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VA Open Carry in Wash. comPost article

Discussion in 'Legal' started by PershingRiflesC-7, Jul 14, 2004.

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  1. PershingRiflesC-7

    PershingRiflesC-7 Member

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    Guns Worn In Open Legal, but Alarm Va.
    'Exercising Right' Called 'Unreasonable' by Some
    By Tom Jackman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, July 15, 2004; Page A01


    On July 2, Fairfax County police received a 911 call from a Champps restaurant in Reston. Six men are seated at a table, the caller said. They're all armed.

    Dispatchers quickly sent four officers to the scene. The officers were "extremely polite" and were hoping that some of the men were in law enforcement, said Sgt. Richard Perez, a spokesman for the police department. None was.

    -----End Snip--------

    Article link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50416-2004Jul14.html

    Sounds the VCDL is having quite the time in the Old Dominion. Thought the members that have commented here would enjoy the publicity from the front page of the comPost.

    With the law change of 7/1, is it still VA law that you have to open carry if alcohol is served in a restaurant, a la Chili's?
     
  2. AZRickD

    AZRickD Member

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    Ahhh, the sweet smell of RKBA activism.
    Well, maybe it's time to reduce the police force. Think of all the savings now that people have the ability to protect themselves. :p

    Rick
     
  3. MJRW

    MJRW Member

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    I hope VCDL is at the Dulles Expo Center show on the 31st. I'm looking forward to joining.
     
  4. deanf

    deanf Member

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    Maybe someone could post the whole article. You can't get it at the link provided.
     
  5. countertop

    countertop Member

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    Here's a link - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50416-2004Jul14_2.html

    Free registration is rquired. I'll post the entire article later.

    As I am sure your aware - THR was pretty instrumental in resolving the starbucks incident
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=87012

    And no, the July 1 law does not impact Restaurant Carry. As I posted on at the countertop chronicles, and have already written the Washignton Post editors about - its a bit hypocritical for the same people who oppose concealed carry in restaurants to know criticize open carry in restaurants.
     
  6. countertop

    countertop Member

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    Here's the article
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A50416-2004Jul14?language=printer


    Guns Worn In Open Legal, But Alarm Va.
    'Exercising Right' Called 'Unreasonable' by Some

    By Tom Jackman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, July 15, 2004; Page A01

    On July 2, Fairfax County police received a 911 call from a Champps restaurant in Reston. Six men are seated at a table, the caller said. They're all armed.

    Dispatchers quickly sent four officers to the scene. The officers were "extremely polite" and were hoping that some of the men were in law enforcement, said Sgt. Richard Perez, a spokesman for the police department. None was.

    The men told the officers "they were just exercising their rights as citizens of the commonwealth," Perez said.

    Turns out, packing a pistol in public is perfectly legal in Virginia. And three times in the last month, including at Champps on Sunset Hills Road, residents have been spotted out and about in the county, with guns strapped to their hips, exercising that right.

    In the first episode, at a Starbucks, Fairfax police wrongly confiscated weapons from two college students and charged them with a misdemeanor. Police realized their mistake, returned the guns and tore up the charges the next day. Police commanders have since issued a reminder to officers that "open carry" is the law of the land in the Old Dominion.

    Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, an organization of thousands of Virginia gun owners, said members were involved in all three police encounters. But he said there was no coordinated campaign to start packing heat publicly.

    "It was probably more of a coincidence, but not completely," Van Cleave said, noting that word of the improper confiscation spread quickly among members through e-mail. "This is a good opportunity to educate people. We have this inherent right, and not many people exercised it."

    In Virginia, as in many states, carrying a concealed weapon requires a permit, issued by a local court. But no permit is required to simply wield a gun in the open, a right reinforced by a state law that took effect July 1. Not so in the District and Maryland, unless you're a police or federal officer.

    Fairfax police are baffled by the sudden display of weaponry but assume it was done to make some sort of statement.

    "Crime is at 20-year lows in the county," Lt. Col. Charles K. Peters pointed out, even with the population is soaring. The county's homicide rate was the lowest in the nation last year among the 30 largest jurisdictions. "Hopefully no one feels the need to carry a gun, lawfully or unlawfully," Peters said. "But there's no question it is lawful to carry a gun on the street. So we've had to ensure that all of our officers are updated on the nuances of Virginia law that allow citizens to carry firearms in public places."

    Although legal, it is disconcerting to some people.

    "This just shows you the extreme nature of what they're trying to do," said Bob Ricker, head of Virginians for Public Safety. "You don't want to go to Starbucks or Reston Town Center and see somebody with a firearm strapped on," he added, referring to two locations where armed patrons were found. "It's just something that I think is completely unreasonable. We all understand the concept of self-defense," he said. "But when you're talking about Fairfax County, you have to look at what is reasonable."

    The first incident, at a Starbucks on Leesburg Pike near Tysons Corner, might have inspired other gun owners to carry openly. It began shortly before 10 p.m. June 14, Perez said, with a complaint from a citizen. Police arrived to find a 19-year-old man carrying a .22 caliber pistol and a 21-year-old man with a 9mm pistol.

    Perez said an officer spoke with the men, then took their guns and charged them with possession of a firearm in a public place. Virginia law 18.2-287.4 expressly prohibits "carrying loaded firearms in public areas."

    But the second paragraph of the law defines firearms only as any semiautomatic weapon that holds more than 20 roundsor a shotgun that holds more than seven rounds -- assault rifles, mostly, Van Cleave said. Regular six-shooters or pistols with nine- or 10-shot magazines are not "firearms" under this Virginia law.

    The day after the arrest, the officer consulted with a county prosecutor and determined that "he had erred," Perez said. He summoned the two men to the McLean District station, returned their weapons and dropped the charges.

    Van Cleave said word of the incident, along with news of a similar incident in Richmond, spread through the defense league's e-mail alert system. "I think people were saying, 'I think I do want to open carry,' " Van Cleave said, though he added the league neither encourages nor discourages the practice.

    Carrying weapons openly was not unprecedented locally, Van Cleave said. He said the defense league has a monthly meeting in Northern Virginia with 25 to 30 members, and that most go out to dinner afterward with their sidearms openly visible. "We've had 40 people open carry, in a restaurant, with no problem," he said.

    Three days after the incident at Champps, a married couple were walking their dogs down Market Street, the busy thoroughfare in the heart of Reston Town Center, about 3 p.m. In addition to pistols on their hips, Perez said, both the man and woman were carrying an extra magazine of ammunition. An officer spoke with them and was informed that they were members of the defense league and were aware of the Starbucks incident. Perez said the officer took no further action, although Van Cleave said a lieutenant arrived and urged Town Center security to eject them.

    Managers at the Starbucks, Champps and Town Center all declined to comment.

    Van Cleave said the gun owners might have been out celebrating a law that took effect July 1. Virginia statute 15.2-915 now completely prohibits any locality from enacting any regulations on gun ownership, carrying, storage or purchase, except for rules related to the workforce. Alexandria, for example, had an ordinance prohibiting openly carrying guns. It is now invalid, Van Cleave said.

    "It's like the Fourth of July," Van Cleave said. "A whole new set of freedoms came in. . . . All local gun control is completely and totally gone."

    Legislators said they passed the bill to eliminate duplicative regulations, particularly in counties such as Fairfax, which imposed its own gun permit process in addition to the federally mandated background check.

    Openly carrying weapons is "not a good idea," said Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center in Washington. "This is the gun lobby's vision of how America should be. Everybody's packing heat and ready to engage in a shootout at the slightest provocation."

    Ricker said the gun owners "are probably doing their cause more harm than good by raising this issue. It raises an awareness and gives people who are more rational thinkers the opportunity to go to their legislators and make their views known."

    Van Cleave said most gun owners, particularly defense league members or concealed weapon permit owners, are law-abiding. Anti-gun forces "have come to think guns themselves are evil. You've got to worry about the person, not the gun."
     
  7. Treylis

    Treylis Member

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    Yes, because we like people getting shot.

    Ugh. What a disgrace to the name Rand.
     
  8. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Member

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    What I found interesting was where they "had" to put the page break.

    "The first incident, at a Starbucks on Leesburg Pike near Tysons Corner, might have inspired other gun owners to carry openly. It began shortly before 10 p.m. June 14, Perez said, with a complaint from a citizen. Police arrived to find a 19-year-old man carrying a .22 caliber pistol and a 21-year-old man with a 9mm pistol.

    Perez said an officer spoke with the men, then took their guns and charged them with possession of a firearm in a public place. Virginia law 18.2-287.4 expressly prohibits "carrying loaded firearms in public areas."



    Article continued on next page here*****************************




    But the second paragraph of the law defines firearms only as any semiautomatic weapon that holds more than 20 roundsor a shotgun that holds more than seven rounds -- assault rifles, mostly, Van Cleave said. Regular six-shooters or pistols with nine- or 10-shot magazines are not "firearms" under this Virginia law.

    The day after the arrest, the officer consulted with a county prosecutor and determined that "he had erred," Perez said. He summoned the two men to the McLean District station, returned their weapons and dropped the charges"
     
  9. echo3mike

    echo3mike Member

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    Some tranisitional phase my therapist keeps talkin
    SO COOL... 'course now I have to get a holster I trust.


    On a side note:


    Can you hear the sphincters slamming shut at this one? Like Rand's

    Friggin' elitist swine.

    S.
     
  10. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

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    That sums it up nicely.

    What's not to love about Kristen Rand?

    She possesses the wisdom of Solomon regarding things tactical:
    She has keen analytical insight into the minds of those she dislikes:
    And she has a vision of the future:
    Yeah, sweety; the slightest provocation like assault, theft, or rape.

    Friggin' elitist swine. :fire:

    TC
    TFL Survivor
     
  11. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    Huh? I've been openly carrying a pistol in northern VA (including Fairfax) restaurants for years. I guess they're only just now noticing.
     
  12. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

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    The operative phrase is
    :rolleyes:

    TC
    TFL Survivor
     
  13. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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  14. papercut

    papercut Member

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    ...having dutifully logged them into a national database, where they will forever be "registered" with the owners' names. :fire:

    At least they got them back.
     
  15. papercut

    papercut Member

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    At least the sheeple will get to see gun owners acting normal and just doing everyday things even when in such close proximity to those evil mind-control guns.
     
  16. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Member

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    You don't have to wait if you don't want to...they have an online membership form that takes about 2 minutes to fill out.

    http://www.vcdl.org

    I just joined last week :)
     
  17. ClonaKilty

    ClonaKilty Member

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    Oh, wow -- hey thanks Kirsten for providing guidance as to what helps and hurts our cause. Very thoughtful of you to help us win the battle for gun rights!

    :rolleyes:

    Quid pro quo for Rand: I think you're hurting the gun-ban cause by being close buddies with the Hollywood elite and having the mass media hawk every one of your unfounded claims. So, stop it, OK?
     
  18. JPL

    JPL Member

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    This was reported, briefly and badly, on WTOP news radio this morning as I was coming to work.
     
  19. moa

    moa Member

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    This is an interesting quote.

    " An officer spoke with them and was informed that they were members of the defense league and were aware of the Starbucks incident. Perez said the officer took no further action, although Van Cleave said a lieutenant arrived and urged Town Center security to eject them. "

    So, citizens going about peacefully exercising their rights and a police lieutenant takes exception to that. I wonder if that would not be legally actionable against the Town Center, and maybe the police LT., if they were ejected?

    No wonder some folks dislike and distrust the police.
     
  20. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

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    VCDL has alerted us to two separate on-line polls on this topic today: one by WRVA and one by NBC4. The WRVA poll stands at a lopsided 97%-3% in our favor. The NBC4 one stays at 50-50. But the thing is, I was able to vote twice in both polls, so they're bogus. One could say that ALL on-line polls are bogus, but to the extent that the sponsoring organization reports the results to their audience, they could have some slight significance I guess...

    TC
    TFL Survivor
     
  21. John Hicks

    John Hicks Member

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    I heard about this at work and on WTOP this morning.

    I work for a defense contractor, and I'm the only one defending personal defense!!!

    I just grinned and explained how this was our right all along. They fire back with Wild West, and references to SE DC, which I quickly put down . . .

    "But guns are already illegal in DC and we see how that helps" :)

    I like the references to Fairfax County having extremely low crime rates, despite record population growth. And DC has a soaring crime rate with a record popluation exodus.

    No journalist seems to want to make the connection that crime might be low BECAUSE we can carry.

    Elitists want us to believe that it's because the police do a great job (which they do in Fairfax), and for no other reason. That's because elitist government controls the police, while armed citizens control themselves.

    I think all publicity on this is good. Let people know what rights they have. When they realize VA isn't the old West, more bandwagoners will com on board.

    jh
     
  22. kd7ctv

    kd7ctv Member

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    in case you havent seen this yet, the Reston center incident is discussed by the so called married couple on Packing.org
     
  23. Frohickey

    Frohickey Member

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    I think that the two college students should sue the Fairfax police in federal court for violating their civil rights, like the Rodney King case. :fire:

    I think getting the police given days off without pay (no vacation for those days) would be a good settlement instead of seeking monetary damages. I bet if you give the Fairfax city council a choice of whether they pay out a multi-million dollar judgement, or give the officers a week off without pay, they will gladly choose the latter.

    Yes, this might sound a bit anti-cop, but I think the disciplinary action fits. Plus, it would reinforce to other cops that they might want to rethink their actions and that there are consequences for the wrong actions.
     
  24. Smurfslayer

    Smurfslayer Member

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    confessions...

    I, and at least one other THR member were "Principals" in the Champps encounter. This was no "sudden onset", the bulk of the 13 Champps attendees open carry in almost every restaurant in Virginia that we attend. At least every Friday. 7-2-04 was a bit of a special occasion in that it was 1: post 7-1 when the new laws take effect, and it was in the district of a solid Anti from the VA General Assembly. We did not seek out contact with the police in a confrontational manner, and, quite honestly, we've encountered Fairfax police routinely at many other restaurants we frequent, and the most confrontational exchange we've ever had was
    Us "Hey, how're ya doing?"
    FPD: "Fine, how are you guys?"
    Us "Great"
    etc...

    A few of us have spoken to the police after the fact, and were more than satisfied with FPD's response to looking into the events.
    (as has been previously discussed, in Virginia, the law, 18.2-308 prohibits concealed firearms in restaurants or clubs which serve alcohol)

    We have been open carrying in restaurants for years, cause no trouble, and tip well. We are universally welcomed back.

    Would you guys mind giving us a leg up on these polls???

    http://www.wrva.com/morningshow.html#question

    http://www.nbc4.com/news/3532321/detail.html
     
  25. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    Yeah, I hear the DPW can barely keep up with mopping all the blood off the streets.

    :rolleyes:
     
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