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ARLINGTON Advocates for openly carrying firearms in Texas say Arlington is trying to keep them from exercising their First and Second Amendment rights.

Several are showing up with weapons outside City Hall Tuesday evening in advance of a meeting that could affect the group.

Open Carry Tarrant County often draws dozens of supporters who hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution at busy intersections. Many also carry rifles or shotguns.

The demonstrations have prompted 911 calls.

The Arlington City Council could vote Tuesday to ban pedestrians from contacting motorists at the city's busiest intersections. Mayor Robert Cluck says it's a public safety issue.

The Council could also vote to ban all weapons at Arlington government meetings.

Two weeks ago, a member of Open Carry Tarrant County entered a Council meeting with an antique black powder revolver holstered on his hip. He said it was not loaded. State law does not recognize antique guns as firearms.

But the man complied without argument when police asked him to take it outside.

Unlike many cities, Arlington has had no ordinance prohibiting weapons at Council meetings. You must pass through a metal detector at Fort Worth City Hall.

Mayor Cluck said he wants to avoid a confrontation with open carry supporters. They say they just want to protect their rights.

Police presence is heavier than normal for Tuesday night's meeting.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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