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; 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 ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Interesting LEO Encounter While Open Carrying

    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?
    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

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  3. #2
    Member Array redwilson's Avatar
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    That is the reason I do not open carry. Yes, it's legal...however it is also a pain because most always someone calls LE for "man with a gun". I carry a gun to protect myself and my wife, not to advertise that I'm carrying a gun. That's why I got a concealed carry license.
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    Member Array Crowbait'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?
    I'm sorry you had such a crappy encounter. Although I've only carried openly a couple of times, I've never had any sort of conversation with an LEO where they had such an attitude and try to not let me do something im legally allowed to do. He has no right and cannot make you conceal your weapon as long as you are obeying all of the rules and your permit is in order. I hate it when people (especially those in a position of authority) try and push off their own beliefs and/or fears on to others. In my experience though this attitude is not the norm from most LEOs. Most are quite considerate and polite until the person they are dealing with cops an attitude. Personally, I would have told him to piss up a rope, pound sand, and take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut. This just irritates the crap outta me. Sorry you got screwed, don't take that crap next time

    EDIT: I've re-thought my response, and I more than likely would have been much more polite but I still don't think I would have covered up.
    A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government. --George Washington

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    VIP Member Array Richard58's Avatar
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    U did fine,
    DaveH likes this.
    The police are not there to protect you from crime, they are there to arrest the guy after the crime has been committed, assuming they find him. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and your family.

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    Member Array awanatech's Avatar
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    I have only recently begun to CC. I have OC a couple of times with no problem. While I think about various scenarios & "what if", I don't know that I would have handled it any different.

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Sorry if LEO's get upset about this but I think the LEO over stepped his bounds. Maybe not in a legal sense. He was not saying anyting about public safety but about the 'feelings' of other folks who by the way did not mention anything to him. A right is a right and this gentleman was not seeking publicity for Yu tube and was not in the LEO's face about his rights. But I would have been polite and asked if I was being detained and then be on my way. I refuse to have a LEO try to do that. Same as when a LEO pulled me over for something and was upset when I wouldn't let him search my car. Samereason I don't tell a LEO if I am carrying unless it ismandatory.
    Crowman, mlr1m, beararms and 3 others like this.

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    Member Array bolocanolo's Avatar
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    You "caved and covered" because the LEO created a plausible scenario. He did it first to make he's own life easier today, (by not having to deal with a possible scenario of a woman or mother screeming their heads off) he's got a gun, he's got a gun!! and to create a little doubt in your own mind that says "you know he's (LEO) got a point, perhaps I should be more careful where I OC, (even though I have the right to do so) Hum!! The end result in the LEO's mind was, you're not going on your walk in the park unless you covered up! The caos was not happening on he's watch. Just MHO

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    Check your state laws regarding carrying and be familiar with them, ESPECIALLY if you are going to OC.

    You may (or may not) have to produce your carry license at LEO request (check your state laws). Likely you did not need to respond to the LEO's questioning. Unless there was some reasonable articulable suspicion, you were likely free to go. That being said, you don't know if the LEO got a MWAG call and had to check it out. You weren't a jerk, and although the LEO was a bit gruff, overall he wasn't a jerk either.

    My point is that you need to be aware of your rights when an LEO stops you, and you need to know what to do to not waive those rights (i.e., if the LEO asks to search your person out of "safety" concerns, don't just mumble, "Uh, sure, okay.").

    This is why I don't OC. I like that fact that people can do it, but sometimes it's a bit of a hassle. Lots of people are in fear when they see a person with a gun, and call the cops, who then must respond, and many LEO's are not familiar with state carry laws (not a knock on LEO's by any means - just seems that lots of departments overlook carry laws in the training)

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    Member Array scott625's Avatar
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    You can always call the dept and ask them what their policy is, and explain to them what happened. Sounds more like a dept training issue.

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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Madison WI they just beat the heck out of you then arrest you. you got off easy.
    For LEO officer today the only law is what they want it to be. Just the way it is now.
    valvestem likes this.

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    Member Array JoeFriday's Avatar
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    Sounded like it went fine. From his perspective, I'm sure he was just being proactive before someone made a big deal about it. If it's not common in that area, he probably saw it as something he would have to deal with later if an 'agreement' was not reached. From your perspective, I'm sure it seemed like your rights were not upheld. It the grand scheme of things, if there were mom's and kids around, it was probably a good compromise before someone saw it and flipped out.
    BamaT likes this.

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    Member Array MisterAvis's Avatar
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    No one needs to be sworn at or lectured. Law Enforcement. Not Ethics Enforcement, Personal Preference Enforcement, Political Ideology Enforcement or Moral Authority Enforcement. As for where you are carrying, I don't know if this was in your CITY, but I won't go to the city unless it's in an ambulance heh. Too many gun terrified Television Heads and the Public Servants are right there with them. Here in my town the municipal police and the county sherrifs I have encountered have been extremely courteous and professional. Your encounter was neither courteous nor professional. Maybe that is representative of what to expect there and you, for sake of saving yourself the hassle, need to make an adjustment. Sorry for that.
    ErnieNWillis likes this.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined." -Obligatory Founding Father Quote

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    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    The problem with open carry is that it almost always results in a LEO interaction,(in my world at any rate) that is for them, stressful (man with a gun)...I deem it risky behavior in town and question the sanity of anyone who carrys in this manner... as will LE...and maybe not to politely...
    NavyAirdale likes this.

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptSmith View Post
    The problem with open carry is that it almost always results in a LEO interaction,(in my world at any rate) that is for them, stressful (man with a gun)...I deem it risky behavior in town and question the sanity of anyone who carrys in this manner... as will LE...and maybe not to politely...
    How many criminals do you hear of open carrying??
    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

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    Check your state laws regarding carrying and be familiar with them, ESPECIALLY if you are going to OC.

    You may (or may not) have to produce your carry license at LEO request (check your state laws). Likely you did not need to respond to the LEO's questioning. Unless there was some reasonable articulable suspicion, you were likely free to go. That being said, you don't know if the LEO got a MWAG call and had to check it out. You weren't a jerk, and although the LEO was a bit gruff, overall he wasn't a jerk either.

    My point is that you need to be aware of your rights when an LEO stops you, and you need to know what to do to not waive those rights (i.e., if the LEO asks to search your person out of "safety" concerns, don't just mumble, "Uh, sure, okay.").

    This is why I don't OC. I like that fact that people can do it, but sometimes it's a bit of a hassle. Lots of people are in fear when they see a person with a gun, and call the cops, who then must respond, and many LEO's are not familiar with state carry laws (not a knock on LEO's by any means - just seems that lots of departments overlook carry laws in the training)
    I am well aware of the laws in my area. I did not need to respond unless I was being detained, and I did not need to produce my permit. However, I did not want to escalate the situation, as he was on edge. Also, I did not want to be one of those open carry jerks on youtube. I wanted to represent carry (any kind) well, and show that citizens that carry firearms can be respectful while asserting their rights (I failed to do the latter, however).

    Lastly, this was my first LEO encounter while open carrying, and I was a touch nervous, hence why I caved.
    DoctorBob likes this.
    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

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