This is a discussion on Problems With The Fire Chief within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just moved into a small town in South West Pennsylvania near the West Virginia border. They are very friendly to me here and I ...
I just moved into a small town in South West Pennsylvania near the West Virginia border.
They are very friendly to me here and I have talked hours with my neighbors, great people.
I go to some of the state forest in WV almost everyday to Fish, Hike and explore.
Open carry is legal here in PA and WV.
And sometimes When I am getting out of my vehicle a few neighbors have seen my Sig on my hip. They have no problem with it.
Except one guy.
The local Volunteer Fire Chief lives up my street and has a REAL BIG Ego problem.
I guess being a fire chief in a small town makes him feel like a member of the CIA or Secret Service. That's how he acts at least.
Now I am a very clean cut, polite and educated 26 year old.
But he is making a big deal out of my open carry practices and has told the neighbors that he's going to get the local cop (who only works a few days a week) to have me arrested.
Now he wont talk to me in person and I have been extremely polite to him.
The Pennsylvania Supreme court has decided on two different occasion that OPEN carry is legal.
When I am in my vehicle it is unloaded as the law sates and I am very careful of that.
What would you do?
I was thinking about sending him and the local LEO a polite letter and a copy of the PA law on Open carry.
But they may think this "Out of towner from the big city" is trying to embarrass or instigate them.
This guy is a real loon.
What is your advice?
Primary Carry Gun: Sig Sauer 229~R (.40cal w/ Golden Saber JHP's)
You could mail the Fire Chief a copy of the case law with a note that it is legal to OC in PA. Or, you can count on the local LEO knowing the law and also knowing the Fire Chief is someone who has nothing better to do than to bother people. If you don't have a LTCF, you should get one. Even if the firearm is empty, you can not carry it while in your car without a LTCF.
Most likely the guy would tuck his tail between his legs if you confronted him. But then he would go out of his way to find something to tattle on you to the police.
Personally, I would ignore the guy and go about your business. He is telling your neighbors what he is going to do because he doesn't like OC. If he was going to get the local LEO to arrest you, he would either:
A. Be a Judge.
B. Already have done it.
C. Be married to the LEOs sister. In which case, you may be out of luck.
You have been to www.opencarry.org and www.pafoa.org, right? Don't be afraid to exercise your 2A right.
Last edited by rady8um; May 18th, 2007 at 02:36 AM.
Welcome to this wonderful board!
Its great to see another PA member too!
I will apply for my CHL later this year.
From what a few people have told me, the county Sheriff tends to be more accepting to those applying that have lived here a little while.
You brought up 2 points Id like to respond to:
1- "The local cop will know the law"
That is hardly true. Many local police have NO IDEA that open carry is legal.
2-"A gun in your car isn't legal even if unloaded"
What I got from reading PA law is that you can have an UNLOADED pistol in your car if its in a "container" meaning a holster, gun case ect.
I was also wondering what part of PA do you live in? I could always use someone to shoot with since I dont know anyone in my area.
Primary Carry Gun: Sig Sauer 229~R (.40cal w/ Golden Saber JHP's)
I don't know if i would consider a holster a "container". In my opinion a container something like a gunsave, a case, something that you could lock in the trunk, etc...
Just my 2 cents
The german american, now living in Germany, but surely missing home!
You don't need it stored in a container in PA. Just unloaded, with the ammo in a separate location of the vehicle.
However, if you just moved to PA, and still have a valid permit from your previous state of residence, that permit grants you the ability to carry in your car, as per the uniform firearms act.
Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
Write a brief , polite letter to your County Sherrif - explaining your
concerns - GIVE DETAILS ,including this Bozo's Name.
Immediately apply for your CHL.
Become part of your community in as many ways as possible
(shop local - join a club - volunteer for local politics ,etc.)
Soon after , Bozo will either shut up, or get a rep as a troublemaker.
-SIG , it's What's for Dinner-
know your rights!
"If I walk in the woods, I feel much more comfortable carrying a gun. What if you meet a bear in the woods that's going to attack you? You shoot it."
1. be sure to follow the law exactly. If you do get stopped, atleast you at totally legal. If there is a doubt to legality , the LEO may get pushed to try and charge you.
2. get your permit, so there is even less likelihood of law violation
3. try buddying up to the fire chief , he may just need to realize you are one of the good guys.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
I would be sure to find out what your state laws say and then cross my t's and dot my I's just in case.
Ignore the nosy chief!
Get your carry permit and talk with the sheriff in a friendly way. After a time or two ask him a question, "I'm wondering why Chief xyz is so anti-gun?" I'm sure he knows because it is a small town!
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.
I wouldnt worry about him to much, if he knew his head from his backside he would have already taken action. He outranks any LEO when it comes to matters of public safety. He can sign a complaint and have a summons issued if he wanted to, but he probably doesnt know that. He making stuff up to make himself feel important.
I do suggest that you get your permit just to cover your bases, from what I understand its not to hard in PA.
"Just blame Sixto"
I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.
Don't get something started yourself, let the bozo do that! Besides, how many times have you heard people talk a bunch of trash and then do noting? That's probably what will happen here. Besides, if your legal you don't really have any worries do you. Let him stew in it.
If you are not violating any law then do nothing. Let him stew. Let him call the police and have them come out to you. When the officer sees that nothing is wrong he may get annoyed with the cheif. If you have nothing to hide then don't.
I do agree that you should get your LTC ASAP. It avoids a lot of problems.
Here's what I'd do as I'm not much of one to let someone talk smack about what they're going to do to me behind my back. I'd find a copy of the law and take it to the sheriff to make sure it's been interpreted correctly. If in fact you are correct, let the sheriff know what this guy is saying and you just wanted to make sure you weren't breaking any law. Be jovial and humerous about it as you don't want to appear vindictive to the sheriff when you tell him your going to mail this guy a copy of the law for enlightment.
I'd than mail a copy of that law with the section highlighted to this bozo. Send along with it a very polite, yet firm, letter (don't want to get yourself in trouble) stating your aware of what he's been telling people; you just wanted to be sure he understood the state law regarding open carry/transporting guns and also you don't want any hard feelings between the two of you. Also include that you expect these comments he's making about having you arrested will now cease as you've already clarified the law with the sheriff and you are doing no wrong. I'd even send it certified so you have a copy of mailing it for your own records.
Make a copy of this letter as he will probably lie about the content of it to your neighbors. Chances are they already know his character value and that is why they are saying something to you. Many times these people get in these "Volunteer" positions, especially in a small town, and they think higher of themselves than what the community does of them.
I have first hand experience with these types. If you ignore it, it will go away but something else will surface later. Hit it head on, show this guy your not one to be bullied and it should stop. If not, you've already started a paper trail for a firmer letter from an attorney.
But than again, that's me.