MARYLAND Transit Authority Police Harass Open Carrier in VIRGINIA
Rick Sandlin, administrator of the Virginia Gun Owners Forum, describes an unusual and disturbing encounter with a Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) police officer while he was open carrying. What makes this so unusual is that it happened in Virginia.
If that Maryland officer had held a law-abiding gun owner in Virginia at gun point for doing nothing illegal, there would have been hell to pay (criminal charges and a civil suit). Luckily for the officer, he
didn't do it.
Talked to the cops today about OC : General Discussion • Virginia Gun Owners Forum
Rick Sandlin - vagunforum.net
So, I had some time to kill and went to the beach at the Potomac River where the Route 301 Nice Bridge crosses the river. Two kids in tow and my .38 special on my belt. We passed by a Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) car on the way to park at the beach and I thought nothing of it.
Parked the truck and we got out. The kids were looking for shells on the beach and I was wandering around with them. About 5 minutes later, I hear "Excuse me, Sir". I turned and there was the MTA deputy (or whatever they're called).
MTA: "May I see your handgun permit?"
Me: "I don't need a permit."
MTA: "And why don't you need a permit?"
Me: "I can open carry in Virginia without a permit - anyone who is legally allowed to own a firearm (no felonies, no domestic assault, etc), may carry a firearm openly in Virginia."
He let me know that he had called the local Sheriff's Office and that someone was on their way and I let him know that if he was going to sit on the Virginia side of the bridge that he should know the law. He asked me why I need to carry a gun, and I asked him why he needed to carry one. Well of course he needed one because he's a police officer and I need one because I never know what kind of freaky idiot I'm going to encounter at the scummy waters of the Potomac River.
The local deputy showed up and let the MTA guy know that I was within the law. Then they both let me know that I shouldn't be Open Carrying in the park unless I wanted to draw negative attention and that I should get a Concealed Handgun Permit. I told the county guy that I had one. When MTA guy heard that, he accused me of lying to him and telling him that I didn't have one when he asked me. I said "No, you asked to see my handgun permit, and I told you that I didn't need one to Open Carry my firearm". He pressed on that point again about me lying to him and I pressed back and he said he didn't want to argue about it.
Long story short, the local county deputy was really good about it and he let the Maryland guy know the law (which is exactly what I told him as well). The Maryland guy was pretty much a jerk about it all, essentially telling me that I shouldn't be carrying a gun in a park with my kids.
So, it was an exciting 15 minutes and my first discussion with police about my carrying of a firearm. I may have pressed the guy a little hard, but I knew he was outside his jurisdiction and that he clearly
didn't know the law. I'm glad the county deputy came and straightened it all out. Again, the deputy was really nice about everything.
Oh yeah, then after the deputy left, the MTA guy told me, "You know, when I came down here to check on you, instead of just asking to speak with you, I could have put pulled my gun and ordered you prone on the ground and put you in cuffs until the Sheriff's deputy got here." [PVC: That officer needs to be fired. His job is not to push his weight around from behind a badge and intimidate law-abiding citizens.]
I was good and kept my mouth shut about that one and just nodded my head.