog”. want to normalize it, be dressed respectfully, open carry a pistol, or if rifle have it shoulder slung in the least potentially threatening manner as possible (to those less familiar with firearms). And before the inevitable preaching responses, just remember that it’s not POTG you/we need to convince as you/we are all already on pro 2a side. Most importantly, POTG are not the only ones that vote. Everyone here knows how much propaganda the antis use, and giving them a pic to use out of context in a 10-20 sec sound bite can only harm the cause and turn moderates away (see chipotle ninjas…they weren’t “breaking any laws” either). We all have that “friend” that we agree with on a particular topic, but he lacks any tact when articulating his position to others, and you really wish he would let others “do the talking”. Guilt by association is very real in the political arena and we as POTG do have a responsibility IMHO. Also, no one here knows how the arrest went down, did the officer approach and question? did the man respond respectfully or dismissive or confrontational? (see countless open carry activists you tube videos basically looking for police to stop them to “educate” the officer). Everything is context.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Everything is context. [He who will not be named] was for all intents and purposes legal in walking in the parking lot at Aurora theater in full “tac gear”…. until he started killing people.

      Doubtful. One, he was clearly trespassing, by entering through a back door (thus, he was inherently acting unlawfully already). Two, and I’m just speculating here, but I doubt that Holmes entered the theater with all of his firearms in non-hostile positions. The tossing of the tear gas canister(s) might also have been a giveaway.

      Contrast that with this guy, who entered a store, sat a photo shoot, and then walked out of the mall – only after having left the mall was he accosted and arrested.

      No comparison whatsoever.

      1. avatar John esparza says:

        Read more closely. Once he who will not be named engaged he was breaking the law, so saying throwing tear gas was a clue… duh! He’s just engaged. Last update he was released to his base commander…. I bet he’s not going to like what his command has to say on the matter. The police have every right to investigate, point if fact it’s their duty to once a complaint has been made.. ie.. all the phone calls to 911. It’s also the officers duty to defuse a situation which they did. As someone I assume is familiar with firearms, how fast can one go from a ready position to fire? Quite frankly the police acted appropriately and this man was irresponsible. Even open carry Texas specifically states to notify law enforcement of any open carry demonstrations/events/exercises.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Where did this fallacy originate that police are duty-bound to investigate 911 calls reporting lawful activity? They absolutely are not.

          Further, they didn’t investigate; they arrested (and after the fact, at that, since he had already left the mall).

        2. avatar 2ASUX says:

          If one thinks cops know the law, one is in for a rude awakening…just like Wolfinger.

        3. avatar 2Asux says:

          No, stop and question might be appropriate, but arrest on made-up charges was not/is not. And giving the RN cops in NC benefit of the doubt, arresting someone because others are fainting from fright is the front door to jailing everyone who inadvertently allows their concealed weapon to “print” or visibly show for a blink of the eye. Where I live, we have already seen situations where people were taken downtown because someone dialed 911 and claimed that the mere sight of a portion of a handgun made them feel threatened and terrified. The worst was a situation where an off-duty police officer at a family affair admitted to concealed carry as a requirement of the job. The wife of one of the cop’s brothers immediately gathered-up her children and forced her husband to call 911 because she felt her youngsters were on the brink of being injured by the gun going off by itself. The end result was comical to many, but the off-duty cop failed to see the humor.

        4. avatar John Esparza says:

          Well chip, I’ll wait for you to put on the uniform and then use your powers of perception to determine which 911 calls you will decide to respond to bc you think it sounds legal to you. Makes sense. You all just remember that it used to be legal to open carry in California too, then it was done very irresponsibly and to “show and exercise their rights” then it was voted out. Keep on sitting on your moral high horse and forget just how easy our rights can be stripped in the legislature. Rights come with responsibilities, and everything we do as gun owners reflects on the whole. Not saying it should be that way or its right. But that IS the reality. People need to stop confusing how they think things should be with hoe things actually are.

        5. avatar george from fort worth says:

          let us all be responsible and not flaunt our enumerated rights because if we offend someone, they will just agitate until the legislature restricts our rights into uselessness. being responsible citizens, we would not offend anyone, anytime, anywhere, because, you know, being responsible. if we just look at how civilized and docile the populations of europe have become, we see model behavior, allowing the intelligentsia and monied elites to use their superior understanding of what civilizations need to ensure we are taken care of. the needs of the many should always be uppermost in our minds and actions. individualism is way overrated. controlled (responsible) societies are more efficient than those which are run by mobs parading as sovereign individuals.

        6. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Well chip, I’ll wait for you to put on the uniform and then use your powers of perception to determine which 911 calls you will decide to respond to bc you think it sounds legal to you.

          This isn’t difficult:

          Caller: “I would like to report someone carrying a gun.”

          911: “Is this person doing anything illegal?”

          Caller: “He’s carrying a gun – a scary black rifle”

          911: “Open carry of rifles is legal in the state of North Carolina. Please call us back if this person does anything illegal. Have a nice day.”

        7. avatar Roymond says:

          Chip has it right.

          A thoughtful cop (i.e. one who makes a habit of stopping and thinking rather than just reacting) would have played this entirely differently: Having identified the mad as not just a soldier but a sergeant, he would have introduced the man as such to everyone in earshot, explained that his behavior was perfectly legitimate, and asked for a round of approval for a man serving in our armed forces. Results: good lesson to the public, good P.R. for the cops, and good P.R. for the military.

        8. avatar george from fort worth says:

          i know you are just being overly gracious (or facetious) in making reference to “a thoughtful cop”, but really, you shouldn’t be writing fiction here.

  24. avatar Jeb says:

    I stopped reading when I saw you couldn’t spell Glamour, but far enough to read about a nincompoop who makes the rest of us look bad. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean you aren’t an asshole.

  25. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    NC is kinda bipolar when it comes to guns. We are an open carry state. We also have a law making it illegal to “go armed to the terror of the public”, whatever the hell that means…. How does one cause the public to feel terror? For some, you could carry a picture of a gun and they would faint…

  26. avatar gsnyder says:

    Was he committing a crime or not? Or was some person just paranoid? End of story.

  27. avatar Coffee Addict says:

    ..but.. I thought that only the Police and Military could be trusted with firearms! Because training! and.. reasons!

  28. avatar TX Gungal says:

    Anytime I’ve been pulled over, first thing asked by LEO “do you know why I stopped you?”
    What the hell happened to simple questions by police before going all SWAT on people.

    My guess is subject did not want carry his gear and have to put it on in a tiny dressing room.
    Someone in the Mall probably called 911 “man with a gun” and that is all it takes. Should not be that way but so many failures on so many levels to simply talk by both parties.

    There are bound to be video of this incident, maybe it will surface if lawsuit is filed.

  29. avatar neiowa says:

    A studio photo of troop with his rifle is NOT new territory.

    Warning – you may see a Confederate flag at this link. So if such makes you wet your panties, do not look at these Civil War photos.

  30. avatar george from fort worth says:

    ok, here we go again. using our rights offends someone. we shouldn’t use our rights because offending someone is “stupid”.

    this is a serious matter: rights vs. responsible behavior.

    how do we “normalize” open carry if we fear legal open carry?
    if we responsibly do not exercise any or our rights because alarming sheep is “stupid”, why do we need those rights? i can say/write the confederacy was the greatest example of societal excellence, but displaying confederate symbols offends someone, so i am to restrict my self to written/spoken word only? isn’t that the nut of the recent supreme decision regarding religious freedom? talk about your religion, but don’t act on it?

  31. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    We had a teacher run around my high school with an M-16 and an Army uniform. Cool huh?

  32. avatar John Esparza says:

    update to the story, apparently he was released to his base commander.

  33. avatar Charles says:

    File charges for false arrest and sue the pants off the officers.

  34. avatar Nate says:

    When I heard “going armed to the terror of the people” I immediately knew this was in NC because they’ve used this BS charge on several other people. Its a common law thing, there was an NC Supreme Court case over this I believe. NC is a great state but its not exempt from its bullshit prosecutors (*cough* Mike Nifong *cough*)

  35. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    Ok. I get it. It was a photo shoot. But who goes to a photo shoot in a mall with loaded mags? Was one in the rifle? I want to get all the facts here before making a judgement.

  36. avatar Bob109 says:

    Unless I am missing something, do they really expect a jury in NC to get enough votes to convict him on this charge?

    1. avatar 2Asux says:

      Doesn’t matter; message sent. Military career over. Wanna try for two?

      It usually goes unnoticed, but there are a number of cases each year where anti-gun prosecutors and police chiefs determine to make it expensive to be a gun owner. Their mantra is, “We might not win the case, but your life is ruined. And you may never get your guns back; because we can.” Very few states allow suit for prosecutorial misconduct. In those that do, the problem is like proving vanilla tastes better than strawberry.

  37. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    So, how do we “normalize” the open carry of long guns? Should we?

    I’m not opposed to guns in public, but carrying a long gun strikes me as unusual ouside of a gun show. I’ve lived in the metro Phoenix area for 35 years and can’t recall even once seeing OC of a long gun.

    Personally, I’m not comfortable carrying a rifle around town, at an airport, into a mall, etc. Without a specific threat that’s more gun than I feel I need with me at all times. Furthermore, I know it is provocative to people who fear guns, and I believe needlessly so–I’d rather the anti-gun crowd lull themselves into a state of harmless apathy than be spurred to active opposition by fear of my AR.

    Meanwhile, I would not mind at all open-carrying a rifle at an organized OC event. The difference being that such an event would more clearly broadcast (harmless) intent than wandering alone in heavily populated areas with a slung rifle and unclear intent.

  38. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    One can be in favor of RKBA, without agreeing with every specific expression of it. It’s the same as being fully in favor of free speech, without necessarily agreeing with every utterance and each idea others express.

    Posters here challenging others’ 2A bona fides merely on the basis of disagreeing with this particular example (as reported) of OC are misfiring their ire, as what belongs to the form, they’re carrying over to the content.

  39. avatar rehafner says:

    And again the mysterious non existent “assault rifle” appears. Someone or some honest news media should print for all to see that the AR-15 is definitely not military, has never been issued to any military, and is the bases for modern sporting rifles being nothing but another semiautomatic rifle in a scary (LOL) black synthetic stock and forearm. As usual civilian cops and dimwitted prosecutors wet all over themselves when they see one. Military service should be mandatory for all to eliminate these civilian pantie wetters.

  40. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Not enough information to even try to judge the situation.

    Dude in armor and ‘assault riffle’ in hand *will* upset the people who think saying ‘that offends me; has some sort of power over others, that being offended gives them some sort of superiority in the situation.

    The question is why was he arrested? He was doing nothing wrong.

    This is where the focus need to stay. Keep the focus laser-sharp on why was a dude arrested for breaking no laws.

  41. avatar Terry in Dallas says:

    I foresee this soldier filing a lawsuit.( I would),unless there was signage IN THE OPEN that specifically forbade anyone from carrying concealed or openly showing HE was in the right.

    Then the Officers BROKE state law.
    Dept’s and the states with SUCH OPEN CARRY laws need to have PSA’s and inform/educate their citizens of what is legal and what is not.
    AND there is ZERO excuse for the LE, they should KNOW the laws. PERIOD.

    It is an Open carry state, if he had the rifle slung as he was walking, then he WAS NOT attempting/posing an Intentional threat to SCARE the public.
    Cops, even in TEXAS are so damned ignorant of the laws, they do not even know what’s legal and what’s not.
    Local laws, Municipal laws, CANNOT, I repeat CANNOT usurp STATE LAWS!.

  42. avatar Dustin says:

    Dude, you went to the mall? Who, above the age of 16, goes to the mall?

    It’s a stupid place for stupid people who think and do stupid things…

    Something about avoiding stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things comes to mind…

    Still, cop who did this is a degenerate who deserves to watch his children die. What did you expect at the mall?

    I hope he manages to escape this BS, and learns not to go to stupid places full of stupid people doing stupid things…

  43. avatar iol says:

    “Scaring the sheeple? If I see some jackass walk into the mall looking like he’s walking through downtown Baghdad with a plate carrier loaded with magazines and an AR at the slow ready or slung across his back, you’re damned right I’m going to be looking pretty hard at him. There’s no reason for that. And me saying that does not mean I am anti RTKBA, it means I think it’s stupid and unnecessary to be dressed like you’re in a combat zone in your local mall.
    And what kind of idiot gets glamour shots in full battle rattle?? That’s the kind of thing that would get your ass beat in my old unit”

    so what if 2 islamists walked into the mall in same said equipment, and opened fire? would his equipment then be as stupid and unnecessary? is the equipment that the police utilise in response to such situations, stupid and unnecessary? no… so you believe that only the government be able to adorn combat equipment and not citizens for their own protection? i see…

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