A man arrested at a Missouri Walmart said in a probable cause statement that he was testing whether Walmart would protect his right to openly carry weapons when he walked through a store wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons.
Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20, is charged with making a terrorist threat after the Aug. 8 incident at a Walmart in Springfield. He filmed himself walking through the store with the weapons, prompting shoppers and employees to flee. No shots were fired before an off-duty firefighter held Andreychenko at gunpoint until police arrived and arrested him, according to an Associated Press story.
It happened just days after 22 people were killed during an attack at another Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
"It was foolish, I didn't give it thought. It was so innocent that I didn't even think this would happen," Andreychenko said in the AP story.
Since January 2017, Missouri has not required a permit to openly or conceal carry a firearm for those 19 years or older.
But, if you walk into a store wearing body armor and are armed with a rifle — especially after all the recent mass shootings — yes, people are going to panic. And, rightfully so.
People should use a little common sense, especially when it comes to weapons. Don't test business owners. Don't test anyone. This incident could have ended with bloodshed. Andreychenko was fortunate the firefighter who held him at gunpoint didn't fire. It's one thing to carry a firearm, but to enter a store with body armor and a rifle to "test" the store is ridiculous.