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Gun Carrying Group May Not Be Only Ones Affected By Arlington Bans

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - One story reported on CBSDFW.COM has a lot of people talking. It started with Tuesday night's vote on an ordinance by the Arlington City Council to ban guns and concealed weapons at public meetings.

Members of the gun rights group Open Carry Tarrant County believe they are the ones being targeted, but they may not be the only ones affected by ordinance changes.

A second Arlington ban could put heavy restrictions on handing out pamphlets.

We've all seen them from time-to-time – groups trying to push their cause, including gun rights advocates. Now some leaders in Arlington say the approach by some groups creates hazardous situations.

Kim Martinez believes in free speech. But she says what happened to her recently nearly left her speechless. Recalling her reaction when approached Martinez said, 'I was just like 'step away from my car.' I just looked at them and said 'No! Back away from my car.'"

Martinez says she was approached last Friday near Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Open Carry members walked up to try to hand her a copy of the constitution and literature promoting gun rights.

Not only were they carrying pamphlets, they were also packing heat. Members were armed and had their weapons openly displayed.

"It scared me. It really scared me," Martinez said of the encounter. "I didn't want them near my car. I didn't want their gun near my car. I didn't really want to hear anything they had to say."

The Open Carry group has even documented several run-ins with police. Members ask if firefighters -- who would be excluded from the ban -- can stand and walk on street corners, sidewalks and medians while soliciting donations, then why can't they?

Kory Watkins, with Open Carry Tarrant County, claimed that, "Nobody just goes to the car waving their gun around."

Arlington council members also want to ban people from passing out literature to drivers in the roadway, but one member voted against the measure. Another vote will take place in May.

Kory said, "For us, it just means we are going to be harassed when we go pass out literature to citizens who mutually agree to want it and call us over."

As for mom Kim Martinez, she said she was just glad she didn't have her kids with her when Open Carry members approached her. "I applaud them for standing up for what they believe in. That's all our rights and more people should do it."

Open Carry members say if the ordinance passes in May then they are ready to go to court.

Sources told CBS 11 News the group will be in Euless on Thursday.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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