By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, January 28, 2013 10:09 EST
People who saw 22-year-old say he entered the store empty-handed, but then returned to his vehicle and retrieved the weapon, carrying it inside briefly before bystanders spotted the man and called authorities.
Police got the call around 5 p.m. on Sunday, according to WVIR-TV. The man was questioned and released after stating he was demonstrating his Second Amendment rights.
North Carolina does not have a law banning open carry of most rifles. Although the demonstration was constitutionally protected, the man was permanently banned from Kroger.
The AR-15 is the same weapons platform used to kill 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut, including 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It has been at the epicenter of the nation’s debate over gun control ever since, with some lawmakers proposing an assault weapons ban that includes some semi-automatic weapons.
Reacting to that debate, a Utah man carried an AR-15 into a JCPenney earlier this month without incident, despite causing quite a scare.
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