A Colorado teenager carrying a loaded shotgun on a busy street in Aurora was stopped by police officers, despite his argument that the open carry laws in the state put him well within his rights to do so.
Steve Lohner, 18, used his cell phone to record his encounter with police and uploaded it to YouTube. The video sparked debate about gun laws and the right to carry in public.
The video shows Lohner repeatedly telling officers they have no legal right to stop him and ask for identification because he was not committing a crime. Police argued that he was scaring people and without proper identification they could not confirm he was legally allowed to carry the weapon.
Police eventually arrested Lohner for obstructing an investigation.
Lohner said in an interview with FOX31 in Denver that he’s on a mission to call attention to open carry laws.
“I feel like a lot of people now they see a weapon like that and they think, you know, James Holmes or Sandy Hook,’’ said Lohner.
Lohner has launched his campaign in the same town where a mass shooting occurred in July 2012. Twelve people were killed and 70 injured when James Holmes allegedly shot several firearms into a movie theater.
According to Colorado law, police are allowed to ask people for identification if they suspect he is “committing, has committed, or is about to commit a crime.’’ Lohner refused to give his ID. on the video.
“He may be within his rights and legal, within the law to carry this gun but if we’re investigating it and he refuses to cooperate that may violate other municipal laws,’’ Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania told FOX31.
Lohner said he plans to continue his public open carry campaign.