Video of a weekend altercation involving a gun at a busy East El Paso Chico’s Tacos has sparked a local debate over the state’s concealed-carry law.
The profanity-laced cell phone footage, originally posted by 915 On Blast, has been widely circulated over the last two days. The 50-second clip begins with private security removing a group of five to six young men from the Chico’s Tacos location along Montwood Dr. around 2:30 Saturday morning.
As they exit, members of the group are seen engaging in a verbal fight with another young man. That man then pulls a handgun from his waistband as his girlfriend tries to defuse the situation. No shots are fired in the video.
An El Paso Police Department spokesman told KTSM officers were called to the scene to assist but found no evidence of a crime. The spokesman added the armed man may have been within his rights to draw his weapon.
“We don’t know the circumstances, but looking at (the video) at face value, there doesn’t appear to have been a crime,” Sgt. Enrique Carrillo said. “Concealed-carry (of a registered firearm) is legal in Texas as long as a person is licensed to do so.”
“There is a reason people choose to arm themselves, and that is to protect themselves or others in a dangerous situation,” Carrillo added.
It is unclear whether the man has a permit to carry. A Chico’s Tacos manager said the restaurant does not have signs prohibiting firearms.
Some Facebook users on the KTSM page said they feel the gun owner could have handled things differently.
“That guy is the exact reason I’m against concealed-carry,” user Walter Waldo wrote. “That guy was ready to kill a kid over a stupid argument.”
User Crystal Gomez, posted, “Let the security handle it; it’s their job.”