Interesting LEO Encounter While Open Carrying

This is a discussion on Interesting LEO Encounter While Open Carrying within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I want to clarify the fact that I am not "con" on open carry (in general) though I've never seen the sense or logic in ...

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  1. #121
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    I want to clarify the fact that I am not "con" on open carry (in general) though I've never seen the sense or logic in it personally.
    My general attitude nowadays is "whatever floats your boat and do what you want to do" but, this thread is about Open Carry in the City Of Pittsburgh where there exists a real and present dichotomy between PGH city proper and the state being silent on OC.

    I have lived in Pittsburgh long enough to know that it is one of the easiest & most hassle free places in the United States to carry concealed but, I have not ever seen one Pittsburgh resident ever carry open in Pittsburgh.

    Though I did do it myself once in Down Town Pittsburgh but I was wearing a white dress shirt and black slacks with a sport coat over my shoulder and folks just assumed I was a City Dick on lunch break.

    I would state honestly and without exaggeration that the average "Joe" carrying open in Pittsburgh would be somewhat akin to attending a Kindergarten school play wearing an "I Am A Child Molester" T-Shirt.

    While that would not be against the law either it certainly would call radical undue attention to yourself.

    I live outside burbs North of PGH and my borough has (I'm guessing) a population of around 8,000 residents and if I carried open I would be the only one here that ever did. On the flip side of the coin I carry concealed here every single day.

    Why would I want to call that sort of "open firearm carry" attention for myself? Answer: I wouldn't.

    Regarding Pittsburgh which has a very high population of citizens that carry concealed...there are just not hundreds or thousands of people who want to open carry but, feel deprived of their Constitutional rights because they can't. It's just an issue that doesn't exist in Pittsburgh.

    It's just something that nobody ever does and you would have to actually live there to understand the mindset.

    So my only intention in this thread is to make the OP aware of the reality and potential pitfalls of Open Carry in the City of Pittsburgh and to be honest about the subject to the best of my ability.

    But, the bottom line is that if the OP wants to be the three headed dog walking down the street then that is his business but, he should be aware of the fact that (right or wrong) the potential to be hassled would be much greater there than in many other places in the U.S.

    That is just the truth WITHOUT any bias or personal opinion on my part.

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  3. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowman View Post
    Seems to me America has gotten far too "politically correct". We have to be more concerned what others think. We can not ever hurt someone's feelings. We have to be guarded in what we say to people. We have to accept the fact that we have rights but just do not demand them. We have to compromise our beliefs so as not to upset someone that is sensitive.
    Despite what my previous posts may lead, I agree with you on this. My point is that life is a negotiation. "Rights" should not be negotiable, but the use of such rights should (by the person, not Gov) be negotiable in application. It's supposed to be a free country, but over the last 200yrs. we are something very different than what I think was intended. Being that it is very difficult for one man to make lasting change, and the world continues to change around him, he can choose to tactfully engage to provoke change while not being so boldened to be outcasted and lose his general audience.

    Often the right choice is the hard choice. Choosing your fights wisely allows you to recede a battle, but continue on in the scope of the war.
    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
    ― Albert Einstein

  4. #123
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    Well, I fought the hard fight to help get PA from "may" to "shall" issue in '89.

    Somebody else can fight the PGH open carry fight. I'm done here. Good Luck on whatever road you want to travel down.

    I truly believe that major events will transpire in the U.S. before too much longer that will relegate it all to a moot point anyway.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  5. #124
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badey View Post
    Ok, so today I was open carrying at a local park. I was walking on the road (which is allowed) to get to a hiking trail. A cruiser pulls up, and the following conversation ensues (with stutters and lameness on my part included). The LEO was forceful, and kind of condescending at first, but I can't blame him too much; he had no idea who I was, and I was armed. I feel like a pansy in retrospect. Anyway, here is the conversation:

    Me: Afternoon.

    LEO: Why you carrying a gun in the park?

    Me: I'm sorry? (Like pardon me?)

    LEO: Why you carrying a gun in the park?

    Me: Uh.. do I... I don't know that I need a reason other than its legal.

    LEO: Yeah, but don't you think that with all the crazy [expletive] going on in the world some of these kids might get scared or something?

    Me: To be honest with you I'm afraid of animals. I mean...

    LEO: Well, why don't you put it under your shirt. You got a permit?

    Me: I do have a permit sir.

    LEO: OK, let me see it.

    Me: OK.

    LEO: The only thing that I have a problem with is your a big boy, and all these kids and women running around, and all the whackjobs running around, and you're walking around with a gun out.

    Me: Sure. (not condescending, just like "affirmative)

    LEO: Put it under your shirt...... please. I mean I have no objection with people having gun permits and carrying guns, but that's [expletive] stupid!

    Me: OK...

    LEO: You know, I've around too long, and the first things gonna happen is some woman is gonna say, 'my kids are back there and this guy got a gun.' You know what I mean...

    Me: Right. Yeah, I.. I understand. I don't want to give you any trouble.

    LEO: Put it under your shirt and I won't see you or bother you the rest of the day.

    Me: OK.

    LEO: You know, because I understand about the animals, and I understand about protection, and I have NO problem with that.

    Me: OK, sure. OK, thank you.


    Well, I caved and covered. This was my first LEO encounter while OCing. I tried to be respectful, as I always am to LEOs, however, I did a poor job of defending my right to legally carry as I see fit.

    Feedback?

    IMHO, both you and the LEO were perfectly reasonable. The LEO is the guy that has to deal with a lot of BS on any given day. I'm sure he has "been there, done that" with regards to open carry issues. So, he was trying to defuse any potential situations. I call that good police work. I also commend you for understanding the situation and agreeing to the LEO's request.

    Good jobs from both parties.........

    -
    'Be careful, even in small matters' - Miyamoto Musashi

  6. #125
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    This isn't apple and oranges. How would you like it if a LEO came up to you because you are wearing a shirt with an inflammatory message or something verging on porn BUT legal within the community standards and you decide to go to a park with a bunch of kids. LEO try's to convince you to leave so he won't have to hear the complaints from the Moms of the kids at the park. Where do you want it to end? What you can be talking about? Suppose you are talking bad about a race, or sexual orientation, or religion and it is bothering everybody in the area. Don't tell me I am what if'ing. Because the LEO is acting in his official capacity and he should not attempt to infringe any of your rights. It is not a OC or 2A thing. It is a government official trying to sway you or in my words infringe on your rights. At the least IMO it is harassment. Does it meet the legal definition I have no clue. But if I am doing something legal and the officers not there to confirm I am legal but for the sole purpose of in this case having the person CC instead of OC then in my book that is harrassemnt by the government.

  7. #126
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Lets say your not carrying a gun but instead are with a group of friends all of which are wearing hoodies. We all know how that terrorizes the general populace. Would it be proper for a cop to stop and lecture you demanding that you remove the hoodie from sight so he wont have to be bothered with scared sheep calling in to report you? What about a Cop who pulls you over on your bike because you are legally not wearing a helmet because he thinks that the law is wrong and you should be wearing one?

    If you are stopped and the LEO finds that yes you are within your rights it should stop there. No lecture about your's or the LEO's opinion on whether or not he agrees with the law or not. A polite apology for your inconvenience from the cop and a thank you for your cooperation should be all that is in order.

    Michael
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  8. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by discoboxer View Post
    Not sure if you meant for the LEO's to put out flyers, but it would not be their job. That would be a role of a person trying to bring attention to it, such as an OC group. In all truth, there are very few people who actually OC, and even fewer who do it everywhere. It does not make sense for a Govt. department to allocate funds to campaign for acceptance of a law that effects so little. It is the job of the department to use resources to train dispatchers who receive MWAG calls, & train officers who hold up the law.....that is a reasonable expectation of your local LE department.
    It's not their job to stop law abiding citizens to offer opinions on the law either, but that's exactly what this cop did. I was simply agreeing with the offered alternatives. If the cop is going to go on a personal campaign, he may as well be persuaded to direct his efforts in a more positive direction.

  9. #128
    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Well, I fought the hard fight to help get PA from "may" to "shall" issue in '89.

    Somebody else can fight the PGH open carry fight. I'm done here. Good Luck on whatever road you want to travel down.

    I truly believe that major events will transpire in the U.S. before too much longer that will relegate it all to a moot point anyway.
    Well, I feel like I should do my part to help the fight for gun rights. My main question is about the ramifications to my LTCF if I have an arrest on my record for open carry.
    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

  10. #129
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    ...... How would you like it if a LEO came up to you because you are wearing a shirt with an inflammatory message or something verging on porn BUT legal within the community standards and you decide to go to a park with a bunch of kids. LEO try's to convince you to leave so he won't have to hear the complaints from the Moms of the kids at the park. Where do you want it to end? ......

    I dislike big govt. I think we have way too many rules and regulations. And I think a lot of LEO's are way too full of themselves.

    But in your example, I would likely be on the side of the LEO. I don't want my kids "exposed" to 'legal' porn. A good example is those bull testicles made out of rubber that you hang from a trailer hitch. Should be banned IMHO. But again, JMHO.

    However, I understand your point completely, and if you are indeed within all applicable laws and such, then your point is 100% valid. I'm just sayin' we all need to relax and realize that the LEO's have a tough job.

    Peace
    'Be careful, even in small matters' - Miyamoto Musashi

  11. #130
    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevy-SS View Post
    I dislike big govt. I think we have way too many rules and regulations. And I think a lot of LEO's are way too full of themselves.

    But in your example, I would likely be on the side of the LEO. I don't want my kids "exposed" to 'legal' porn. A good example is those bull testicles made out of rubber that you hang from a trailer hitch. Should be banned IMHO. But again, JMHO.

    However, I understand your point completely, and if you are indeed within all applicable laws and such, then your point is 100% valid. I'm just sayin' we all need to relax and realize that the LEO's have a tough job.

    Peace
    I would disagree with your take, but I am glad that you have a rational argument for it. What if I was all pierced and tattooed, and the LEO was afraid that some person would call and say, "Help! there is a scary looking guy here." So lets replay the conversation only changing some of the comments to match tattoos and piercings scenario that in my mind is NO DIFFERENT than me open carrying (because people think I look scary with a gun).

    ME: Afternoon

    LEO: Why you walking around showing your tattoos and piercings in the park?

    Me: I'm sorry? (Like pardon me?)

    LEO: Why you walking around showing your tattoos and piercings in the park?

    Me: Uh.. do I... I don't know that I need a reason other than its legal.

    LEO: Yeah, but don't you think that with all the crazy [expletive] going on in the world some of these kids might get scared or something?

    Me: To be honest with you I like tattoos and piercings. I mean...

    LEO: Well, why don't you cover them up?


    LEO: The only thing that I have a problem with is your a big boy, and all these kids and women running around, and all the whackjobs running around, and you're walking around with tattoos and piercings out.

    Me: Sure. (not condescending, just like "affirmative)

    LEO: cover them with a longer shirt...... please. I mean I have no objection with people having tattoos and peircings guns, but that's [expletive] stupid!

    Me: OK...

    LEO: You know, I've around too long, and the first things gonna happen is some woman is gonna say, 'my kids are back there and this guy got tattoos and piercings.' You know what I mean...

    Me: Right. Yeah, I.. I understand. I don't want to give you any trouble.

    LEO: Put them under your shirt and I won't see you or bother you the rest of the day.

    Me: OK.

    LEO: You know, because I understand... and I have NO problem with that.

    Me: OK, sure. OK, thank you.



    I think a lot of people would be outraged at the officer, yet since it was a gun that people MAY HAVE thought was scary, a lot of people here think that the LEO was in the right.
    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

  12. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badey View Post
    There are advantages to open carry and concealed carry.
    I know you posted the above a few days ago, but I would say open carry has some disadvantages whereas concealed really does not.

    I struggle with your encounter because while I am not an OC'er and do not think it makes any real sense, if it is legal in your state then the officer really shouldn't ask you to conceal your weapon. I respect police very much, but they are bound by the laws same as we are and have no right to ask you to not open carry. And again, I pretty much agree with the officer and his assessment of the situation. I would have said "I respect your authority officer, but I am under no legal obligation to conceal my weapon". Who knows where it goes from there.

    I personally guarantee I don't have to deal with this kind of thing by always concealing my firearm. It's just easier that way.

  13. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    I know you posted the above a few days ago, but I would say open carry has some disadvantages whereas concealed really does not.

    I personally guarantee I don't have to deal with this kind of thing by always concealing my firearm. It's just easier that way.
    Disadvantages to concealed carry (BTW, I conceal about 70% of the time)

    1. less comfortable
    2. can take longer to access your firearm (especially when seated, like in a car)
    3. may have to carry a smaller firearm
    4. sweat can make your gun rust

    I am sure there are others, so I may add to others in another post.


    If you think you can't be hassled while CCing, you haven't done much research. Some LEOs hassle CCers during traffic stops or in public if they print.
    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

  14. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter;2235066
    I would state honestly and without exaggeration that the average "Joe" carrying open in Pittsburgh would be somewhat akin to attending a Kindergarten school play wearing an [I
    "I Am A Child Molester"[/I] T-Shirt.
    Your example is "apples and oranges".

    Child molesting is illegal.

    Open carrying is legal.

    It is sad that law abiding citizens that open carry are looked upon as criminal. Shame on you America.
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    "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
    --Thomas B. Reed, American Attorney

    Second Amendment -- Established December 15, 1791 and slowly eroded ever since What happened to "..... shall not be infringed."

  15. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    This isn't apple and oranges. How would you like it if a LEO came up to you because you are wearing a shirt with an inflammatory message or something verging on porn BUT legal within the community standards and you decide to go to a park with a bunch of kids. LEO try's to convince you to leave so he won't have to hear the complaints from the Moms of the kids at the park. Where do you want it to end? What you can be talking about? Suppose you are talking bad about a race, or sexual orientation, or religion and it is bothering everybody in the area. Don't tell me I am what if'ing. Because the LEO is acting in his official capacity and he should not attempt to infringe any of your rights. It is not a OC or 2A thing. It is a government official trying to sway you or in my words infringe on your rights. At the least IMO it is harassment. Does it meet the legal definition I have no clue. But if I am doing something legal and the officers not there to confirm I am legal but for the sole purpose of in this case having the person CC instead of OC then in my book that is harrassemnt by the government.
    I understand your argument and where you are coming from, but I think it lacks a little....common-sense (with all due respect, truly).

    First of all, most of what you stated above could land you a disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace charge.

    Say I am at Chucky Cheese with my kids playing. Another parent looses his cool because of all the excitement and loud noises, and starts cussing at the kids to "pipe down". Cop just happens to be there because he likes to see all the lights (from withdraw of not using his own dash lights) and comes over to tell the man to change his choice of words because he may tick off some customers. Are you saying that the cop is out of line here?

    The store manager didn't call him, he was there getting his "flash fix", neither did a concerned citizen. Would this be a just encounter?

    Another example, woman leaves a bikini show in downtown Atlanta. It's night time and very warm. She decides to go to the local 24hr tanning bed in the shady part of town because it's cheaper. She decides not to change and goes right in her bikini. She is seen by a cop walking down the street, cop pulls up and says,

    "Mam, you are asking for trouble walking down the street in an outfit like that, in this part of town. Someone is likely to try to take advantage of you or rape you, or you may cause an accident. I suggest you put something on". Again, would the officer's opinion here be out of line too?

    The man has the right to free speech, the woman has a right to wear what she wants and go where she wants. These may seem extreme, but to the general population who are not gun enthusiast, so is a man with a gun on his hip in a public park. Believe it or not, situations like the two above happen all the time with varied details, minus the cop getting a "flash fix".

    A person who is concerned about their safety/security, must try to be aware of their surroundings. As gun owners in this mindset, we try to see behavioral indicators to asses a threat that is being exposed to us. We must respond to the escalation before we are caught off guard and made a victim. This also includes us being conscious of our own behavior and how it is perceived, so that it does not contribute to the escalation. If time allows, always try to defuse, before having to pull the trigger as a last resort. Why because we choose to OC, does this same awareness not have a place?
    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
    ― Albert Einstein

  16. #135
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Another example, woman leaves a bikini show in downtown Atlanta. It's night time and very warm. She decides to go to the local 24hr tanning bed in the shady part of town because it's cheaper. She decides not to change and goes right in her bikini. She is seen by a cop walking down the street, cop pulls up and says,

    "Mam, you are asking for trouble walking down the street in an outfit like that, in this part of town. Someone is likely to try to take advantage of you or rape you, or you may cause an accident. I suggest you put something on". Again, would the officer's opinion here be out of line too?
    Are you kidding me? This would be totally out of line! Downright UN-American! Hot chics in bikini's! He would have to be some kind of commie pinko socialist nazi to even consider telling a hot babe to cover her bikini!
    Please, lets try to come up with more reasonable examples.

    Michael
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