Man Arrested for Openly Carrying Rifle, Andrews Police Chief Spe - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Man Arrested for Openly Carrying Rifle, Andrews Police Chief Speaks Out

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By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS - The man who was arrested after openly carrying his rifle in Andrews is speaking out. He said he shouldn't have been arrested because he was within his rights.

Michael Keoughan said he was only exercising his right to bear arms when he was put in handcuffs Wednesday afternoon.

Andrews Police arrested the 27-year-old Army veteran after he was seen walking down the street with a rifle strapped across his back.

"I can't believe this is happening," Keoughan said. "I was sure that we had assurances."

Keoughan is a member of the Midland chapter of "Come and Take It," a gun rights group.

He was in Andrews checking out the route and area for their upcoming rally this weekend.

But not long after, a nearby middle school was put on lockdown, Keoughan was surrounded by police and eventually arrested.

"I had great interactions throughout the entire day until the police showed up," Keoughan said.

Keoughan was recording on his cell phone when he was taken into custody.

This is the second time a "Come and Take It" member has been arrested in Andrews and that's why Keoughan along with others are upset.

The group said they spoke with Police Chief Bud Jones to make sure this wouldn't happen again because openly carrying a firearm is within their second amendment rights.

"From what I knew, I had the backing from Bud Jones on this," Keoughan said.

"If an individual on his own wants to do that, he, out of the common courtesy, should contact us. That's what I told them," Chief Jones said.

Chief Jones said the group never called to give a heads up about Keoughan's visit.

"We didn't know who he was, had no clue but we started getting a mass number of phone calls," Chief Jones said. "By displaying the weapon, he caused undue alarm."

Keoughan said he didn't break any laws.

"Because they received a 911 call, that was enough to charge me with disorderly conduct," he said.

But Chief Jones disagreed.

"This is the issue that they don't want to address that we have to address," Chief Jones said. "When we get a call about a person with a gun, do we ignore it? Walking down the street? They're alluding to the fact that we don't have any right to make contact to them because they're not doing anything wrong. I beg to differ with them."

Chief Jones said the department strongly supports the second amendment and the group.

"I can't emphasize enough that we support their right," he said.

But in a post-Columbine and Sandy Hook world, public safety is his number one priority.

"You have to be protective of the community and that's basically what we were doing," Chief Jones said.

Since he was arrested, Keoughan said he's received death threats but he said that won't keep him from the rally.

"I will absolutely be there and I will absolutely be openly carrying," Keoughan said.

Chief Jones said they'll continue to support the group this weekend and make sure they have a rally that goes smoothly without interruptions from the community. The rally will be Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in front of the Andrews County Courthouse.