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POTUS at SXSW: Everytown, Texas Moms Respond to Open Carry Demonstration Near President Obama's Appearance

Extremist Open Carry Group Plans to Demonstrate Near Obama Event; Comment on Group’s Facebook Page Tells Attendants, “If you get a clear shot, fire for effect!”

Austin Volunteers Canvas in Response as Part of Moms Demand Action’s Ongoing Campaign Through Which More than 600 Texas Businesses Have Posted Signs Prohibiting Open Carry in Their Stores and Restaurants

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to threats against President Obama made by members of gun extremist group Open Carry Texas, which will gather today near President Obama’s appearance at South by Southwest. With regard to the President’s visit to Austin, one commenter on Open Carry Texas’ Facebook page told attendants, “If you get a clear shot, fire for effect!”

Austin volunteers with Moms Demand Action gathered this morning at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, where just last year a man open carrying shot and killed a bystander. The man was not breaking the law until he started firing his weapon. The Moms Demand Action volunteers are canvassing local Austin businesses today, helping them post the signage they need to prevent guns in stores. In response to Moms Demand Action’s campaign, more than 600 Texas businesses have posted signs prohibiting open carry in their stores and restaurants.

STATEMENT FROM NICOLE GREENE, AUSTIN VOLUNTEER WITH THE TEXAS CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“There should be no tolerance for jokes about shooting the President – especially here in Texas. Open carry endangers public safety – there is simply no way to know whether someone armed with a rifle is an activist making a statement or a reason to duck and cover. And it ties law enforcements hands from doing anything about it — until shots are fired and its too late. That is why we are working to educate Texas businesses about open carry laws — and the SXSW community who may be visiting from states where open carry isn’t as common.”

ABOUT OPEN CARRY IN TEXAS:

Since Texas passed its open carry law in May 2015, Texas Moms Demand Action volunteers have already signed up more than 600 Texas businesses – including Texas institutions and major chains like HEB, Fiesta Mart and Luby’s Cafeteria – to prohibit open carry. Moms Demand Action volunteers have gone door-to-door, educating business owners on the law and building an online resource center to help concerned businesspeople navigate the restrictive and detailed signage requirements for prohibiting open carry. This education campaign has led many business that never prohibited handguns in the past to now prohibit both the concealed and open carry of handguns on their premises, causing some gun advocates to say the open carry law has backfired.