Christopher Burns, who makes humorous Vines under the name “Stormtrooper Sam,” caused a commotion in Salina, Kansas on Monday when a customer at a downtown business noticed him outside in an outfit from the Star Wars movies and a plastic gun, KSAL News reports.
The man who noticed Burns (pictured in a Tweet from his account below) was a veteran. He believed that his plastic gun might be an AK-47 rifle and alerted the business owner, who called the police.
— Stormtrooper Sam (@SamStormtrooper) July 1, 2014
Burns told KSAL that his encounter with police was educational, but admitted he was surprised by the quick reaction. “Star Wars is such an iconic image, I was a little bit surprised that someone would see a Stormtrooper and fear when you know it’s been around since the ’70s,” he said.
Multiple police officers responded to the report of a possibly armed man. They counseled Burns on the potential consequences of his actions before letting him go.
Local police Captain Mike Sweeney reiterated to the media that the open carry of a firearm in public is legal in Kansas. “But you’re going to draw our attention to find out what you are doing,” he said.
This false alarm comes on the heels of several mass shootings nationwide. Most recently, an outburst of violence in Isla Vista, California led to the deaths of six people and the injury of 13 others.