LEO Question Re: exposed weapon

LEO Question Re: exposed weapon

This is a discussion on LEO Question Re: exposed weapon within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was reading a thread the other day, on here or THR (I think it was here) about a gentleman whose wife's carry piece fell ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array BlackBear's Avatar
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    LEO Question Re: exposed weapon

    I was reading a thread the other day, on here or THR (I think it was here) about a gentleman whose wife's carry piece fell into view, and the officer turned it into a felony stop. Now, I don't dispute the officer's need to control the situation, but as some noted in that thread, it's a matter of discretion.

    In some states, open carry is legal (and from what I recall from that thread, it was in that state too) and in some it isn't. I can understand an elevated reaction from an LEO in a non-OC state. I can also understand an elevated reaction when the individuals are acting suspiscious, etc. In the thread I read, it didn't seem (from the OP's POV, and I know there's always another) that they were acting very suspiscious. So, here's my question to you:

    Where does the display of a weapon cross the line? Here in Maine I'm well within my right to have a handgun on my hip, on the car seat, whatever (though it can only be loaded if I have a CCW). In fact, unless I have a CCW, if it's in the passenger compartment it MUST be in plain sight. Now, if I were pulled over by the same cop in the other thread, it seems I would have been secured. So, where do you draw the line? What distinguishes a person just exercising their RKBA vs. someone who's displaying a weapon that may require a felony stop?
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    Member Array silver dollar's Avatar
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    These type of things always require LEOs to excercise judgement and discretion. Some are able to and some aren't. In the final analysis, it will be the decision of the District Attorney whether to prosecute or to drop the charges and then the judge or jury will determine guilt or innocense. The laws vary widely from state to state and even within states.

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    What do you mean by "fell into view"? Like literally fell? That would be cause for alarm and I would expect to looking at being proned out.

    There is more to the story. Can't really give an accurate opinion as 1) I wasn't there 2) not enough information to understand the totality of the circumstances.

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    First, I got to say I really dont want this discussion again. This thread is probably going to get shut down sometime tommorrow anyway, so I'll say my piece now.

    The whole OC debate is completly moronic one anyway. Anybody with a lick of common sense or hasnt been living in a cave for the past 25 yrs would expect to get some kind of reaction walking around with a pistol in plain sight. This is what has to get through our thick skulls; It doesnt matter if its legal or not... you're going to get a reaction, some people might react well, others are going to flip out.
    Its perfectly legal to walk down Main St in a pair of tighty whitey's... but I would be nuts to think I wouldnt get a negative reaction now wouldnt I?

    With respect to the forums new OC debate rules, thats enough of that.


    For the LEO question... yes, I'm an LEO. I'm very pro gun and gun rights, however, I also enjoy living and plan to be around for a nice long life. I'm also very pro common sense.
    When I stop someone, I have no idea what your all about. None. If I see a gun, I'm going to react. Now, I probably wont flip out, but its no longer a "routine" stop, and things will be handled differently.

    You asked at what point does it pass RKBA and become something more... it becomes more when common sense is no longer prevelant.
    I.E.; You have the right to free speech. I stop you, and you excercise your right to free speech and tell me all kinds of things Ms. Manners says you should not... Common sense would tell you that the stop is now going to go in a different direction. Now, I'm not going to write you a citation or haul you to jail because you called me names, but I'm longer going to be Officer Friendly. Same applies to 2A. Every action has a reaction, so use common sense and excercise your rights in a responsible manner.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array BlackBear's Avatar
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    I don't want to turn this into an OC debate anyway. I'm just curious (mostly for those who live in OC states) how people handle the situations. I personally don't OC very often (mostly hunting) and agree it's not a tactical move, but it is legal, and so I was just wondering how LEOs deal with it. I've never had an encounter with an LEO and my guns, but I just wondered what sorts of things LEOs look for in judging the situation. I'm not saying I want to get hot-headed, or push the limits, or try and test officers - last thing on my mind. As some of you may have read in the LEO forum I'm interested in becoming one. I just wanted to know what some people's experiences with OC were or would be - whether intentional or accidental.
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    Its really an impossible question to answer. There are so many factors and every situation is different. There is no text book answers when dealing with people.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array BlackBear's Avatar
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    There is no text book answers when dealing with people.
    Haha, isn't that the truth. I deal with the public a whole buttload on a daily basis (Manager at McD's) and boy, do I know that.
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    Typically its not going to bother me to much, unless there is some reason for it to. I'm not scared of a gun or a man with a gun, as I expect everyone to be armed that I encounter.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBear View Post
    Where does the display of a weapon cross the line?
    Depends on the retentiveness of the LEO and the department in question. To my way of thinking, brandishing laws are there for good cause, but laws enabling arrest for mere visibility go way, way too far. IMO, what crosses the line is when one thing is added to the brew: intent. Without that, there can be no crime. An infraction worthy of a citation or discussion, perhaps, but not a crime. But that's just me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBear View Post
    Haha, isn't that the truth. I deal with the public a whole buttload on a daily basis (Manager at McD's) and boy, do I know that.
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    Its really an impossible question to answer. There are so many factors and every situation is different. There is no text book answers when dealing with people.
    There ya have it.



    I will give you an example of open carry where it is not legal...and that is here in Arkansas...unless you are in the act of hunting or on your own private property.

    I'm in a patrol car and I pull up to a PDQ. This the only PDQ in a town of about 800 something. I see a guy get out of his truck and he is wearing a revolver. He starts gassing up his truck and his 4 wheeler. It is deer season here and he has on his orange hat. I can see that his vest is in the cab wadded up on the seat.

    I walked over to him and we struck up a conversation, and it was confirmed that he was going deer hunting. I politely reminded him that he cant carry in town, that he needs to put the gun up until he gets in the woods. He apologized and stuck the gun under the seat. That was good enough for me.

    He paid for his gas, and we chatted a bit more. He once again apologized and I wished him luck and we parted ways.

    Now, some may argue that he could have shot me when he took his gun out of the holster and I'm sure he could have. Others might say that he should have gotten a ticket for open carrying. Still others might lament about how dangerous a situation it could have turned into.

    What you have to understand is that all of the circumstances involved must be taken into account.

    What would be the point of ruining the guys hunt? He just spaced out the fact that he was wearing a pistol. He may have done it many times before and got away with it, Ive done it myself when I wasn't a Deputy. In a small town where they still let school out for the first day of deer season, it just isn't that big of a deal.

    Now change up just one fact in this story, for the sake of argument let's change the location to Detroit. How do you think it would have been handled?

    The thing that people often forget when conversing on the Internet is that what may be perfectly acceptable or considered normal in one town may be completely unacceptable in another. What is common there, may be uncommon elsewhere, as are the LEO's that deal with the situation.

    Years ago I got into a discussion with an LEO about traffic stops. He informed me that every single time he got out of the car, he had his gun in his hand held behind him. When I heard that, I thought that it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard and thought the guy was getting paranoid and going spastic.

    Come to find out, he was an officer in the worst part of Los Angeles, where officer involved shootings were a very common,almost daily occurrence at the time, and it was pretty much standard routine for all officers in that section to exit their cars with guns in hand.

    A much different scenario than what I'm used to, and what would be ridiculed here as going overboard might be what you need to do to stay alive in L.A.


    So where do YOU draw the line? Only an officer in Maine can tell you for sure...and even then two different officers might give you two completely different answers....both of which would be considered correct for their particular situation.
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    Member Array BlackBear's Avatar
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    I will give you an example of open carry where it is not legal...and that is here in Arkansas...unless you are in the act of hunting
    Huh, that's perverse. In Maine, hunting is the ONLY time you can CCW without a permit.

    But thank you for your response. That's the sort of thing I was looking for. I know that things are different in different areas, and I fully expect different responses from Detroit, MI vs. Dayton, ME. I guess now that I think about it, I was looking more for personal experiences than hypothecating opinions. Mostly it was something that was bouncing around in my head for a few days.
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    You are fishing for specific answers that just do not exist.

    Also you have posted an open carry thread topic in Concealed Carry Issues And Discussions.

    The reason that you didn't post your questions in the correct Open Carry Issues and Discussions area of the forum would be because we don't have an Open Carry Issues and Discussions area on DefensiveCarry.com....and that would be because we (DefensiveCarry.com) are not an open carry forum.

    Please Note the very first line on the forum rules page:

    DefensiveCarry.com Rules

    The DefensiveCarry.com forums have grown tremendously and we thank all of you for being part of this community committed to concealed weapons carry.

    and also....

    In order to keep the forums running well and to prevent problems, I hope each of you will take a minute and read "Our Rules". The rules are meant to reduce the amount of discord that is present in so many other forums and detracts from the purpose and value of the forum itself. This forum was created to be a resource for those of us that legally carry a concealed weapon and, where required, have obtained a CCW permit.
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