HOUSTON (CBS Houston) — A Democratic lawmaker wants Open Carry Texas to end its pro-gun demonstrations.
Open Carry Texas planned to march through Houston’s Fifth Ward, a predominantly African-American neighborhood, before canceling after receiving pushback by the New Black Panther Movement and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
“We come in peace,” Jackson Lee said during a press conference in Finnegan Park on Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle. “On behalf of many thousands who live in this community that are minding their daily business, Open Carry’s efforts need to stop, need to be canceled, they need to end.”
Jackson Lee said the pro-gun group does nothing to help stem the violence in society.
“It is a lonely issue looking for a family. Our community is not the family for this rally or message,” Jackson Lee said. “They should join the neighborhoods for a rally to promote improved health care, create better jobs and higher wages and provide quality schools. Otherwise, this rally should never happen.”
Quannel X, a leader of the New Black Panther Party in Houston, had members holding assault rifles warning Open Carry demonstrators to stay out last week.
“I’m going to tell you something, homie. This is Fifth Ward, you ain’t coming in here running nothing,” he said, according to KPRC-TV.
CJ Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, said during a meeting last Wednesday with the Black Panthers and other community leaders that their message is an “armed society is a polite society.”
KPRC reports that law enforcement had to intervene during the meeting after it devolved into a shouting match between the groups. Open Carry decided to postpone the event afterwards.
“Our goal has always been to hold this demonstration with Fifth Ward, not just in Fifth Ward,” Grisham told KPRC in a statement. “We have an opportunity to correct all the lies, miscommunication and vitriol associated with this event and express our true intent. I’m more than happy to push this event back to make that happen.”
Open Carry has held hundreds of events in the state where they openly carry rifles and shotguns through communities during rallies.