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Man arrested for (legally) open carrying AK47, scaring people.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Andrewsky, Jul 17, 2007.

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  1. Sage of Seattle

    Sage of Seattle Member

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    And so, therefore, you would fully support that person being arrested and charged with disorderly conduct because a man and his daughter were shocked at that display of legal behavior?

    To all of those on THR who say "don't do anything wrong and you won't get hassled" (with the implication that the person making that statement never does anything wrong) had better amend your statement to "don't do anything wrong or out of the ordinary and you won't get hassled."
     
  2. Macpherson

    Macpherson Member

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    I'd like to hear the guy's side of the story, for one, but who knows if we ever will. A lot of this does depend on the guy's behavior and the situation. If he had it slung and was merely walking from pt A to pt B and needed to pass through the neighborhood to do so, why shouldn't he be allowed to?
    If he was carrying the rifle in low ready walking up and down the street then there is definitely a problem. In either case I wouldn't object to the police being called, because this is unusual behavior and it's worth investigating, but that should have been the end of it. The fact that they arrested him and trumped up the disorderly charge just because the other party didn't think he should be carrying a rifle is where the problem begins :banghead:. The cops should have checked the guy out, told him to get lost if he didn't have a reason to be there, and told the other guy that there was no law broken. If I were the one arrested, I'd be talking to my lawyer about sueing the blissninny for harassment or deprivation of rights.
     
  3. bruss01

    bruss01 Member

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    But unfortunately, crazy people do. Crazy people are not a rarity anymore, I see any number of disturbed or dysfunctional people on a weekly basis. You don't know what they're capable of, given the opportunity. Schizophrenics, developmentally disabled, emotionally disturbed, PTSD's - and bad things can happen when they stumble across uncle Zeke's old hunting rifle in the back of the family closet.

    I have lived 20+ years in rural Iowa. Over a decade in NW Indiana and Chicago area. Nearly ten years in California. I have seen a few long guns in pickup truck rear windows, but I have NEVER seen a man walking down a residential street with an uncased long gun. My guess is that 90% of all American's experience in that regard is similar to mine. The key here is that it was not cased. If it had been simply in a zippered case, odds are that there would be no controversey here. School shootings happen. Mall shootings happen. Playground shootings... HAPPEN. But the rifle would have to come out of the case before mayhem could ensue. As long as it's in the case, you are one step removed from unleashing death and destruction, and that one step is all it takes for most folks to cut you the benefit of the doubt. But take it out of the case, and at that point folks are going to want - no NEED - to know just what your intentions are.

    Regardless of the technical legallity of his actions, carrying a long gun uncased (and to all appearances, loaded) is bound to stir up anxiety in your average residential neighborhood. People with a sense of social responsibility may be inclined to want to cut a fellow some slack in thinking that he MAY be just transporting his rifle, and didn't have a case - BUT are they willing to take that chance that he is not a crazy person with harm on his mind? Now mind you, a pistol open carried BUT IN A HOLSTER is a different matter because it is in a holster and not in your hands as if you intend to use it here and now. I think a person who has a sense of responsibility for his family and the lives of his neigbors has a responsibilty to have the situation checked out. The proper people to do this sort of checking is the police.

    Now, I think it's unfortunate that they feel like they have to charge the guy with "disorderly conduct" and most likely that was a political decision. However, look at it from a different perspective. The guy is displaying what (apparently for this jurisdiction, at least) is abnormal behavior while in posession of a firearm. The cops have to roll wheels even if it is just to cruise by and say "Dude, what's up with the rifle?" and find out he's just headed to his friend's house down the street to show him a new gun. How many of these types of calls before it becomes a drain on police resources? So, they try to discourage this type of thing and hope word gets around - if you're going to transport a rifle, out of public courtesy, please use a case.

    You may have a right to free speech, but would you expect to be held accountable if you yelled "fire" in a crowded theater? Sure, you have a right to say what you want, but if you carelessly act in a way that legitimately causes distress in others, you haven't acted responsibly. And for that, you can and should be held to account.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  4. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    A pistol could be drawn from a holster and fired a lot quicker than a rifle being carried on a sling over your shoulder.
     
  5. bruss01

    bruss01 Member

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    That may be true, TallPine, but people have become accustomed to sidearms being carried in holsters when not immediately in use by personnel (police, security guards, etc.) who carry these sidearms for hours and never remove them from the holster for use. Most people do not see a rifle "slung" unless it is being used (as by a hunter in the field or a soldier on the battlefield). They would especially not expect to see a rifle slung (presumably for immediate use) with a magazine inserted (presumably loaded) in a residential neighborhood where there is no plausible need for the rifle to be immediately available in that way. Even it it's technically legal, it's so unusual or abnormal to see that behavior in a residential neighborhood (my experience and I believe 90% of the US public's) that it bears checking out. Using an inexpensive soft zippered case, the kind available for $12 - $15 at Walmart, goes a long way towards observing public courtesy and would have prevented any kind of incident from occuring, I believe.
     
  6. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    You know I have complained about police state tactics here before.

    But I dont think there is cause for complaint this time. Alarmed citizens call police to report strange man with loaded AK walking through the neigborhood.
    Police respond and see man. No laws being broken open carry is OK. They then go to citizen who complained and say no law is broken unless you sign a complaint that says he scared you / created a disturbance, police need two signatures, and they get them from the two who complained. They then arrest man for creating a disturbance. The two folks will now have to appear in court and explain to a judge/jury why this man disturbed them, and it will have to fit the legal definition, and the judge/ jury will have to decide they are right, or it will be thrown out.

    Sounds to me like a neighbor dispute, over a loud stereo, or other less than neighborly behavior. this happens all the time.

    Quite frankly if this happened in my neighborhood, I might call the police as well, Heck if I felt he was a threat to me or mine, and he caused me to fear for my life or that of my neighbors or children I might be inclined to use deadly force before they arrived.
     
  7. Andrewsky

    Andrewsky Member

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    How do you know he wasn't transporting a large amount of cash to the bank or had a good reason to be carrying a rifle without a case?
     
  8. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    How do I know he wasn't an AlQaeda operative on a Jew hunt??

    About as likely as him taking a large amount of cash to the bank.
     
  9. Riktoven

    Riktoven Member

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    If the rifle was slung over my shoulder, then the neighbor who signed the complaint and the Police department would be getting sued if it were me.

    I understand everyone's views on some weirdo walking around the neighborhood with a rifle, but if the rifle was slung, then there's clearly no malicious intent at the moment. Hell, back in Indiana I'd be allowed to walk into Walmart with an AR15 slung over my shoulder.

    It's not illegal, and if that is so upsetting to you I'm going to give you the same advice anti's in Chicago give gunowners: work to change the law.

    The scared neighbor did the right thing calling police if he/she was concerned, but a quick questioning by the responding units to determine if there was any malicious intent should have been it if the rifle was slung.

    If it wasn't slung, and ANYONE involved thought that there was malicious intent, then why settle for "disturbing the peace" when "brandishing" or "assault" could be pushed?

    This is Bliss Ninnie BS, and I hope the neighbor with a grudge looses a couple months pay for using the taxpayer dollars on a personal vendetta.
     
  10. wjustinen

    wjustinen Member

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    Actually, the framers of the constitution recognized that it was, it is, and it always will be his right. They considered that right to be so important, not just to him but also to the entire country, that they mandated that the right must not be infringed.

    So, while the antis have continually violated that provision and may actually manage to remove the constitutional protection of that right entirely, they cannot remove the right.

    But enough semantics. Fact is carrying the rifle was lawful. The problem here is that we have many people who don't know how to handle a situation where a man with a gun threatens them. Therefore, they get scared and call the police whether there is any threat or not. The logical extension of that concern is to ban guns so that they never have to deal with such a situation.

    Of course, it has never worked before and it never will but look at the response to VT by college administrations. Reminds me of the gun shop clerk who told me during a conversation about concealed carry that he really didn't like the idea of people carrying guns into the shop.
     
  11. keeleon

    keeleon Member

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    I live in CA and have my whole life, so I count myself to lucky to be able to buy Firearm magazines (the reading kind). I am not familiar with how common it is to see someone with an uncased long rifle in other more rural states. I would guess though, that to most people, even a slung rifle would be rather intimidating in an out of place setting.

    I am not familiar on how open carry handgun laws work( living in CA). Are you allowed to carry a pistol in your hand if you don't own a holster? Are you allowed to carry a machete if it isn't in a sheath? As far as I see it that is considered "brandishing" which can actually constitute assault. If it is legal to hold a pistol in your hand per open carry laws, does that mean that you shouldn't second guess a guy walking down the street holding a glock cause "maybe he can't afford a holster"?

    I don't know if the guy had it slung on his back or was holding it at the ready, but regardless, I don't see why he couldn't put it in a case. If anything just to protect the rifle from the world, as opposed to the other way around.

    I am not saying that any charges against this guy are justified if he was just transporting it, and he probably was completely within his rights. But I disagree with all the "sheeple" (that's right, the term DOES go both ways) on here that are adamant that the guy did nothing wrong just by carrying it. And you are most likely lying if you say you wouldn't think a random guy walking down the street in a "non shooting" area with a loaded AK47 wouldn't scare you a little.

    Imagine a guy pacing up and down your street carrying a hammer, screwdriver or a crowbar. It might set off a few alarms if the circumstances allowed, but the guy just has an every day tool?
     
  12. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    So, what if he had been walking with it in his hands, but in a non-threatening manner? I hear people saying it should be cased, some saying it was ok slung, but I can carry a gun in a non threatening way in my hand. Why should that be differnt than slung?

    Cops were OK to check it out. If the guy was up to nothing, he's gonna get an expensive lesson in whats smart and not smart to do in public.
     
  13. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "The fact that they arrested him and trumped up the disorderly charge just because the other party didn't think he should be carrying a rifle is where the problem begins "

    You - we - don't know why the police did what they did. I surmise it had something to do with what the guy said to them. Maybe he was talking gibberish about the aliens and they felt the prudent thing to do was get the gun away from him. Maybe they'll arrest him and maybe they won't.

    I'd also bet some folding money that the guy was pacing up and down the block staring at people. Even money he was talking to himself, too.

    John
     
  14. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Member

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    I'll bet against that. Given the tone of the article and police, I suspect they'd of said so. Despite all the anti rhetoric of the article, it's clear from the facts given he was non-threatening, or else he'd of been arrested on the spot.
     
  15. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    As I stated before, I have seen such a thing and it didn't scare me. The guy wasn't acting threatening at all. In fact, he was waiting at a corner for the "WALK" signal. I suppose someone with ill intent would not obey the crosswalk signals. ;)

    Now, out where I live, the only "street" is the county road about 1/8 mile from our house. If someone is off of that road, then they are on my property and trespassing, unless they are one of my immediate neighbors (or their guests) using the easements through my land. I guess this doesn't qualify as a "non shooting" area though.
     
  16. SG Merc

    SG Merc Member

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    If that was indeed the case then the cops would still have been called--as soon as the bank staff saw an AK being carried into the building.
     
  17. Caimlas

    Caimlas Member

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    No, you scared your daughter, Costello. Maybe if you hadn't reacted in such a fearful, reactionary manner...

    And how is this different than, say, a police officer doing the same thing? Are they not prone to accidents and/or incidents? Seems police are involved in more violence than the average person, too!

    This is different than someone with a car, baseball bat, or pair of work boots, how?

    The proper response from the police would have been to talk to the guy, just like they would if they were investigating a person loitering around a neighborhood who was 'scaring parents' simply by his presence. Did he have a reason for doing what he was doing which was non-provocative? Did he have a criminal record and was there reason to believe he was doing something inappropriate? If yes and no, respectively, then let the man be!

    Maybe he didn't have a car and wanted to transport his rifle to a friend's house and/or to the range? There are a LOT of legit reasons why he may have been doing what he was doing. It's not exactly socially acceptable here in the US unfortunately(it would be in Israel), but it's not illegal, either. Shame on the police for using a catch-all for someone who has done nothing wrong!
     
  18. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I wasn't ever good at post modernist interpretations. So he was arrested for carry a gun legally even though it wasn't a law to be broken and so they made up a charge and charged him with the trumped up charge, but we all know why they really arrested him, which was for legally carrying?

    Thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack

    I hear the black choppers circling overhead.
     
  19. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Member

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    Well it quite clearly says the person who called the police called because the man was carrying an AK47 in the street. Police arrive and find the man isn't being aggressive so they can't arrest him (obvious from the fact that he was not yet arrested when if he was acting threateningly he could have been arrested on the spot) but confiscate the rifle (I'm suspecting illegally but I'd have to check AL law on that to see for sure), and seeing as how what he was doing was entirely legal and a right but some anti-gun people don't like it, the only way they can take this further to further harrass this man is to try a catch all charge of disorderly conduct. Looks pretty obvious to me in the article what's been done...the antis can't get him one way so they get him another. No tinfoil hats or black helicopters here, this is the way antis work to attack the Second Ammendment. If they can't ban guns or the carry of them they try other avenues to restrict them or make things miserable for gun owners.
     
  20. rtroha

    rtroha Member

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    Yes, in Akron, Ohio. A few years a woman who was home alone with her baby because her husband was out of town, answered the door holding her baby and carrying her gun. A woman selling magazines was frightened and called police. If I remember correctly, the woman with the baby was charged with assault and child endangerment.
     
  21. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    Just for the sake of discussion, let's stipulate that walking the street in a residential area carrying an AK-clone is legal and your right. What I want to know is, barring a state of emergency, what would your goal be in doing such a thing? Why_with no immediate or imminent need for lethal force_would you think it necessary to be out strolling the neighborhood with an AK-clone? What do you believe will be accomplished?
     
  22. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Member

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    Do you make the same argument against handgun carrying? They're both guns, both can be used to kill someone just as dead. The rifle is actually better for self defense even.
     
  23. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    Just two minutes from sanity.
    If you weren't going to answer some pretty simple questions about the matter at the heart of this thread, why did you respond? Let's try again:

     
  24. Mr Weebles

    Mr Weebles Member

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    You answered your own question. If it is legal and a right, you don't need a goal and it does not have to be necessary.

    All of our rights do come with some restrictions but this man was not violating any of them.

    This thread is interesting, as it seems to show the difference on how some of us interpret our God-given rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
     
  25. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Member

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    I think I did answer your questions and you simply have no good response Joe Demko. Again, what I posted:

    "Do you make the same argument against handgun carrying? They're both guns, both can be used to kill someone just as dead. The rifle is actually better for self defense even."

    I would (and I have) carried (carry) a rifle for the same reason I carry a handgun.
     
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