Pulled Over for OC'ing in Kalispell

Pulled Over for OC'ing in Kalispell

This is a discussion on Pulled Over for OC'ing in Kalispell within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife and I spent the better part of the day driving around to all the car lots in the tri-city area looking for one ...

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Thread: Pulled Over for OC'ing in Kalispell

  1. #1
    Member Array ecorrigan's Avatar
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    Pulled Over for OC'ing in Kalispell

    My wife and I spent the better part of the day driving around to all the car lots in the tri-city area looking for one we wanted but didn't have any luck. We got done at about 14:45-14:50 and decided to sit down around the Old Steel Bridge area to wait for school to get out so we could go pick up the kids.
    As we got to the west side of the bridge a FCSO Deputy pulled up, hopped out of his vehicle to use the can and left. I was standing outside the car on the phone with my jacket off, pistol in view. The deputy took off and we followed suit, going to the east side of the bridge to enjoy the scenery. Unbeknown to us, Deputy Dawg was in that same area. He pulled out and we decided we'd better head to the school. On the way there the Deputy pulled us over. He walked up to the driver's side of the car, hand on his gun with the retention strap undone. He leaned into the car and addressed my wife: "Ma'am, the reason I pulled you over is your passenger." Then looking at me, said: "Sir, is there any reason why you're packing?" I told him I was doing it "Because I can."
    At this point he instructed me to give my ID to the deputy who was standing on my side of the car. I didn't even know one was there. I turned to see a deputy I've known for years. I gave him my ID and he gave it to the primary deputy. My ID was returned and we were allowed to go on our way. It was a fairly decent encounter, but I still don't see the reasoning behind it. In the state of Montana, automobiles kill far more people than firearms do, but you don't see a Deputy Sheriff, Highway Patrolman or City Police Officer pulling someone over to check the validity or general status of a driver's license. Why do they do this for a firearm?
    No probable cause, carrying a gun is completely legal here in this state. He saw my firearm and decided to stop us to check my ID. Who cares?! Ownership of and carrying of a firearm is a right in this state and this country. Driving is a privilege, why don't they check the drivers the same way they check those of us who carry a gun?!

    I know this will start some controversy and there are those of you who will argue my mindset, but that's why I'm posting this here. I want to know what others think. I'm not looking for someone to complain about the Deputies, who handled things in a fairly positive manner. I just want opinion on the legality and validity of the stop in itself.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    They might have wanted to make sure your wife was ok, you stated that the Deputy who stopped you did not know you? If it had been someone else with your wife, under certain circumstances, you would have been very glad that they pulled the car over and checked on her.
    Hiram25
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  3. #3
    Member Array ecorrigan's Avatar
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    But again, how are they to know? They can't stop you just because they want to check and make sure someone is okay. Heck if that's the case they'd be stopping every vehicle with a male in the passenger seat just to check the welfare of the woman in the driver's seat.
    In a crisis you don't rise to the occasion but rather default to your level of training!

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecorrigan View Post
    But again, how are they to know? They can't stop you just because they want to check and make sure someone is okay. Heck if that's the case they'd be stopping every vehicle with a male in the passenger seat just to check the welfare of the woman in the driver's seat.
    Oh, yes they can. He may have seen something that made him suspicious? You can find any number of reasons to pull a vehicle over, it's not hard after you've been at it for a while.
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    Hiram25
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    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Gotta hate it when you get "harassed". I don't really expect it to happen to me, since I CC, but I agree with all of your sentiments. If I were asked the same questions, I would have given him my honest opinions on why I carry. Then I would have asked the officers why they choose to "pack", and why they think that they deserve self protection more than any other citizen. Just because you aren't looking for trouble, doesn't mean it won't find you.

  6. #6
    Member Array ecorrigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    Oh, yes they can. He may have seen something that made him suspicious? You can find any number of reasons to pull a vehicle over, it's not hard after you've been at it for a while.
    With all due respect, I think this would be a violation of 4th Amendment rights and would go over about like a pregnant pole-vaulter if it were to be continued. Law Enforcement cannot just 'Fabricate' reasons to pull you over. While I don't remember what they are off the top of my head, there is a statute in the state of Montana that specifies the criteria that have to be met in order for a stop to be considered lawful and legal. You may have been able to fabricate things when you were working traffic, but we had to have a justifiable reason. Just because someone is carrying a gun, doesn't mean we were justified in stopping them. There's nothing wrong with it. It's like stopping someone just to see if their license is valid. NO CAN DO!! There is something called Probable Cause that has to be established.
    In a crisis you don't rise to the occasion but rather default to your level of training!

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    First of all is there an actual law in Montana that covers open carry or are you saying it is legal just because there is no law on the books saying you can't? In a lot of these scenarios they seem to occur in states where there is no specific law on the books regarding open carry.
    If there is no law on the books and the officer saw you displaying a firearm he has every right to stop you and determine your intentions and check the welfare of the passenger. If there is a law on the books depending on how it is written he may have the right by statute to stop and ascertain if you are legal to carry.
    Now according to whether or not there is a law on the books and how that law is written probable cause was more than established so there was no harrassment but sounds like the officers handled the situation well so no harm no foul.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    This doesn't sound like a real problem. At least he didn't dismantle the firearm and 'bag it' and put it in the trunk for his safety and yours..
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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Whether it was technically "right or not" may be debatable, but in reality it takes very little to constitute "probable cause." If all they want to see is your ID, give it to them and don't make a big deal about it. Sounds like they weren't jerks or anything, so what's the problem? Your right to carry a firearm was not infringed any that I can tell. I personally find being cool with LEOs gets you a lot farther than anything. They have a difficult job and they are second guessed no matter what they do. I try not to make it any more difficult for them because they don't know me or that I'm an ok guy...but they will know that by the time the encounter is over.
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    Member Array redbeardsong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    First of all is there an actual law in Montana that covers open carry or are you saying it is legal just because there is no law on the books saying you can't? In a lot of these scenarios they seem to occur in states where there is no specific law on the books regarding open carry.
    If there is no law on the books and the officer saw you displaying a firearm he has every right to stop you and determine your intentions and check the welfare of the passenger. If there is a law on the books depending on how it is written he may have the right by statute to stop and ascertain if you are legal to carry.
    Now according to whether or not there is a law on the books and how that law is written probable cause was more than established so there was no harrassment but sounds like the officers handled the situation well so no harm no foul.
    Nope. Laws only make things ILLEGAL. That which is not expressly prohibited it allowed. If open carry is not prohibited by law, then it is legal.

    I'd say this was definitely a 4th amendment violation. I'm thankful that we have an outstanding gun rights organization in Georgia called GeorgiaCarry.org that has worked hard to fix problems of harassment, unlawful search, seizure, detainment and arrest of armed citizens through legislation, and lawsuits where needed. For example, an officer cannot detain, search, require ID, or disarm you just because you are carrying a gun.

  11. #11
    Member Array guardmt's Avatar
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    2nd Amendment is a right... Driving is a privilege. More people are killed in car accidents in Montana each year then firearm related deaths. If the deputy is doing traffic stops for people OCing, he needs to be pulling people over at random, hoping he finds someone with no insurance or without a DL. Im interning for the local KPD and have rode with experienced patrol Sgts. and every one I have asked, including on if you can pull someone over because they are openly carrying, you cannot enless you do have prob cause. Im pretty sure the OPs wife didnt looked stressed, and didnt have a gun to her head forcing her to drive the car around.
    “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pike

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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    No probable cause in this incident. An anti-OC LEO can always rationalize this kind of illegal nonsense.

    However, assuming you are OCing without a Montana-issued permit of some kind, you would theoretically violate US title 18, chapter 44, section 922(q) when you get within 1,000 feet of the school to pick up the kids. Only a federal LEO can charge you for this.

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    Member Array eichhoma's Avatar
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    My thoughts are this, I dont see it as harassment. While it is legal in Montana to open carry, that doesnt always mean that it brings about attention you would prefer. Thats probably a byproduct. someone made the point of checking on the welfare of the woman in your company. You could have been someone else who had your wfe at gunpoint. I would be glad they stopped to check honestly. Sounds like no harm no foul to me. I dont mind the minor questions like that. Not to stir the pot, but just becasue you are allowed to open carry, maybe doesnt make it the best choice if you wish to be transparent to LE. Just my $.02

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    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    They might have wanted to make sure your wife was ok, you stated that the Deputy who stopped you did not know you? If it had been someone else with your wife, under certain circumstances, you would have been very glad that they pulled the car over and checked on her.
    Excellent response. Thank you.

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    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eichhoma View Post
    just becasue you are allowed to open carry, maybe doesnt make it the best choice if you wish to be transparent to LE. Just my $.02
    Smartest Internet post one will see all day.
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