Gulfport, Mississippi, Police Chief Leonard Papania said on June 22 that a situation involving a man who openly carried a shotgun into a Wal-Mart and other stores could have escalated into “a very violent misunderstanding.”
The Sun Herald reported, "Police said on Sunday (June 21) night two men, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, walked into Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie and Krispy Kreme, all on U.S. 49."
During a press conference Papania said the man with the shotgun bought ammunition, loaded his weapon and racked it in Wal-Mart, noted WLOX (video below).
Papania explained how police resources and other investigations had to be diverted to Wal-Mart because of the man and his friend.
Papania said, "While the actions of these two men are sanctioned by state laws, what they did negatively impacted our community."
He later added: "I looked very hard at the laws, if there was something I could have arrested these people for, I would. But I must work within the confines of the laws that we enforce."