I may have been "called out" today.


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Devonai
September 3, 2004, 12:32 PM
My job as a courier takes me through a particular building in Manchester every day. On the upper floors of this building are a district court, the IRS, and one or two other alphabet agencies. There is a security checkpoint one must pass through in order to access the express elevators, but it doesn't effect anyone who wants to do business anywhere else in that building (including me).

There are third-party armed security guards running the checkpoint. Since we see each other a few times every day I tend to say hello to them if they're not busy. Today a newer guard asks me "Whatcha got in that vest?" I said, "Keys, wallet, you know..." He says, "I mean under the vest." I said, "This, that and the other thing."

Then the elevator showed up and I went on my way. I'm tempted to ask him next time I see him why he was suspicious of me, but I don't want to admit to him that I am in fact carrying.

My carry pistol does print a little bit, but it doesn't scream "gun." The only thing I can figure is that a photographer's vest without a camera may simply be too stereotypical.

If he asks me again I'm going to say, "If I ever need to pass through your checkpoint I'll answer your question, otherwise it's not your concern." I simply don't know how to be polite and tell him to mind his own business at the same time.

Oh, well... the cooler weather will be here soon enough.

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Edmond
September 3, 2004, 12:38 PM
Some of those guys have serious attitude problems, they think they're the cops or something. Hopefully, he'll be gone the next time you get there. It's scary to know that they let people like that go around armed!:eek:

jamz
September 3, 2004, 12:39 PM
You've been "outed"? Congrats! Check out www.pinkpistols.com !

I kid, I kid. :)

Just tell the guard that "It's tactially a very bad idea to admit that one carries, even if one does". That should satisfy his curiosity in a polite, neutral way, and you come off like a wise, wise man. :)

If it were me, I'd ask him "What on earth makes you think I might be carrying?" He'd have to tell you then.

-James


edit: from your post, I can't tell if he was asking in a friendly manner or a hostile one. If it were hostile, I'd change my above answers quite a bit. Then I'd probably just turn the questions back on him.

"Why do you want to know, do I make you nervous?"
"Would you like to know the color of my underwear as well?"

If I was forced to answer for some reason, I'd say "Emergency supplies" or something.

Guntalk
September 3, 2004, 12:43 PM
Hmmmm. Some thoughts.

If your carry gun prints at all, fix the problem. It is totally unacceptable for anyone to be able to see (even through "printing") that you are carrying.


Do whatever it takes to fix the problem. If that means different clothes, that's fine.

Otherwise, just keep smiling and keep moving. If he has legal authority to search you, that's one thing. If not, a pleasant smile and a "good morning" and keep moving.

Sounds like you did okay, but anytime anyone even guesses you are carrying, you need to address that failure to conceal.

rock jock
September 3, 2004, 12:43 PM
The only thing I can figure is that a photographer's vest without a camera may simply be too stereotypical.
Yep. Wearing one of these is like holding up a sign that says "I have a gun."

Tamara
September 3, 2004, 12:49 PM
A "Shoot Me" vest is not camouflage against anybody even the slightest bit aware of things gunlike; it merely obscures your piece to keep the mundanes calm.

Of course, I'm about convinced that I could walk through the mall with my IWB 1911 exposed and a T-shirt that reads "There Is A Pistol On My Right Hip" and maybe one person in fifty would even notice... Most people are absolutely 100% absorbed with whatever is six inches in front of their nose, as anyone who's ever spent more than ten minutes driving in traffic can attest. :D

Treylis
September 3, 2004, 12:55 PM
If questioned like that, I would just act confused.

45 ACP
September 3, 2004, 01:00 PM
Admit nothing, deny everything to the bitter end.

sendec
September 3, 2004, 01:02 PM
Uh, this is just a wild guess, but if there is a security checkpoint at a government building (which it sounds like) are'nt they SUPPOSED to spot weapons? I can just hear people here complaining about poor security and bragging how they made it in without being spotted. Does'nt the guard have a contractual obligation to screen incoming people?

Assuming that it is legal for you to carry thru that checkpoint and into that building, why not just display your permit so he knows you are legal? Frankly, all kinds of warning bells should have gone off with an evasive answer like yours - you were lucky to get in.


The only thing that screams "gun" more than a black fanny pack is the photographer's vest. I have several that I use only when it is OK for me to be made. I am sure that I am the only person who puts something in a pocket, forget which pocket I put it in, and wont find it for 3 months.

pax
September 3, 2004, 01:26 PM
sendec ~

From the first post: There is a security checkpoint one must pass through in order to access the express elevators, but it doesn't effect anyone who wants to do business anywhere else in that building (including me).

He didn't go through the checkpoint, and he didn't need to go through the checkpoint. He just said 'hi' to the guards.

In the land of the free it shouldn't be considered "lucky" to avoid being harrassed for doing something that was completely legal to do.

pax

CB900F
September 3, 2004, 01:28 PM
Devonai;

I'd contact his supervisor & ask the supervisor to clarify to the guard that it's not his job to out anybody outside his area of responsibility. In fact, it's counter-productive considering that you have a legitimate reason to be armed.

900F

Kharn
September 3, 2004, 01:35 PM
45 acp:
You forgot the final part:
"Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations." :evil:

Kharn

armoredman
September 3, 2004, 01:38 PM
Tell him it's a colostomy bag, and did he want to arrest you for possession of a disgusting weapon?
Cribbed that from the Miami Arcade incident in the 80s....

sendec
September 3, 2004, 01:39 PM
That does'nt make sense.

Remember, these are security guards, not police. The rules are different.

mustanger98
September 3, 2004, 01:40 PM
Admit nothing, deny everything to the bitter end.

Don't forget to make counter-accusations.:D

Tamara wrote:
Of course, I'm about convinced that I could walk through the mall with my IWB 1911 exposed and a T-shirt that reads "There Is A Pistol On My Right Hip" and maybe one person in fifty would even notice...

I would be the one out of the fifty. And if I can tell you're a single lady about my age, I might even ask you out. ;)

As to the original post, I agree that it's none of security's business outside their area of responsibility.

Devonai
September 3, 2004, 02:39 PM
Don't forget to make counter-accusations.

Yeah, like "why don't you print the entirety of 18 USC 930 on your gigantic NO WEAPONS sign?"

A "Shoot Me" vest is not camouflage against anybody even the slightest bit aware of things gunlike; it merely obscures your piece to keep the mundanes calm.

Darn it, if only it were cool enough for me to wear normal clothing again, like my Swiss Alpenflage jacket!

Zundfolge
September 3, 2004, 02:48 PM
On the upper floors of this building are a district court, the IRS, and one or two other alphabet agencies.

So whats the legality here? If there are federal government offices in a building do they get to claim the entire building as a GFZ?

I'd look into the legality before I returned to that building armed. While you might not be in the government parts of the building, I wouldn't be surprised if their presence in the building somehow put the whole building under federal rules.


As for the security guard, if you can legally carry there I'd just tell him its none of his business, but I'd be polite because he's just doing his job (and unlike most security guards I've seen out there it looks like he's actually doing his job).


Photographers vest? Hell, you might as well strap on a tactical thigh holster :neener:

.45&TKD
September 3, 2004, 03:19 PM
On the upper floors of this building are a district court, the IRS, and one or two other alphabet agencies.

When I took my AZ CCW (at Caswell's) I was taught that I was not pemitted to carry in any federal building and that if there was just one federal office in an otherwise business office building then the whole building was considered a "federal" building and that I could not legallly carry there.

It's a good thing that you did not admit to anything. Chances are you were in violation of federal law.

El Tejon
September 3, 2004, 03:21 PM
El Tejon response: "Are you coming on to me?" *wink, wink*:D :p

Edward429451
September 3, 2004, 03:32 PM
Sounds like the security guard *thought* he seen you printing and was proud of himself for spotting one. Big deal. It's to be expected in todays climate. At that point almost anything you say will give him confirmation either way. I've had it happen a couple times and learned to *misunderstand* the question and say 'Pretty good and how're you today sir?' and keep walking.

You weren't 'called out', you were 'made'! Better work on that.:D

outofbattery
September 3, 2004, 03:44 PM
To anyone who frequents/lurks on THR a photographer's vest , especially on someone who is quite clearly not actively engaging in photography , is going to trigger *gun* . Tactical pants on someone who doesn't quite fit the demographics of who normally buys such clothes is a beacon as well - as is anyone carrying a fanny pack these days . However , most people are too wrapped up in what they are doing to take any notice or care but the idea that people carry concealed firearms is not a usual thought in the mind of the great and vast majority of the population so it isn't a worry .
Chances are , quite a few people here would have *made* you , but most would have said nothing . There is also the chance that he's curious and/or just guessing . I've had people ask a million odd questions when I've drawn my CCW at the range but mostly it's a case of being curious or not educated - or tactful , which isn't quite the same as tactical .

Vern Humphrey
September 3, 2004, 03:51 PM
Quote:
-------------------------------------
Tell him it's a colostomy bag, and did he want to arrest you for possession of a disgusting weapon?
-------------------------------------

I know a guy from back in the Bad Old Days, when no one could get a CCW who actually did this. He had a fanny pack, with the gun compartment in the back, and the cargo compartment in the front. He got a plastic bag, put a little you-know-what in it, sealed it tight, and once actually took it out and handed it to a security guard who questionned him. :D

carpettbaggerr
September 3, 2004, 04:02 PM
I'd say " Oh, you mean my gun?" With a big smile on my face. Nobody'll believe it, especially if it's somewhere that CCW is illegal.

Not that I'd carry anywhere it's illegal. :D

Thumper
September 3, 2004, 04:09 PM
Betcha a dollar he's a gun guy and he was just making conversation.

You know photog vest means gun. So does he...you think he knows because of his high end rent a cop training,

...or because he's a shooter?

Zrex
September 3, 2004, 04:13 PM
You should have asked him if he was hitting on you. That usually pisses them off enough to where they forget why they asked you in the first place.

Devonai
September 3, 2004, 04:16 PM
It's a good thing that you did not admit to anything. Chances are you were in violation of federal law.

The building contains several places of business that are open to the general public, including retail and restaurants. I doubt the entire thing is considered government property, but I suppose I could find out for sure.

Oh, and to which federal law are you referring? 18 USC 930? *yawn*

My only concern is running into somebody who doesn't read English as well as I and claims that 18 USC 930 doesn't mean what it says it does.

sendec
September 3, 2004, 05:15 PM
Why do people feel the need to make a smart remark in situations like these? Do you really think that you'll be the first who has blessed the officer or guard with your laser-like wit?

I'm sure They laugh at Us as much as We laugh at Them.

Lone_Gunman
September 3, 2004, 05:31 PM
If your carry gun prints at all, fix the problem. It is totally unacceptable for anyone to be able to see (even through "printing") that you are carrying.


So why is printing totally unacceptable? I don't want my gun to print either, but I dont see that as a real big deal.

.45&TKD
September 3, 2004, 05:59 PM
The building contains several places of business that are open to the general public, including retail and restaurants. I doubt the entire thing is considered government property, but I suppose I could find out for sure.

Devonai- I don't know which law covers this, either. I only know what I was taught in AZ CCW classes at Caswell's in Mesa AZ.

Standing Wolf
September 3, 2004, 10:25 PM
Obvious solution to the problem: carry openly.

magsnubby
September 3, 2004, 10:25 PM
Why does everybody automatically assume a security guard is an imbecile? I have a freind that's a 2 tour Viet Nam combat Marine and one that's an army vet that had to give up driving truck because of an injury and they're both very commited to their jobs in security. Both are damn fine stand up guys. Both are avid hunters and shooters and the kind of guys i would want working for me (or backing me up if SHTF).

So instead of judging the guy why don't you just give him the benifit of the doubt and assume he was doing his job? Isn't that what security is for,to spot weapons and suspicious packages?

Rember, that guy behind the desk could be a kid working his way through school, a retired LEO or a combat vet. Give 'em a break.

Stand_Watie
September 3, 2004, 10:46 PM
Betcha a dollar he's a gun guy and he was just making conversation

Based on ten years in the business, that's my guess, especially if he said it in a friendly manner. Security guarding tends to be a boring task, especially the particular type of assignment you described, and it attracts a lot of gun guys. Many of them would love to have new friend stop by once or twice a week and shoot the bull about target scores etc. He might have been out of line (I don't know his specific area of responsibility or assigned duty, so I'll leave that open) to ask the question, but I wouldn't immediately conclude his intent was hostile or even duty related unless he was projecting that attitude.

Devonai
September 3, 2004, 11:15 PM
Agreed. Like I said in my initial post, I'm usually friendly with these guys.

And I, for one, will never bash security guards. Been there, done that, and would do it again if need be.

Oh, and carrying openly is a problem since my boss doesn't know I carry at all. I can predict his response and it probably will result in a new job search. It is a very small courier company (my boss is the owner) so there is no employee manual or rule book, but I'm sure he wouldn't understand why I would "need" to carry a firearm. Perhaps I've misjudged him but I don't want it to come to that. Concealed means concealed.

Stand_Watie
September 3, 2004, 11:56 PM
And I, for one, will never bash security guards. Been there, done that, and would do it again if need be.

Security guards are often maligned, and the combination of low pay and perception of authority attracts enough misfits and maladjusteds that the bashing is all too frequently deserved. But for every one of the those there is a young fellow transitioning into a law enforcement career, a military guy transitioning back into the civilian world, a successful retiree, a temporarily under-employed insurance agent, or just an egghead who doesn't prefer the rat race.

People love to snicker about the Richard Jewel's of the world, and tend to forget that after the facts were analyzed properly it turned out that the funny looking "cop wanabee" who radiated Barney Fife self-importance saved a bunch of (or at least several) people's lives just because he did a good job in his low-paying position.

Highpower1
September 4, 2004, 05:40 AM
just say "no speaka english" and keep walking and smiling. As long as your not going threw his "checkpoint" it's No-ya-business for him.

stealthmode
September 4, 2004, 06:38 AM
now you have to start carrying like bruce willis in die hard when it was taped to his back:D

Moparmike
September 4, 2004, 07:49 AM
I would have said something like "a main battle tank" or "a squadron of A-10's." Something really outrageous. :D :cool:





That reminds me of when I went to Nashville in June. I went to the gunshow there, and I was asked if I had any concealed weapons. I replied "Just my Barret .50bmg." I saw the guy's eyes go like :what: and then he just :D. I then said "Its a pain to coneal one of those things..." I am sure he was :rolleyes: when I was walking away.

He asked again when I took my purchases outside and came back. "No, just that Barret I walked in with." It was then his friend's turn to :what: when he said "Oh, right. Go on in." Then it clicked for his friend.:D :D

Chipperman
September 4, 2004, 10:19 AM
"Whatch got under the vest?"

A phased plasma rifle, 40 watt range. :D

Tom Servo
September 4, 2004, 01:04 PM
A phased plasma rifle, 40 watt range.
Hey, what's a good price for one of those?:)

I worked in retail for a few years where I was expected to carry and act as defacto security. It was in Midtown Atlanta, where you get a 50/50 mix of yuppie and thug, and it's sometimes hard to tell the difference. If I noticed something like that, I'd just ask in a casual and friendly tone, "hey, watcha carry?" Legitemate folks would warm up and tell me straight out, and I'd have a few seconds of nice conversation. The wrong folks would stammer and do their best to get going quick. I never had anyone respond with hostility. It's all in how you ask, I suppose.

Firethorn
September 4, 2004, 01:38 PM
A 40 Watt plasma pistol ain't going to do much. Think about how hot a 40W bulb gets. It'll blister people, but that's about all.

Now, my 40 kilowatt plasma rifle... That'll leave a mark.

Edmond
September 4, 2004, 01:46 PM
A 40 Watt plasma pistol ain't going to do much. Think about how hot a 40W bulb gets. It'll blister people, but that's about all.

Now, my 40 kilowatt plasma rifle... That'll leave a mark.

You telling us that you would outgun the T-800?:cool:

Greg L
September 4, 2004, 02:44 PM
Of course, I'm about convinced that I could walk through the mall with my IWB 1911 exposed and a T-shirt that reads "There Is A Pistol On My Right Hip" and maybe one person in fifty would even notice... Most people are absolutely 100% absorbed with whatever is six inches in front of their nose

Or depending on how tight the tshirt was, six inches (well, a little more probably) below your nose.

:neener:

Greg :D

kentucky bucky
September 4, 2004, 05:08 PM
Make sure that you are legal (you don't want to be hassled by the Feds) and then be friendly and kill him with kindness. That job is boring and often looked down upon. It's a shame, because it's important for or courts and most of the people are decent guys just trying to make a living.

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