Open carry..part of the problem is Police actually responding...


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wickedsprint
April 10, 2008, 01:07 PM
Based on what I see in terms of open carry confrontation stories, it seems the police could go a long way towards changing public perception, if they wanted to. If someone calls in a man with a gun for open carry, why aren't the cops simply saying.sir/mam this is perfectly legal in this state, is he waving it about..well if he waves it about or points it at someone call us back. The fact that they actually respond to the situation every single time simply fuels the callers self justification that their call was legitimate.

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WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 01:51 PM
I agree.

In most parts of Arizona, I think "man with guns" calls go exactly as you describe.

The police are citizens like you and I. They aren't lawyers, and there is a lot of law--too much for any one man to know (and that's part of the problem). Education is a big piece of what needs to happen. In states where open carry isn't common, even though lawful, the flatfoot may not even know that it is lawful. After all, if nobody does it, there must be a reason, and perhaps that reason is because it is illegal.

Combine that with some predjudice ("I don't like it, so I'm going to find a law that lets me keep you from doing it"), and vague laws ("going to the terror of the public"), and open carry advocates in those states have a long row to hoe.

RP88
April 10, 2008, 02:23 PM
a department can fix the indiscretion with a thirty-minute or less meeting about common and carry gun laws in the street.

Even then, the police are still obliged to show up if requested for whatever reason, and even if they know that you're legally within bounds, the complaining manager won't care, and will ask you to leave. Either way, it ends with the same result.

Reyn
April 10, 2008, 02:29 PM
Because in my experience people call and say theres a man with a gun but dont go into details. Same with someone calling in a suspicious car in the neighborhood. Its not illegal to drive through an area but you can bet if the police didnt respond and something came about or houses were broken into then the MAJORITY of society would holler sue,fire them and everything else.

If someone called in a man with a gun and the police didnt respond and he did start shooting at people can you imagine the outcry.

Police dont know what they have til they investigate.

WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 02:36 PM
I don't think they are obligated to show up in Arizona when called for "man with gun," RP88. Open Carry is no longer common in the city in Arizona, and yet no police have come to interview me over it. I find that remarkable. With the number of people moving here from California and unfamiliar with the legality of open carry, there should have been at least a few 911 calls generated. There was at least one I overheard ("yeah, he's got a gun!"), so I know they happen. And yet the police don't show.

So here, at least, the dispatchers do, I imagine, ask, "Is he doing anything?"

"Well, he's pumping gas."

"Anything else?"

"Well.... no."

"Threathing you?"

"No, but he has a gun!"

"That's lawful in Arizona. Call us back if he does something illegal, ok?"

If it can be like that here, it can be like that in other states. It's a long road to where Arizona is from where other states are, but it can happen.

MarcusWendt
April 10, 2008, 02:38 PM
In a perfect world it would be that way and while I sympathize and sort of agree we can thank lawyers and loons for the fact that PD usually responds.

The first time PD fails to respond and it turn out to be another mall or school shooter, you can bet your behind someone will sue. It will be a PR nightmare and someone's head will roll. Sadly, that's just the way it is.

WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 02:43 PM
Overwhelm them. They'll get tired of it and stop responding.

There are more of us then there are them. The math works in our favor.

ffxmike
April 10, 2008, 02:53 PM
Overwhelm them. They'll get tired of it and stop responding.

There are more of us then there are them. The math works in our favor.

That doesn't work when dealing with public agencies. They'll simply need a larger budget to hire new officers to deal with all the calls they've been getting.

WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 02:56 PM
Goodness gracious. I guess there's no hope, then.

What time does American Idol come on?

ffxmike
April 10, 2008, 03:15 PM
I'm not saying there is no hope, I'm simply saying attempting to overwhelm them does not achieve the goal, since it simply allows them to say they have had X amount of calls, and that is an increase from the same time the previous week / month / year, and thereby request increased funding to deal with increased volume.


But thank you for being melodramatic.

TexasRifleman
April 10, 2008, 03:22 PM
ven then, the police are still obliged to show up if requested for whatever reason,

How you figure?

Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. 1981).

..a government and its agencies are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen...

hitbackfirst
April 10, 2008, 03:29 PM
Overwhelm them. They'll get tired of it and stop responding.

There are more of us then there are them. The math works in our favor.

I think a better plan is to overwhelm the public that place the stupid calls in the first place. If Mr. anti-gun idiot looks around and sees three or four or five people open carrying, he is going to be less likely to report it, especially if he sees it all over the place.

"911 What is your emergency?"

"Men with guns! Lots of them!"

"Are they together?"

"No, but they have guns!"

"What are they doing?"

"While, one is pumping gas, one is buying a bag of chips, and one is walking his dog... Uh, never mind..."

WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 03:31 PM
Well, that was melodramatic, wasn't it :)

Ok, look. They can request budget all they want. But budgets and hiring take time. How much time does it take us to strap on a holster and go to the store or go for an exercise walk?

Budgets don't come from nowhere. They come from bond elections. Your neighbors vote for those, and the pennies are getting tighter these days. They might say no.

Police departments have trouble staffing up to meet minor hiring increases. Personnel aren't always easy to find.

For these reasons, I think it would be easy to overwhelm a department to the point that the only sensible thing to do would be for it to put in place sensible guidelines for dispatchers to triage "man with gun" calls, same as they do here in Arizona. I'll bet a dozen activists, adhering to the strict letter of the law, in one precinct would be all it takes to overwhelm their capacity to respond to "man with gun calls."

Never mind getting the public used to it in short order.

Vern Humphrey
April 10, 2008, 03:33 PM
Overwhelm them. They'll get tired of it and stop responding.

There are more of us then there are them. The math works in our favor.
That's what's happening in Virginia right now. Virginia has open carry -- but the CCW law forbids concealed carry in an establishment that serves liquor.

There are no bars in Virginia -- only restaurants can serve alcohol, and most of them do. So this means you can't CCW in a restaurant. For years, many of us (when I lived there) would simply take off our cover garment and carry openly when we went to a restaurant.

Now there's a move for everyone with a CCW to do it, and make it blindingly obvious to the nervous nannies that seeing someone carrying a gun is nothing to get upset about.

wickedsprint
April 10, 2008, 03:40 PM
I wonder if they're obliged to show up if you simply call in a weird person walking down the street unarmed.

MarcusWendt
April 10, 2008, 03:52 PM
I wonder if they're obliged to show up if you simply call in a weird person walking down the street unarmed.

It happens all the time. "obliged" by law, no, by policy, likely. Sadly it's most frequently to handle some poor white person who got scared when a black or Latino person walked into their Aryan bastion of safety.

Vern Humphrey
April 10, 2008, 03:56 PM
I wonder if they're obliged to show up if you simply call in a weird person walking down the street unarmed.
I know of a couple who stopped at a Subway shop in New Jersey, and left with their subs. As they were pulling out of the parking lot, they were suddenly boxed in by police cars, and the cops yanked them out and threw them to the pavement and held them there.

The man, who had a broken back, was walking with a cane, and some ******* called it in as "a man with a gun."

There was quite a lawsuit over that.

coloradokevin
April 10, 2008, 03:58 PM
Open carry..part of the problem is Police actually responding...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Based on what I see in terms of open carry confrontation stories, it seems the police could go a long way towards changing public perception, if they wanted to. If someone calls in a man with a gun for open carry, why aren't the cops simply saying.sir/mam this is perfectly legal in this state, is he waving it about..well if he waves it about or points it at someone call us back. The fact that they actually respond to the situation every single time simply fuels the callers self justification that their call was legitimate.

And we always will be sent. Consider the culture we live in... Departments are very very worried about liability. Every time a mass shooting occurs, the finger starts being pointed at the LE agencies saying: "they knew X, Y, and Z, why -- oh why -- didn't they stop this??".

Imagine if we got a call of a person with a gun, refused to show up, and someone was killed!

We will be there, any time someone calls for us. It is what we do.

I wonder if they're obliged to show up if you simply call in a weird person walking down the street unarmed.

Yes. We are, at least in my department. You would be amazed at the stupid stuff I get called to on a daily basis. As a general rule, if they call, we go.

Overwhelm them. They'll get tired of it and stop responding.

That is absolutely and positively not true.

We will still be dispatched, but the overall response time of the police department to any given call will decrease. For the obvious reasons stated above, armed party calls are given higher priority than burglary calls and the like (just like shots fired, DOMV, etc -- anything where a potential threat of life/safety is occuring).

So, dispatch will hold the calls until an officer is available, and then we will be sent... In the mean time, I hope you don't need the police for a burglary report!

WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 04:16 PM
coloradokevin, How can your management justify having you sent out to investigate non-crimes?

If I called to complain because my neighbor's grass was growing, would the dispatcher send you, each and every time, or would the dispatcher explain that that is not a crime?

A few questions can distinguish whether "man with a gun" is a crime in progress, or a citizen going along with his business.

Vern Humphrey
April 10, 2008, 04:22 PM
coloradokevin, How can your management justify having you sent out to investigate non-crimes?

If I called to complain because my neighbors grass was growing, would the dispatcher send you, each and every time, or would the dispatcher explain that that is not a crime?

A few questions can distinguish whether "man with a gun" is a crime in progress, or a citizen going along with his business.
If a police department allows its efficiency to deteriorate because it is responding to non-crimes, that department needs a new chief.

El Tejon
April 10, 2008, 04:30 PM
There are no bars in Virginia

:what:

No, No, No, I don't want to believe you. Mommy, get the bad man to stop!:p

If they are going to play CYA, it is in our best interest to make it an educational experience for the police. Eddie Haskell up, let them see that you are committing no crime. Letters to the editor, talk with your police chief, Sheriff, etc. Dress up, shave, look like a upstanding citizen.

As a wise and learned member of THR, El Tejon, says: change the culture, change the world.

JesseL
April 10, 2008, 04:37 PM
I'm gonna have to ask the local police about this next time I see one.

My experience mirrors Wayne's. I've never had the police approach me about open carry. I've occasionally walked past police officers around the downtown courthouse square while open carrying, and all that happened was a pleasant exchange of nods and greetings.

Vern Humphrey
April 10, 2008, 04:41 PM
A good friend of mine, Ernie Pagette (whom some will recognize as a former member of the NRA Board of Directors) came up with a brilliant program in a slightly different situation.

The issue was deer hunting in Fairfax County, VA, right across the river from DC. As you can imagine, there were lots of bleeding hearts who opposed it, but there are plenty of wooded areas in that county, and they were over-run with deer.

So Ernie made a telephone list of all the powers-that-be, from the police chief's home phone, to the County Supervisors.

And the ladies would call at all hours of the day and night, "There's a deer in my yard!! I had to take my children inside for protection!"

"A deer jumped right in front of my car, as I was bringing my children home from soccer practice."

"There are deer all over my neighborhood! My children will get Lyme disease! Do something!"

It worked.

txgho1911
April 10, 2008, 04:57 PM
Open carry is legal in Indiana with a license. If I ask a SP or IMPD LEO I have a good chance of being lied to. I have never been hassled or jacked up over it.
If approached it is an opportunity for the officer to meet a good guy. If he doesn't have the right attitude a recorder would be handy.
Every edu opportunity resulting from a call should include the caller.

coloradokevin
April 10, 2008, 05:45 PM
coloradokevin, How can your management justify having you sent out to investigate non-crimes?

If I called to complain because my neighbor's grass was growing, would the dispatcher send you, each and every time, or would the dispatcher explain that that is not a crime?

A few questions can distinguish whether "man with a gun" is a crime in progress, or a citizen going along with his business.

Wayne,

I honestly can't say for sure on whether or not every one of those "grass growing" calls makes it to us... I've never worked dispatch, so I can't promise that they don't set a few people straight.

However, I can tell you this:

1) In the past week of work I was sent to approximately 15 calls of a panhandler standing on a street corner with a sign, non-aggressively panhandling. This is NOT a crime, and is common in the urban area where i work. But, a nearby resident always calls in, every single time he sees this activity, and we are dispatched every single time.

2) I was sent to a call two weeks ago that was similar to the hypothetical you laid out. When I got there I learned that the dispute involved only that a neighbor didn't like the types of flowers/herbs that her neighbor was growing in her garden, because she said they didn't look nice in the neighborhood. We had a return call to this same address a couple of hours later. I don't know if the dispatcher was given the whole story up front... But I can say that when they dispatched the call she did state that it was a neighbor dispute over landscaping.

3) At least once weekly (probably more like an average of three times weekly) I am sent to a "landlord/tenant dispute" or a "roommate dispute". Disputes over rent and leases are not our business, and fall under civil (not criminal) law. We still get sent.


Additionally, the area where I work is one of the highest crime areas in our region. If someone has a gun carried openly, it is generally for an unlawful purpose... At the very least, I think it is not inappropriate for an officer to drive by and check on the situation. Again, where would the liability fall if a shooting DID occur, and we had refused to respond?

I think things could be viewed in a much different manner for a rural department where lawfully owned guns are more common. In some areas of my state it isn't really that uncommon to see folks open carrying, but I obviously can't comment on how the agencies that patrol these areas respond to the situation.

If you read the other thread on this subject (the Walmart one that I believe sparked this thread), I mentioned that Colorado has some complicated home rule laws. In essence, a court decision has determined that various jurisdictions are able to restrict open carry as well (this is a complicated issue, and is being debated WELL above my pay grade!).

Vern Humphrey
April 10, 2008, 05:50 PM
Again, where would the liability fall if a shooting DID occur, and we had refused to respond?
Where would the liability fall if you didn't respond because you were checking out a panhandler, mediating a dispute over rent, or explaining it is not a crime to grow petunias instead of gladiolas?

It seems to me that your manpower is already being mis-managed.

yhtomit
April 10, 2008, 05:55 PM
"Overwhelm them. They'll get tired of it and stop responding."

This, and the "deer in the yard" story above, make me a bit leery. I have seen a case (just last week in fact) in a local court where a frustrated -- but not all that bright -- fellow made several calls to 911 over a parking dispute, and even said something like "Oh, I've got a lot of friends with cell phones! We'll just keep calling until you do something about it!" (At the time, his earlier calls were already being responded to, and he was just angry that the cops hadn't yet arrived.)

Upshot: charged with filing false reports. Not something you want on your record.

timothy

xjchief
April 10, 2008, 05:55 PM
Quote:
I wonder if they're obliged to show up if you simply call in a weird person walking down the street unarmed.
It happens all the time. "obliged" by law, no, by policy, likely. Sadly it's most frequently to handle some poor white person who got scared when a black or Latino person walked into their Aryan bastion of safety.

Nice. Really nice. :scrutiny:

Vern Humphrey
April 10, 2008, 06:00 PM
Upshot: charged with filing false reports. Not something you want on your record.
Two points:

1. If there's a deer in your yard, and you call your County Supervisor, that is hardly a "false report."

2. The people who open carry are not calling in any reports at all -- it's the nervous nellies who see them.

WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 06:06 PM
coloradokevin, You practically did get sent out on a "the grass is growing" call! :D

Thanks for the well-reasoned response and the peek into the kind of calls you have to take. I'm sure the police in Arizona have to take a fair amount of that type, too.

What's fascinating to me is why the police here in Arizona don't dispatch to all "man with gun" calls, and police in a different state, where open carry is also lawful, are always dispatched to "man with gun" calls. My questions are, to what degree is that difference in dispatching driven by practical matters ("'men with guns' here are almost always criminals: We better check them out, or we'll be sorry!"), or prejudice ("men with guns scare people!"), not just for your area, where you indicate that it is usually criminals seen with guns, but for other areas as well. And then, what will it take to change things so that open carry is possible in all states without your bosses needing to dispatch you to investigate every instance.

Colorado's complicated "home rule" laws need to be straightened out. They could be helped by Arizona style "non preemption" law, where local law is not allowed to override state law on most matters where firearms are concerned.

coloradokevin
April 10, 2008, 06:56 PM
Colorado's complicated "home rule" laws need to be straightened out. They could be helped by Arizona style "non preemption" law, where local law is not allowed to override state law on most matters where firearms are concerned.

I agree. Who would have thought that something as simple as "open carry" could bring up so many questions in a given state?

I'd never really heard of such a thing (as "homer rule") until I moved to Colorado some years back.

Where I grew up it was always Fed trumps state, state trumps local.

The home rule thing wans't even brought up in our academy either... I first heard about it while assigned to patrol, during a roll-call debate about what the actual gun laws currently are in our area.

Scary part of the discussion was when we realized the number of different interpretations we collectively had of something that should be a black-and-white yes/no kind of question! Either something is legal, or is not... Colorado started to play in shades of grey, apparently.

So, as a LEO, instead of pulling out the state statutes to obtain the verbage of laws, I guess I am also supposed to consult local ordinances and court case law... then draw up something resembling my own conclusions accordingly?

Most of our issues in this state have evolved as the result of a dispute between the city of Denver and the state legislature on who gets to call the shots within Denver itself (I think a few smaller cities were also involved, but Denver is kind of the "big fish" in CO).

Here is a link to one of the articles about the current situation in Colorado. I believe this is the most current position on this situation:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4753558,00.html

And here is the text of the legal ruling from the Denver District Court:

http://www.courts.state.co.us/exec/media/cases/03cv3809order.pdf

Mainsail
April 10, 2008, 07:16 PM
It all will depend on how common open carry is where you live. When I started carrying openly here in Tacoma, I was stopped by a police officer, disarmed, and lectured with hostility for 45 minutes. He told me that because I have a permit that I couldn’t carry openly (not true). He told me it was illegal in the park I was in (not true). He told me that if he ever heard about me carrying openly again he would respond, even if he wasn’t the one dispatched to the call, and confiscate my pistol.

He later lied in a written report to his sergeant over the matter, and more shamefully, made his partner lie to cover for him. Fast forward eight months; I have some museum security ninjas call the cops because I traversed their property. Same officer responds and asks (much nicer this time) for my permit. I refused to give it to him because I wasn’t carrying a concealed weapon. I ask if I’m being detained, he says no, we part company.

Today I walked around a different park with my Sig 1911 on my belt. I saw at least five police cars (or the same police car five times), one of which drove right down the path through the center of the park, and two motorcycle officers. None stopped. If they were dispatched because of a MWAG call, they did their investigation without even getting out of the car.

There is no firearms exception to the rules of Terry. A police officer cannot detain you without reasonable articuable suspicion that a crime is afoot. If open carry is legal, what can he use to justify seizing you?

WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 07:45 PM
Please let me make one request. This has been a remarkable conversation, rational and clear, occupying the high ground all the way. However, with Mainsail's story, it has the potential to veer off into cop-bashing territory in with terrifying rapidity.

Let's not go there, m'kay?

My gripes, if I have any, have been with the policy makers, not with the flatfoots themselves, and I hope I've made that clear. Mailsail got a bad rap from a bad flatfoot, but stood his ground, and things improved in his area.

Let's keep this conversation on the high ground where it belongs, please.

Mainsail
April 10, 2008, 08:07 PM
I wasn’t cop bashing, I was reporting the facts of two disparate encounters with an officer.

yhtomit
April 10, 2008, 08:32 PM
1. If there's a deer in your yard, and you call your County Supervisor, that is hardly a "false report."

And the ladies would call at all hours of the day and night, "There's a deer in my yard!! I had to take my children inside for protection!"

Forgive me; it sounded like the ladies might be calling for effect rather than because they had just ("at all hours of the night") had to take their children inside.

2. The people who open carry are not calling in any reports at all -- it's the nervous nellies who see them.

Overwhelm them. They'll get tired of it and stop responding.


Again, perhaps I misunderstood -- I thought you were advocating that pro-open carry callers overwhelm the police lines with their own (facetious) nervous-nelly reports, because that's what it sounds like to me.

timothy

frogomatic
April 10, 2008, 08:49 PM
Consider the culture we live in... Departments are very very worried about liability. Every time a mass shooting occurs, the finger starts being pointed at the LE agencies saying: "they knew X, Y, and Z, why -- oh why -- didn't they stop this??".


and this is evidence of a great portion of the population that doesn't want to take responsibility for itself. It is sad that so many stand idle, point, and blame everything else for the problems of the world.

k_dawg
April 10, 2008, 09:08 PM
You know.. why doesn't the NRA have a campaign to inform the police AND the public? [ where it is legal to openly carry. ]

WayneConrad
April 10, 2008, 09:18 PM
Mainsail, I know you weren't cop bashing. I apologize for giving the impression that I thought you were. But someone was gonna come along behind you and start in. Based on past performance in previous threads.

TexasRifleman
April 10, 2008, 09:20 PM
You know.. why doesn't the NRA have a campaign to inform the police AND the public? [ where it is legal to openly carry. ]

So you'd rather have the NRA spend money in a place that, for all intents and purposes, the 2A war is won rather than spend it in places where it's not?

If you live somewhere open carry is legal you're ahead of 99% of the country.

You really want NRA spending money THERE?

Kpdpipes
April 10, 2008, 10:10 PM
coloradokevin, You practically did get sent out on a "the grass is growing" call!

Thanks for the well-reasoned response and the peek into the kind of calls you have to take. I'm sure the police in Arizona have to take a fair amount of that type, too.


Wayne, close to 80% of calls an average Police Dept responds to are "Service" in nature, rather than Criminal in nature. In an average shift we respond to Animal Complaints (barking dogs, **** ther's a Bat/Raccoon/Possum in my house/hallway) Car and house Lockouts, Civil issues such as landlord/tenant disputes or neighbors arguing over fenclines..you get the idea

Aguila Blanca
April 10, 2008, 10:15 PM
In general ... the police are obligated to respond and investigate if there is a report of illegal activity. They are not obligated to respond to reports of lawful activity. Want to test it? Call your local ploice department and tell them you just saw someone walk past the front of your house with a dog on a leash. Betcha they'll tell you there's no law against that, and hang up. They might even wish you (insincerely) a nice day.

"Man with a gun" calls *SHOULD* be handled the same way, in jurisdictions where carry is legal. Sadly, too many police and dispatchers are both ignorant of the laws AND predisposed to think that ordinary people should not have guns, so they are generally happy to respond whenever there's a report of a man with a gun. Doesn't matter if the report doesn't suggest that anything illegal is taking place. They'll drop their donuts and hot-foot it over there anyway. And then they usually harrass the person who is lawfully carrying, rather than informing the idiot who called in the report that what they reported is completely legal, and asking them to please not bother the police with nuisance calls any more.

But ... that won't allow them to pursue their objective.

If this appears to be cop bashing, please keep in mind that I do not live in AZ, VT or AK. I know for a fact, first-hand, that in my state the state and local police make up rules against personal carry (open or concealed, but especially open) that go far beyond the minimal restrictions actually established by state law. If the basis of law is that "that which is not written as illegal is thus legal," then a law that says only that I must have a permit to "carry a handgun" must, since it does not specify "concealed," therefore allow open carry as well as concealed carry.

The police in my state do not view it quite that way.

LAK
April 11, 2008, 06:54 AM
In any state where open carry is perfectly legal the first question a dispatcher should ask a complaintant is, in effect; is this person engaged in or appear to be engaged in the commission of a crime? And if "yes"; what [specify] crime?.

If the caller can not articulate one of these, or simply insists "someone is wearing a gun" they should be advised that open carry is not a crime in [state]. A competent dispatcher should be able to tell if the caller starts attempting to build up some story in order to persuade a response.

---------------------------------

http://searchronpaul.com
http://ussliberty.org/oldindex.html
http://www.gtr5.com
http://ssunitedstates.org

partyharty
April 11, 2008, 04:21 PM
(coloradokevin)

Additionally, the area where I work is one of the highest crime areas in our region.
... At the very least, I think it is not inappropriate for an officer to drive by and check on the situation. Again, where would the liability fall if a shooting DID occur, and we had refused to respond?
(/coloradokevin)

I do have a problem with this although I believe that the rest that you have written was very well thought out.

#1 If someone has a gun carried openly, it is generally for an unlawful purpose.

This is an over generalization pretty much anywhere. I am not aware of the laws in CO but is it legal for someone to carry openly? If so then your above comment stands. Otherwise you have made an assumption prior to finding out the facts, thus the decision has already been (mostly) made prior to finding out what was going on. If it is in a high crime area I would want to carry simply for protection (although I would CC simply for the "surprise" factor).

#2 where would the liability fall if a shooting DID occur, and we had refused to respond?

This is easy, ON THE SHOOTER. Case law has already shown that the PD does not have an obligation to protect, or even to respond.

44AMP
April 11, 2008, 05:01 PM
There are a couple of potential pitfalls, other than underinformed LEOs. And they can happen without any action on your part, other than just being there, carrying openly.

Although different states use different language generally the two issues are called "brandishing a firearm" and "disturbing the peace"

The "brandishing" charge usually requires some form of agressive behavior, such as pointing the gun at someone or something, or generally waving it about. Now, you would not do this (at least without a valid reason) but you might be reported as doing it, by someone with an agenda, either against you personally, or against the principle of open carry. This can cause a bit of hassle for you, even if when the cops show up your gun is holstered and you are calm and reasonable. If the caller says you were doing it when they called, and you (naturally) say BS, then the cops have to decide who is telling the truth, and they could decide against you. If they do, you must comply with them, including submitting to arrest, but you do have legal recourse. If the decide the caller is lying, they will go after them for filing a false police report. Either way, it is likely that you are going to be detained until the situation is sorted out.

The other situation can be even more sticky. Suppose you are minding your own business, walking down the public street, carrying openly, and some idiot yells "He's got a gun!" People start running, maybe fall down, get hurt, panic ensues, maybe even someone runs infront of a speeding motorcar! The Horror!:eek:

In a perfect world you would not be charged, or if charged, would be exonerated, as you did nothing to disturb the peace, it was the idiot who yelled "he's got a gun!" who caused the trouble. BUT, we live in a far from perfect world. Be prepared for a big hassle, if you exercise your legal rights in an area that is not used to seeing people exercise their right to be openly armed.

You can also use the argument that your carrying a gun (in a completely legal manner) is a political statement, an exercise of your First Amendment rights. Just as burning a flag is legally protected speech, your legal carry could be as well. This might even go over better with some people than claiming a 2nd Amendment right (that they don't happen to believe in). I'm no lawyer, so this advice is worth what you pay for it, and it would be a wise move to have an actual attorney advise you on whether or not it is a valid argument before attempting to use it, but it makes sense to me.

JesseL
April 11, 2008, 05:16 PM
There are a couple of potential pitfalls, other than underinformed LEOs. And they can happen without any action on your part, other than just being there, carrying openly.


Since people have been open carrying for some time now and we should have a pretty good handle on what the real consequences result from OC, how often do these incidents actually happen?

It's funny that people like to speculate as if open carry was a new phenomenon. It's not. Most of the places where OC is legal, it's been legal for going on a hundred years or more.

WayneConrad
April 11, 2008, 05:48 PM
The other situation can be even more sticky. Suppose you are minding your own business, walking down the public street, carrying openly, and some idiot yells "He's got a gun!" People start running, maybe fall down, get hurt, panic ensues, maybe even someone runs infront of a speeding motorcar! The Horror!
I think I saw that sketch. Buster Keaton wasn't it? Or was it Charlie Chaplin?

Where did you get that from? Let's stick with reality.

partyharty
April 11, 2008, 08:02 PM
,<quote>The other situation can be even more sticky. Suppose you are minding your own business, walking down the public street, carrying openly, and some idiot yells "He's got a gun!" People start running, maybe fall down, get hurt, panic ensues, maybe even someone runs infront of a speeding motorcar! The Horror!</quote>

Regular and off-duty LEO's open carry all the time. Since I have yet to hear of the situation above I can pretty much rule out that this is going to happen simply because a "commoner" is carrying a weapon.

Vern Humphrey
April 11, 2008, 08:11 PM
Regular and off-duty LEO's open carry all the time. Since I have yet to hear of the situation above I can pretty much rule out that this is going to happen simply because a "commoner" is carrying a weapon.
I have seen people I personally know as police officers openly carrying, with no uniform and no badge showing.

And funny thing -- no idiot yelled "He's got a gun!" People didn't start running, fall down, get hurt. No panic ensued, no one ran infront of a speeding motorcar! The Horror just didn't happen.

Maybe these people were ignorant of the fact they were supposed to panic?

Intune
April 12, 2008, 12:00 AM
And funny thing -- no idiot yelled "He's got a gun!" People didn't start running, fall down, get hurt. No panic ensued, no one ran infront of a speeding motorcar! The Horror just didn't happen.

Maybe these people were ignorant of the fact they were supposed to panic?
Dang, you're smooth Vern. But, if Halley's Comet was streaking across the skies during a full solar eclipse while an F5 tornado was raging and a tsunami was bearing down on us during a 7.5 earthquake and someone reported your OC or CCW gun... :what: I'd have to haul you in... :neener: Public safety, don'tchaknow! :evil:

We'll sort this out down at the station & don't you get uppity with me about the law whippersnapper. :D

P.S. If you were born before '58, I'll come up with another label. But I still gotta take you in. You, you,... Public Disturbance you! :banghead:

Blackbeard
April 12, 2008, 09:21 AM
You could start making your own "man with a gun" 911 calls every time you see a LEO carrying.

"Yes, he's dressed all in black and has a paramilitary style hat. He also appears to have a radio so there may be others. I don't know what they're planning."

Vern Humphrey
April 12, 2008, 10:52 AM
P.S. If you were born before '58, I'll come up with another label. But I still gotta take you in. You, you,... Public Disturbance you!
I was born in '41, and if yez lay yer paws on me, yez Amadan, I'll give yez a crack wid' me shellaigh that ye'll remember til yer dyin' day!

IME
April 12, 2008, 12:12 PM
You know.. why doesn't the NRA have a campaign to inform the police AND the public? [ where it is legal to openly carry. ]

So you'd rather have the NRA spend money in a place that, for all intents and purposes, the 2A war is won rather than spend it in places where it's not?

If you live somewhere open carry is legal you're ahead of 99% of the country.
You really want NRA spending money THERE?

Just because gains are made does not mean that they are secure.

This is an unsettled time concerning second amendment rights in the eyes of the population at large. While they hear gun horror stories ad nauseum from the media and some politicians, the stories about responsible gun ownership are few and far between.

It would probably be a healthy thing for the NRA and other like minded organizations to spend money in a concerted effort to solidify and protect the gains made in open carry states. If the "fear factor" can be diminished or eliminated in the population at large, the antis will find manipulation of public opinion to be much more difficult. What I fear is that, while we are fighting battles on one front, we are ignoring dangerous signs on other fronts.

While I live in an open carry state, if I am cowed into not enjoying that right by police and public pressure, the right is worthless to me. If enough open carry folks are cowed into thinking the same way, then the statute recognizing the right is rendered meaningless. The folks in the legislature have a way of dealing with meaningless, out of date statutes -- they repeal them.

ProguninTN
April 13, 2008, 11:50 PM
If they are going to play CYA, it is in our best interest to make it an educational experience for the police. Eddie Haskell up, let them see that you are committing no crime. Letters to the editor, talk with your police chief, Sheriff, etc. Dress up, shave, look like a upstanding citizen.


I support open carry, and I think El Tejon makes a good point. Do be cordial if LE gets called. I also agree with coloradokevin that LEO's should check and make sure that there is not a crime. (Just because they respond does not necessarily mean that they will be hostile.) I also work in Law Enforcement and have had calls that turned out to be false alarms. However, with the information received from the callers, we could not make that determination without responding.

The Unknown User
April 13, 2008, 11:59 PM
"Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. 1981)."

TexasRifleman, what significance does the alphanumeric characters following the Supreme Court case mean?

IME
April 14, 2008, 12:52 PM
The case is found on page one of the 444th volume of the Atlantic Reporter 2d edition. It reports a 1981 decision out of the appellate court sitting in the District of Columbia.

<><Peace

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