The outspoken leader of an open carry gun group warned Texas lawmakers on Wednesday that putting restrictions on an individual’s right to carry firearms is “treason” and “punishable by death” under the Constitution.
A YouTube user named “CoCo Mars” uploaded video that appeared to show Kory Watkins, the leader of Open Carry Tarrant County, going on a lengthy rant about the need for Texans to agitate for “Constitutional Carry,” or the legal carrying of a handgun without a government permit.
The YouTube user said the video had been published to Watkin’s Facebook page and was taken down about 30 minutes later.
“Going against the Constitution is treason. And that, my friend, is punishable by death. That’s how serious this is, and I think [lawmakers] have slipped away from that,” Watkins said on the video.
He then appeared to reference an incident that took place last month in state Rep. Poncho Nevarez’s (D) Capitol office.
Watkins had posted a video to YouTube and Facebook that showed him and a group of activists confronting Nevarez and his staff after the lawmaker said he wouldn’t support an open carry bill. When Nevarez tried to usher the activists out of his office and close the door, one man kept his foot in the door and told Nevarez, “What are you gonna do?”
In the video on Wednesday, Watkins said there may be a need to go further.
“Maybe a foot in the door got a friendly reminder, a Rosa Parks reminder, a peaceful reminder of we’re not playing around,” Watkins appeared to say in the video. “I don’t think they want to mess with us too much longer,” he said. “They better start giving us our rights, or this peaceful non-cooperation stuff is gonna be gamed up. We’re gonna step it up a notch.”
“I want to put more than my foot in that door,” he added later. “We should be doing way more than that, we should be demanding these people give us our rights back, or it’s punishable by death. Treason. Do you understand how serious this is, Texas? We need to start doing more than sticking foots in doors.”
Watkins did not immediately respond to a request from TPM for comment. Reached for comment by the Houston Chronicle, Watkins said he’d address the video Wednesday afternoon.
This post has been updated.