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Old 07-22-2015, 11:42 AM
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Default UPDATE: Jacksonville Marine veteran standing guard at center asked to leave

UPDATE: Jacksonville Marine veteran standing guard at center asked to leave | WNCT

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UPDATE: Jacksonville Marine veteran standing guard at center asked to leave

WNCT Staff
Published: July 20, 2015, 9:52 pm Updated: July 21, 2015, 11:01 pm

ACKSONVILLE, NC (WNCT) – A Jacksonville Marine veteran is no longer allowed to stand guard outside of the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in the city.

Jacksonville Police said Matthew Benack was within his constitutional right to stand in front of the center on Western Boulevard with a loaded weapon and that he had the right to be out there since the center is on private property and if the owners gave permission.

Benack said he was there in response to last week’s attacks at a Chattanooga, Tennessee center. The shooting left five service members dead.

Police said Benack could stay on the property as long as neighboring businesses and the property manager allowed him to be there. Police told Benack on Monday they heard he had permission.

On Tuesday, police said the property owner rescinded permission for Benack to be there, and asked him to leave. Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners is the property manager and represents the property owner.

Benack told WNCT he hopes the owner will reconsider.

Grayson Powell, with Coldwell Banker Commerical Sun Coast Partners, issued a statement.

Westwood Village Shopping Center is a proud supporter of the military and has been honored to have the Army Recruiting Center as one of our valued tenants here for more than a decade. We value the sacrifices our armed forces make for this country each day and hold all branches of the military in the highest esteem.

We take the security of the recruiters in Westwood Village extremely seriously and are in communications with them about the best way to work together to ensure their safety and the safety of all of our tenants. Yet having an armed civilian who is not known to us, the recruiters or the police arrive to stand vigil in a busy shopping center has the potential to create an unsafe environment, and it is our responsibility to ensure both our tenants’ and customers’ safety.

As the property management firm for Westwood Village, we represent the interests of the owner. As such, we will continue to communicate on the owners’ behalf with the Army Recruiting Center and the Jacksonville Police Department on the best ways to ensure the safety and welfare of the recruiters and all of our tenants and customers.

Grayson Powell, Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners
— Previous Story —

A Marine veteran said he is using his second amendment right to protect those inside an armed forces recruitment center.

This is a show of unity seen across the country following last week’s attacks at a Chattanooga, Tennessee center. A man killed five service members.

Matthew Benack, identified as a 20-year Marine veteran, said he will be at the shopping center on Western Boulevard with his gun to protect those inside the recruitment center.

“We’re not a force to play with,” Benack told WNCT. “The lion is ready to play and is always ready to play.”

Those who saw him told WNCT they appreciate his gesture.

“I think what he’s doing is pretty awesome” said Megan Parrott, a visitor to the shopping center. “I mean no one else is doing anything to protect the guys working in there.”

Jacksonville Police said he had the right to be out there since the center is on private property and if the owners gave permission. They called and made sure the shopping center owners did not mind.

Police did ask Benack to not block the fire lane and be careful.

Neighboring shop owners also told WNCT they supported Benack being out there.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: UPDATE: Jacksonville Marine veteran standing guard at center asked to leave

Not letting trained soldiers carry weapons is stupid. If the soldiers have a concealed carry permit, they should just carry.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: UPDATE: Jacksonville Marine veteran standing guard at center asked to leave

A deranged sniper will home in on any person carrying a firearm, I think a sign stating the following:

To all psycho terrorists,
Your call, if you think this
is an unarmed place


would transmit an understandable message to any idiot. But I have nothing against armed guards wherever they are wanted.
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