Photo of armed man in Central Market leads to extra security, debate

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Resident John Esbenshade was in Lancaster’s Central Market this past weekend shortly after a photo of a man carrying a gun in the market surfaced online.

“It’s just preposterous that anybody should think they need to take a gun to our market,” Esbenshade said.

The picture, which shows a man with a rifle across his chest, has lead to the Central Market Trust adding unarmed security guards. The picture also left some customers, like Esbenshade, uneasy.

“We need to have people with their eyes open if that’s the thing that’s going to be happening,” Esbenshade told abc27. “If someone needs a gun to buy a bag, it’s sad.”

Since Pennsylvania is an open carry state, the man was within his legal right to carry the gun, but it also left Mayor Danene Sorace questioning why the man brought his gun to the market.

In a since-deleted social media post, Sorace urged residents to call lawmakers like Republican Sen. Scott Martin and Democratic Rep. Mike Sturla for change.

“I think the public needs to start putting pressure on the Republicans that [sic] control the house and the senate to say enough is enough,” Sturla said.

Sturla said he is in favor of banning assault-style weapons, or at least, restricting where you can have them.

He gave an example of what kind of legislation he would like to see. “I can have an assault weapon I can have it in my house all you want. I can put it in a locked case and take it to a range and shoot it all I want, but I can’t carry in Central Market. I mean we can pass sensible laws like that, that still allow for gun ownership, that still allow for possession.”

Sen. Scott Martin could not be reached for a comment.

Central Market’s Trust says the added security will be at the market as long as it’s needed.

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