Dallas Police Chief David Brown says Texas laws allowing civilians to openly carry firearms pose a challenge to law enforcement.
“It is increasingly challenging when people have AR-15’s slung over, and shootings occur in a crowd. And they begin running, and we don’t know if they are a shooter or not,” Brown said at a news conference Monday.
“We don’t know who the ‘good guy’ versus who the ‘bad guy’ is, if everybody starts shooting,” he added.
The chief made the comments as his department is still investigating the fatal shooting of five police officers by a sniper last week.
Investigators believe that Micah Xavier Johnson, the young Army reservist who carried out the mass shooting, had purchased the weapons he used legally either online or at a gun show.
A law enforcement official told the Wall Street Journal that Johnson used an Izhmash-Saiga rifle, a variation of the AK-style military weapon, in the attack. Two semiautomatic pistols were also recovered at the crime scene.
Texas laws allow gun owners to carry their weapons in public. Some gun rights activists bring firearms to rallies to make a political point as some people did during Thursday’s anti-police rally in Dallas.
Seeing multiple people openly carrying rifles led law enforcement officials to initially conclude that there were several assailants involved in the mass shooting.