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Fort Bragg soldier banned from weapons as he awaits trial after mall scare

Posted July 23, 2015

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— The 25-year-old Army sergeant who panicked shoppers at Cross Creek Mall en route to a photo shoot won't be allowed to handle or have weapons of any type other than those he uses at work, a judge said Thursday.

Bryan Scott Wolfinger was outfitted for the shoot in military gear, complete with an AR-15 assault rifle, when he was arrested at Fayetteville's Cross Creek Mall July 1. He is charged with going armed to the terror of the public.

District Court Judge Lou Olivera imposed the weapons ban Thursday during a hearing in which he also delayed Wolfinger's trial.

Wolfinger's attorney, David Courie, said his client has been cooperating with authorities and regrets the panic he caused.

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  • Amy Carey Jul 24, 2015
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    Luckily, that second amendment thing applies to all Americans (not felons) who wish to own a weapon. It isn't your opinion that makes the rules, but a joint opinion of the american people and our founding fathers. I also think the young man should have been more discreet in his carry method, but open carry is legal in north carolina, and I am pretty used to seeing armed soldiers, as I work on a military base and have for 20 years worked on Fort Bragg. That mall is in a military town and people should be pretty used to it there.

  • Eddytors Bane Jul 24, 2015
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    I fail to understand how he was charged with going armed to the terror of the public. Did he point the gun at some one or threaten to shoot them? Just carrying a firearm doesn't constitute that. It would have to be carried in such a fashion that would make people think you were going to shoot them wouldn't it?

  • Paul Jones Jul 23, 2015
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    I am pretty sure he was on his way from a photo shoot, not to it. This was verified by media and officers.

    "To the terror of the public" is a completely wrong charge. He absolutely had no intent to scare anyone. The charge isn't even a law, as I understand, but "case law". And if I understand, it had to do with people driving vehicles and shooting guns to terrorize the public. Whatever, he didn't try to terrorize anyone.

  • Blake Howard Jul 23, 2015
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    He’s a trained military soldier. He’s a sergeant according to WRAL. I personally think that all military personnel should be armed (while in uniform) in some form or fashion. Businesses would still have the right to deny the firearm on premises which would be a trespassing issue not a weapons violation (this is the same for off-duty cops). I think most people are overly sensitive to the sight of a gun. I’m not scared of guns. I understand the responsibility in carrying, operating, and caring for guns and furthermore, I respect them. The people you have to worry about are the ones that don’t do any of the above. A trained military soldier…..I’m not worried about possessing a gun. To agree with Mr. Cline, we don’t have all the details. I think we as citizens should also reverse the role. Put ourselves in his shoes. Being a soldier, I would imagine he sees uniforms and weapons on a daily basis and in his mind his actions were normal everyday behavior.

  • Mark Cline Jul 23, 2015
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    And, since it is very unlikely that an armed citizen will ever use their open/concealed weapon to thwart a terrorist attack, there will just as likely never be an "accident" either. I've been carrying for 20+ years and never had either. A properly secured firearm is no danger to anyone, period! You are far more likely to get run over by a train.

  • John Broome Jul 23, 2015
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    Am i being detained!?

  • Brian Hoggard Jul 23, 2015
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    I am amazed at the individuals that claim to be completely comfortable around a stranger with an assault rifle. I agree that "a firearm in the proper hands can be an okay thing," but I don't feel that we need weapons at shopping malls, sporting events and grocery stores. It seems more likely that an accident will happen than that the average person will thwart a terrorist attack with his open/concealed firearm.

  • Mark Cline Jul 23, 2015
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    It was NOT an assault rifle. He was NOT threatening anybody. He complied with officers instructions. Could he have done this in better ways? Of course! The firearm should have been carried in for the photo shoot in a discreet case.

    There's so much information missing from this story, as usual, that it's impossible to come to a reasonable understanding. Therefore, the discussion is depending on speculation of what might have been. In the courtroom there will be no speculation.

    This was not an AK-47 as one poster has stated. It was an AR-15, semi-automatic, sporting rifle. A totally different looking firearm. An AR-15 is not an "assault rifle". Some confusion exists, and the New York Times admitted they propagated the "assault rifle" misnomer, because of the "AR" designation. The "AR" does not stand for "assault rifle". It stands for Armalite, the name of the company.

  • Kathryn Adams Jul 23, 2015
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    A man enters a public place carrying a large gun and people are supposed to wait until after he starts killing people before they treat him as a potential mass shooter? I think any shoppers who called the police were exactly right to do so; they had NO way of knowing the difference between an armed man planning to shoot, or an armed man NOT planning to shoot.

  • Roy Hinkley Jul 23, 2015
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    It's likely that they would have informed him the mall does not allow people to have firearms inside.

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