NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) – Over the weekend, Open Carry Tarrant County held a rally at a Home Depot parking lot in North Richland Hills.
“We had about 150 people show up. Everybody in the area was wonderful and had a great time,” said Kory Watkins, head of Open Carry Tarrant County. “There were people pulling in that didn’t even know about the event that ended up staying with us and chatting. We even had a gentleman that was opposed to us who ended up staying and chatting with us.”
During the rally, donations were accepted, and black powder revolvers and boxes of ammunition were given out as “prizes” to attendees, something that Investigator Keith Bowman with the North Richland Hills Police Department said might have violated the state’s gambling laws.
“We are investigating the raffle that did occur at the rally on Saturday, May 31st. There are concerns that the manner in which it was held are in violation of the state’s gambling statutes,” said Bowman. “The group was advised prior to the raffle that there were concerns in the manner in which it would be held. They said they were going to discuss it amongst themselves and make a decision. On Saturday, officers were advised by supervisory staff that, since the raffle was being held, to take an offense report to begin the investigation.”
According to Texas law, a raffle that violates the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act is considered illegal gambling under the Texas Penal Code. Conducting an illegal raffle is a Class A misdemeanor and participation is a Class C misdemeanor.
“The gambling laws can be very complicated. Our supervisors were in contact with the District Attorney’s office prior to the raffle being held, to see what we can do,” said Bowman, who also notes that any charges that might be filed will depend on what the investigation concludes.
KRLD reached out to Open Carry Tarrant County for a comment on the investigation, but they declined.
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