ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — Police in Abington Township say a man is walking around the area with an AR-15 rifle to promote his Second Amendment right to carry the weapon in public.
In a letter to residents, Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy said the man’s “actions have caused unnecessary alarm to the public” after he was seen walking with the semi-automatic weapon in the area of North Hills, Ardsley, Glenside and the Abington Shopping Center.
“While this individual’s intentions are unknown, it appears that he is attempting to draw our police officers into a debate or an encounter over his 2nd Amendment right to carry this weapon in public,” said Molloy.
Molloy added that officers had at least one encounter with him previously.
“He told the officer that the reason he is doing this is to educate the community about his Second Amendment right to carry this weapon,” said Molloy.
Because Pennsylvania is an open carry state and the man didn’t go on private property, police say he wasn’t breaking any laws. However, they did encourage him to find another way to make a political statement.
“Our Department will continue to balance our duty to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of this individual with our duty to provide public safety to all of our residents,” said Molloy.
On Friday evening the man was seen walking in the Ardsley section of town. He was spotted again on Monday afternoon near the Target on Old York Road and on Tyson Avenue right past a bus stop.
“In today’s day and age when there is so much violence going on, it’s unusual and it could be scary,” said Henry Geyer.
“It’s scary, although we were walking around Israel and everyone was walking around with those guns,” said Nancy Geyer.
Molloy says that if residents do see this man to not take action or speak to him, and if they feel that their safety is threatened, to call 911.