4th Circuit: Carrying a Firearm in an OC State Does Not Create Reasonable Suspicion


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Bubbles
March 18, 2013, 11:58 PM
That's one heck of a headline...Fourth Circuit Finds That Carrying a Firearm in an Open-Carry State Does Not Create Reasonable Suspicion and Provides Thorough Analysis of the "Free to Leave" Standard of Seizure (http://www.fedagent.com/columns/case-law-updates/784-fourth-circuit-finds-that-carrying-a-firearm-in-an-open-carry-state-does-not-create-reasonable-suspicion-and-provides-thorough-analysis-of-the-free-to-leave-standard-of-seizure)

“...it is undisputed that under the laws of North Carolina, which permit its residents to openly carry firearms . . . Troupe’s gun was legally possessed and displayed. The Government contends that because other laws prevent convicted felons from possessing guns, the officers could not know whether Troupe was lawfully in possession of the gun until they performed a records check. . . . We are not persuaded. Being a felon in possession of a firearm is not the default status. More importantly, where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention. Permitting such a justification would eviscerate Fourth Amendment protections for lawfully armed individuals in those states.”

Good overturning! Now I just need to send a link to the decision to the cops in Wheeling, WV so they stop messing with OC'ers. :D

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General Geoff
March 19, 2013, 01:25 AM
Great news about the ruling!


One question though, why did this case even end up in a Federal court? From a brief skimming of the article, it seems that local police were the ones involved. Does NC not have a prohibition against convicted felons possessing firearms?

NavyLCDR
March 19, 2013, 01:58 AM
Basically the same thing/ruling happened in Washington State as well... open carry of a firearm alone does not provide legal justification for a Terry Stop:

State V. Casad

http://forum.nwcdl.org/index.php?action=downloads;sa=downfile&id=9

Part of the problem is that even some "pro-2A" gun owners/carriers treat open carry of a firearm as worthy of suspicion.

sonick808
March 19, 2013, 03:13 AM
Very pragmatic opinion. I gained back a modicum of faith in the system!

MagnumDweeb
March 19, 2013, 10:41 AM
Okay so do we get this to the SCOTUS and make open carry national?

tyeo098
March 19, 2013, 11:12 AM
Well... like, the guy WAS carrying illegally, its just the method how how the police found out that let him go free :D

Rather neat case though and a education in not-so-voluntary encounters.

krupparms
March 19, 2013, 12:35 PM
Gen.G., I am not an attorney. But I know of a similar case! The local PD was involved, but it is in federal court because of federal civil rights violation! That may be the reason it is in federal court there!

Frank Ettin
March 19, 2013, 12:44 PM
Federal court is usually the preferred forum when there's jurisdiction and the core issue is a constitutional issue.

krupparms
March 19, 2013, 12:47 PM
Can anyone please provide a link to this ruling? I would like to send it to someone! Thanks! The above is what I was told also.

Bubbles
March 19, 2013, 01:30 PM
The link was at the very bottom of the article:
http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinions/Published/115084.p.pdf

krupparms
March 19, 2013, 01:42 PM
Thanks I found it. Didn't scroll down far enough! Thought it was nothing there. On cell phone. Thanks for the information! WILL PASS it on!

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