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Man carried loaded rifle in Daytona Beach to protect himself from 'crazies,' police say

Christopher Ray detained after stopping at Burger King

Christopher Ray.
Christopher Ray.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A 27-year-old man was detained by police Sunday in Daytona Beach after someone called 911 saying a man with an assault rifle was walking around the tourist district.

Christopher Ray, who does not have a concealed weapons permit, was arrested on charges of open carrying of a weapon.  Police said Ray's semiautomatic rifle had a 30-round magazine with a round in the chamber.

According to an arrest report, Ray entered a Burger King on North Atlantic Avenue (State Road A1A) and a patron asked him why he was carrying the rifle, to which he replied, "To guard against all the crazies out there."

Ray told officers that he had just finished fishing, and carrying a firearm was "protected under his constitutional rights," the arrest report stated.

Florida law states that anyone can openly carry a firearm if they are "engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition."

Police said Ray, however, had not been fishing.

Ray was issued a notice to appear in court and was released from police custody.

The gun was seized as evidence.

No one was hurt.