A student who attends the University of South Alabama was spotted carrying an empty gun holster on campus. D.J. Parten, president of Students for Concealed Carry at the school, was involved in a protest, while promoting a new documentary.
According to Campus Reform, the police were called on Parten and Tews and they showed up to confront the students.
According to the university’s website, “all weapons are prohibited in University housing buildings, parking lots and on University property.”
“This includes, but is not limited to, bullets, ball bearing bullets, bullet balls, pellets, firearms, guns, knives, paintball guns, air guns, hunting bows, archery bows, swords, martial arts weapons and replicas of such weapons. Toy water guns are prohibited,” the website states. It doesn’t appear that holsters are banned.
The documentary the two were promoting, “Can We Take a Joke?” according to TheBlaze.
In a video captured of the incident, an officer says, “You know there’s a no-weapons policy out here, but still you want to push it.”
Parten then said he was only carrying a holster and didn’t have a weapon. The officer then asks him if he got “permission” to wear it.
“To wear a holster?” Parten asks the cop. “I don’t need permission to wear it.”
The officer responds: “You need permission from the university.”
And later he says: “There’s a no-weapons policy here.”
Parten shoots back: “It’s not a weapon.”
“I understand that,” the officer concedes. “Take it up with Dean of Students, then, because y’all are gonna be written up for disciplinary [sic], and I will put in there your attitude, you understand?”
The officer then asks him: “So I’m gonna ask you one more time: where’s the weapon?”
“I don’t have it,” Parten tells him. “It’s at home.”
A while later, the officer takes Parten aside and tells him that he didn’t do anything wrong.
“What you’re doing is not against the rules or the law,” he explains, “but when we get a call thinking somebody might have a gun, you have to be polite and cooperative, because if you start being difficult, [it looks like] you’re carrying something.”
“Your friend here had his hands in pockets, and he kind of laughed when I asked him to take them out, but he forgot that he put this little folding knife—that has a clip on the outside—in his pocket.”
Parten and his friend then say that the protest was actually a public display that was explicitly billed as an empty holster protest.
“There’s some people in here that disagree with what you’re doing,” the officer tells them. “And when they see a holster, they call in; it’s just part of your protest.”
The two students later get a citation charging Parten with violating sections 7G and 7N of the Student Code of Conduct.
Before they left, the officer asked Parten to remove the holster before warning him that he will be cited for the same violations again if the department gets calls about it. Parten didn’t and added: “The right to self-defense shouldn’t end because someone chooses to get an education.”