LEOs harassing gun owners
This is a discussion on LEOs harassing gun owners within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; A few points. LE are many time ignorant of new laws. CCW is a big change , that many depts have not updated training on. ...
February 21st, 2007 08:47 AM
A few points. LE are many time ignorant of new laws. CCW is a big change , that many depts have not updated training on. This does not excuse the poor behavior of the officers involved.
The CCW folks stopped made their choice to open carry in the restaurant. More than likely they at least half expected a problem.
Open vs concealed is a ongoing debate, with no "right " answer. We all need to make our own choices in carry, as well as what legal battles we are willing to take on. .
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
February 21st, 2007 09:29 AM
"Open carry" in restaurants (and elsewhere) has been around for at least 3 years...it's been in the press (in VA and nation-wide..in fact, heard about it when I was in Iraq (2004)), so one could assume the following:
1-Cops do not watch TV or read newspapers
2-Cops watch TV, but don't believe it until someone tells them at rollcall. We all know about what you read in the papers.
3-Someone tells them at rollcall about the law--but with a wink and a nod tell them to "check it out"
4-Someone tells them at rollcall about the law--and that as long as the person is obeying the law and not carrying into prohibited places ("here's a list") and not a "known" felon, it is legal. And no, you cannot ask for ID if they are not breaking the law.
5-Cops watch TV and reads the paper, but if he/she ever comes across someone carrying a gun openly, in a holster, feels he should berate, belittle and argue over something he can't change and doesn't like.
I think the police officers were in the last category...and not all of them are like this. There are pockets of law enforcement who do not "get it" unless threatened with legal action (Short Pump, anyone?).
The restaurant wasn't posted. Open carry is legal, concealed is NOT (in a restaurant that serves alcohol). These guys were hungry...had been to this restaurant in the past. Some ninny wet his pants because he saw a gun and was even told by the dispatcher it was legal. PD comes out in force, saw nothing afoot...and proceeded to create a disturbance.
February 21st, 2007 09:53 AM
I've wondered about this... wouldn't the BG develop "tunnel vision" same as anyone else, and only be focused on the person behind the register (or whatever they were after)?
Originally Posted by The Sage of Seattle
February 21st, 2007 11:40 AM
Open carry has been legal in Va for a long time, I know it was in when I was a kid in the 70's, (before that, I don;'t know, I wasn't here) Up till the mid 90's, Va was a "may issue" state, and carry in "alcohol serving establishments" was also legal. When we went to "shall issue" part of the change took away the right of CC in "resturaunts".
My personal take on this, I uncover when I walk in the front door, and cover back up when I exit. I am abiding by the laws as they stand, and will continue till they change. I try to be PC when I can, but when it comes to the safety and security of my family, Tuff S...
I do go in with the understanding that I may be asked to leave. If that happens, I will gladly leave, and never come back. I don't own the joint, if they don't want me, or my gun, I don't want them.
"fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand
February 21st, 2007 04:31 PM
Actually, the laws in Virginia are laws of restriction. What I mean by that is that the law is enacted to prevent or modify behavior.
If there is nothing written in the law to prohibit something, then it is legal.
Open carry has ALWAYS been legal in Virginia and so has open carry in bars and restaurants serving alcohol.
When Virginia was a "may issue" state, concealed carry by permit holders in places that serve alcohol was legal.
It was only when the "shall issue" laws were enacted that the restaurant ban went into effect for concealed carry only. Why? As a compromise. In order to get the shall issue laws passed, the progun people gave up the right to carry concealed in a bar.
It's a backwards step that the VCDL has been trying to get fixed for years. Maybe one day. . . .
fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).
February 22nd, 2007 07:25 AM
First news story
Complaint filed against city police officers
By ELISA A. GLUSHEFSKI
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
What do you think?
A Springfield man filed a complaint Friday against the Manassas Police Department, saying that an officer's ignorance of Virginia's open-carry weapons laws created an unnecessary and tense situation for him and six friends at a city pizza restaurant.
On Jan. 13, Russ Troxel said he and six other members of a Second Amendment rights Web site forum Opencarry.org met at Tony's New York Pizza for dinner.
According to Troxel, they walked in with their guns holstered at their sides and ordered their food.
Virginia is known as an open-carry state. While carrying a concealed weapon requires a court-issued permit, no permit is required to carry a gun in the open.
Around 8:11 p.m., a police officer responded to a call at the restaurant from an unnamed diner who reported that the men were not causing any trouble but their weapons made him uncomfortable.
Troxel said the man had approached two of his friends while they were ordering their food and called them "yahoos" and "dorks."
About 30 minutes later a Manassas police officer arrived and, Troxel said, "loudly and antagonistically" asked if the men were police officers and, after learning that none were, demanded to see their IDs.
Within nine minutes, six other officers came to the Mathis Avenue restaurant, according to the Manassas police department's call information log.
The men tried to explain that because Tony's serves alcohol they were required by law to openly carry their firearms, Troxel said, but the first responding officer refused to listen and eventually became hostile.
One of the officers helped to defuse the situation, Troxel said in a telephone interview Tuesday, but several others overstepped their authority and were unnecessarily rude in doing so.
"The actions and attitudes [of the officers] is intolerable in a free nation," Russ Troxel said in the complaint.
Police Chief John J. Skinner said he would like to comment publicly but can't because the complaint is part of an internal investigation. He would not release the names of the officers.
According to the department's call information log, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Officer Chad Hyland was the first to respond, followed by Officers Joshua Thompson, Rickey Clodfelter, Sean Ellis, Marc Hittle, Tina Pannell and Carrie Sutton.
Troxel also accuses police of "suggesting or implying" something to the owner of Tony's to get him to ask Troxel and his friends to leave. The men hadn't been confronted about the weapons by any of the restaurant staff in the 45 minutes that they had been sitting there until after police arrived, he said.
Joe D'Agostino, manager of Tony's, said that the restaurant does not have a policy on openly carrying weapons.
But because they had received several complaints from regular customers, he and the owner told the men they would have to put their guns in their vehicles or leave, D'Agostino said.
Officers used derogatory terms to describe the men and their group in several e-mails and messages sent within the department following the incident, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Mike Stollenwerk, one of the founders of Open carry.org.
Stollenwerk was not at the restaurant at the time of the incident.
In an e-mail Clodfelter sent five of the other officers the day after the incident, he copied the state code that prohibits patrons from carrying concealed weapons in any place that serves alcohol and concludes that they were legally allowed to carry their guns openly that night.
In the same e-mail, Clodfelter also wrote: "My guess is the over-compensating ass clowns at Tony's were hyper-aware of all this, and that's why they started crying like little babies when their event got spoiled by the whole 'lets get the owner to tell them to get the f-- out' thing."
A lieutenant in the department e-mailed other police departments in the state on Jan. 17 asking if similar incidents had happened in their jurisdictions, adding that his opinion "is that the group is probing local [police departments] in order to see how they will react" to those type of calls.
An hour later a captain of the Fredericksburg Police Department replied that a group of men had "attempted the same type of act" in the Fredericksburg area and that they were "lawsuit shopping."
Troxel said the group chose Tony's restaurant for its central location.
"We weren't lawsuit shopping," he said, adding that he also denies that the group was testing the department's knowledge of open-carry laws.
Use of vulgar or profane language is a violation of the department's computer and electronic messaging policy, Skinner said.
He began a supervisory review of the incident in early February after receiving the Freedom of Information Act request two weeks earlier. He said it could take up to 30 days to get the findings of the department's internal investigation.
"Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18
Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
Paramedics With Guns Scare People!
February 22nd, 2007 08:48 AM
It sounds like the first cop was a rookie. He should have been polite and stated his reason for being there instead of makeing a fool out of him self. The law needs to be changed on concealed carry in resturants. Haveing to carry guns in the open is not a well thought out law.
February 22nd, 2007 09:05 AM
If it's legal to carry in that manner, at the restaurant where they ate, and if the facts are as they've been reported, then I think a complaint is a good first step. However, unless it rams through to the deepest, darkest recesses of back-room discussions with LEO's and becomes front-line policy, such harassment will only continue. There is no excuse for not knowing the law. These folks were not criminals and not violating anything other than the soft sensibilities of other diners and a few LEO's.
Complaint filed against city police officers. What do you think?
February 22nd, 2007 09:14 AM
I wonder if the diner had to go to therapy afterwards. Cry about it a little bit. That's so sad and pathetic.
Originally Posted by paramedic70002
...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller
February 22nd, 2007 09:47 AM
Adhering to the law may be legal, but it may not be wise to do some things that could cause a public offense.
We should not think that if we open carry legally, it can cause no problems. We have a right to free speech, but if we become offensive in public with it, we can be cited for disturbing the peace.
Parents with children present may be just as offended with offensive/abusive speech as they would be with a bunch of guys with guns on there hips. There are people that would frighten or alarm. While it is not illegal, that doesn't mean it won't be intimidating, disruptive, or disturbing to someone. If it is, they are within their rights to call the police.
I'm not condoning improper LE behavior, but it oviously the guys open carrying disturbed the peace, the police were called, and they removed the disturbers. That right to carry is not a right to frighten and disturb the peace.
February 22nd, 2007 09:52 AM
There is a monstrous difference between "becoming offensive" and "someone taking offense." Though, I'll grant that a bleating sheep makes one hell of a racket. One is not a crime, should not be held up as a crime or problem, and should be protected as a perfectly legitimate method of defense ... particularly when it's spelled out in the law directly.
Originally Posted by Tangle
That said, this hubbub is the main reason I won't carry openly when others are around. It's simply not worth the trouble they all put themselves through, nor mine. However, if trampled, those rights should absolutely be fought for, as staunchly as can be mustered.
February 22nd, 2007 10:11 AM
They became an offense because someone took offense by their actions. It sounds like you're trying to blame the offended rather than the offenders.
Originally Posted by ccw9mm
February 22nd, 2007 10:14 AM
Originally Posted by SammyIamToday
Now this thread is getting interesting again.
I think a lot of you are missing the boat on this though... It doesn’t matter if it’s legal to do so or not. They were not arrested, cited or otherwise by the police. The manager made a business decision to have the men leave; he can do that. His right to run his business as he sees fit trumps the men’s right to carry in that business.
I think the lawsuit is over how the officers handled the call, not if it was legal or not. It is obvious they knew it was legal; otherwise arrests would have been made.
"Just blame Sixto"
I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.
February 22nd, 2007 10:49 AM
Let us not miss the lesson here guys, even if it's legal to open carry, that doesn't protect us from disturbing the peace and other issues that can result.
February 22nd, 2007 12:25 PM
I disagree with your conclusion. These guys were not disturbers at all. They behaved properly. Their actions were LEGAL. It doesn't matter what anyone else thought. These men behaved responsibly. The only one taking issue was the marine and he didn't seem to be frightened, alarmed or intimidated, just ticked off. I bet everyone else in the place got an education about open carry being legal. The thought that some people don’t like a right, is no reason to give up that right.
Originally Posted by Tangle
I know some of those 7 people in the Manassas incident. They are good people.
They simple like to get together for fellowship with like minded people, i.e. open carriers. They exercise their rights and if any LEO acts irresponsibly, they work with the VCDL to re-educate the officers. They are NOT looking for revenge and they are NOT looking for a law suit.
I don’t know about Manassas but, at least in Fairfax County, when a "man with a gun" call is made, the policy of the department requires that a LEO be dispatched to the scene. Different officers of this department feel differently about carrying a gun (open or concealed). Some feel that a citizen has the right; others don't like the idea. So be it!
These officers have been re-educated through such events as the Champs restaurant and Starbucks situations in recent years.
Their policy is to show up at the scene and try to talk to the manager or someone in charge. If that person says that there is no problem, the officers leave. If they can't find the manager, they will go to the armed citizen and politely check him out. Then they leave.
Even though the media tried to make a big deal out of these two incidents, it didn't work. Their campaign against open carry fizzled. The legislature in Richmond is cognizant of the issues and is overwhelmingly progun. I have no intention of giving up these rights without a fight.
I have open carried in restaurants at times when they were packed with parents and their kids. No one went running into the street or called 911. At one of these times, a man, his wife and three kids were waiting in line with me. They asked the ones of us who were armed if we were LEO’s and we said no.
Then the wife said something like, "well. . . . anyway, it looks like we will be well protected tonight".
I know I’m rambling but, I just have a hard time understanding why the ones who are against open carry feel the way they do (tactical considerations excepted).
What would you do if the Brady’s were successful in stirring up the sheeple against concealed carry and they passed a law that any time you enter a restaurant, you had to announce that you were carrying. If that disturb anyone, would you quit carrying?
Like I said before, the very same arguments I am hearing against open carry are the same ones the antis use about ANY type of carry.
I know the open vs. concealed argument will NEVER go away and what is right for me may not work for you. I just wish people would avoid accusing good people of acting irresponsibly SOLELY because they engaged in a LEGAL activity that many of you do not agree with.
Just remember, when Zumbo made his remarks, many on this forum (including me) thought his remarks to be stupid ones. But, after all, wasn’t his point that AK’s and AR’s make people “nervous, frightened or intimidated”.
fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).
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