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Man explains why he brought guns, ammo into Walmart

MONROE, N.C. — A Union County man says he meant no harm when he brought multiple weapons into Walmart and wore a bulletproof vest. The Monroe Police Department arrested Moja Kemet Estep Monday afternoon. He faces one misdemeanor charge of going armed to the terror of people.

Channel 9 obtained a recording of the 911 call made from the Walmart.

“I saw a gentleman with body armor and an AR-15 walking toward the front door of this Walmart,” the caller said.

“People are walking in and out like nothing is going on, but I thought I would just let someone know,” they added.

‘Without the Second Amendment, we have no freedom’

In an interview with Channel 9 Tuesday afternoon, Estep says he had no ill intentions. He says he is an avid supporter of the Second Amendment, and he has been openly carrying to protect himself and others in response to mass shootings across the country.

“Without the Second Amendment, we have no freedom,” Estep said.

Estep says all but one of his weapons was confiscated by Monroe police. People called 911 Monday around 1 p.m. after seeing Estep in the Walmart off U.S. Highway 74, police said.

“I am an honest man,” he said. “I have three kids. I’ve never had any violent charges. All of the people who know and love me can speak for me.”

Estep says he went to Walmart to buy a new gun sling. The 32-year-old says he has been carrying weapons since he was 21 and he brought the arsenal to the store because “he can.”

“I am not just some random guy with a gun,” he said. “I know how to handle guns properly and safely.”

Walmart has a no-gun policy. Defense attorney Brent Ratchford says like it or not, places, such as Walmart have the right to do this.

“Stores are considered to be private property,” he said. “They can restrict your gun rights.”

Estep says he’s been in other stores with no problems. He plans to fight his charge, get his guns back, and “change nothing.”

“You shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and what you believe,” he said. “I am just trying to protect my Second Amendment, brother.”

Monroe police confront armed man in Walmart; Photo: Shirley Taylor

The UNC School of Government says the charge of going armed to the terror of people is issued when someone is carrying weapons in a way that is frightening to others. Estep says his demeanor wasn’t frightening and that customers were smiling and waving to him.


VIDEO: Police arrest armed man wearing bulletproof vest inside local Walmart