Something very bad?
That's why I went outside.
This is a discussion on Kicked out of Barnes & Noble! within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; About an hour ago, I was asked to leave Barnes & Noble in Alexandria under threat of "something very bad". After a nice dinner with ...
About an hour ago, I was asked to leave Barnes & Noble in Alexandria under threat of "something very bad".
After a nice dinner with my girlfriend at Panera, I arrived at B&N at around 9:15pm to do a little reading and to possibly pick up the new Harry Potter book for her. They had a midnight party which I wasn't aware of until I got there, and since I OC at that particular B&N about once a week, I never thought twice about it. As always I nodded to the security guard upon entering, and as a matter of fact, I was seen by no fewer than 5 employees upon entering because they were giving out free Harry Potter glasses and graduation tassles, one older gentleman handing them out who asked me, "Hey, is that your mouse gun on your hip or is that your little friend?" with a smile given, and a of course a smile returned I replied, "It's my little friend..." > )
We walked over to the table where they were handing out wristbands because my girlfriend was still unsure if she wanted a copy but they were only to pre-orders, so that accounts for the 5 or so who saw me right off the bat. No problems.
We strolled some isles, and over by the magazine racks, they were taking pictures with Harry Potter, and some more employees suggested we go take our picture, so we did. (cute pic, if I have time I'll put that up as an aside) Next to the picture stand, there was a booth were you could decorate your polaroid afterwards with about another 2 employees. No problems.
I got a couple gun magazines and took a seat in a big comfy sofa chair and plunked down to start reading. I was sitting, with a stack of 3 magazines in my lap, so it'd be pretty hard to see whether or not I was carrying regardless. No problems... for an hour and a half.
At around 10:45, without warning, a hand waved in front of me because I was in Condition Magazine, and the usual, "Are you a law enforcement officer?" was asked. I replied no.
Sgt. Mucci: "Why do you have a gun then?"
me: "Personal self-defense."
Sgt. Mucci: "Come with us, and I'm going to have to see your concealed permit if you have one as well."
I then noticed that there was another officer behind me, and I replied, "Is there a problem? I'm open carrying so I don't need a concealed carry permit, and I've open carried here many times before, what's the problem?"
Sgt. Mucci: "Come with us, we'll talk about this outside."
I asked, "Am I being arrested officer?"
Sgt. Mucci: "No, you'd be in cuffs by now."
I asked, "Am I being detained officer?"
Sgt. Mucci: "No, but if you don't come with us, there'll be something very bad."
Since there was a crowd forming now, and I was getting HIGHLY embarassed, and not knowing where my girlfriend was, I stood up and said, "If I'm not being detained I'll talk with you guys outside."
Luckily my g/f was right behind them, having seen it as it happened, and I gave her the purse I was holding for her, and the cute Harry Potter pic we had. I asked her to wait here, and I'd be back.
I FELT LIKE A CRIMINAL WALKING OUT OF THE STORE DOUBLESIDED BY LEO'S WITH EVERY EYE ON ME.
Once outside, Sgt. Terri Mucci asked me, "Why do you have a gun?"
me:"Like I said, personal self-defense."
Sgt. Mucci: "Can I have your ID?"
me:"No. I don't see how that's relevant to our discussion."
Sgt. Mucci: "What's your name?"
me:"I'm Chris, what's your name?"
Sgt. Mucci: "What's your last name?"
me:"I don't see how that's relevant to our discussion. I'm Chris."
Sgt. Mucci: "I don't know what your problem is, or what agenda you're pushing, but there are dozens of kids, and this is a playground."
I replied, "I've never had a problem in Barnes & Noble and it was my understanding that company police as well as the law allowed me to carry here. So what's this about? I'm open carrying which is legal, and I'm not breaking any laws."
Sgt. Mucci: "The manager asked us to remove you from the store, and you're not allowed back in unless you disarm."
me: "In fact, if I remember correctly, Captain Hassan addressed a similar incident which just happened a couple weeks ago, and wrote an email to a friend saying it wouldn't happen again." Here's the email in reference.
Sgt. Mucci: "I don't care what was said, I have a problem with you carrying here, tonight."
me: "I've been here MANY times before, about once a week and have never had a problem, in fact the security guard on duty noticed me like he always does and didn't have a problem with it. If there's ever a problem in any place I visit with the management, then I'd be more than happy to leave, may I speak with the manager?"
Sgt. Mucci: "I don't care what you want to do, you're not allowed back in until you disarm, with that." <points at my firearm>
me: "Fine. May I have your business card please?"
Sgt. Mucci: "I don't carry business cards, but my name is Sgt. Mucci."
me: "And what's your name?" <I gesture to the other guy>
Officer Brown: "I'm Brown, here's my card." (badge #1694)
me: "Thank you, may I borrow your pen?"
He gives it to me, and I write down Sgt. Terri Mucci's name & badge # (1331) on the back of Brown's card.
me: "Thank you very much."
My girlfriend came out sometime around that point, and I walked to my car and let her back in, told her I was going back inside to talk to management, and apologized profusely for embarassing her and myself. I secured my firearm in my glove compartment, locked it, then went back. I thought about just leaving there and then, but I wanted to make sure a report wasn't going to be filed against me for anything after the fact, plus I wanted to talk to the manager because I've never ever had a problem in the times I've been there before. Sgt. Mucci was still at the door with Officer Brown.
me: "I've disarmed, may I go back in?"
Sgt. Mucci: "I don't care what you do."
me: "I just want to make sure I won't be arrested for tresspassing upon entering as I've already disarmed."
Sgt. Mucci: "We were told to escort you out and not let you back in unless you disarmed."
I took that to mean I wasn't going to be arrested for tresspassing, but I was scared. I walked in and asked for the manager at the front desk.
While waiting, Sgt. Mucci comes back in and here's what happened (STUPID ME I DIDN'T TURN ON MY CELL PHONE UNTIL NOW and stupider me, it only records 1 minute intervals... GRRR!). I quickly fumble to the recorder and this is all I got of the whole night...
Sgt. Mucci: "Keep it in an adult environment, this right here is a playground. I don't really care because what happens here right now is there's an ethical decision that takes over whatever your legal agenda is. Call your lawyer and you can have that conversation with him all day long. This makes small children's parents uncomfortable. Barnes & noble and management does not want you in this store with a gun."
me: "Well that's why I wanted to talk to the management just to make sure."
Just then, the friendly manager comes over, Stephanie, who offers her business card, and offers to talk to me outside, I say sure because I don't want to cause any scene or detract from her business.
We go outside where I say:
me (to officer Brown): "I'm completely legal, right?"
Officer Brown: "Oh yes, otherwise you'd have been arrested by now."
me (to Stephanie): "Okay, I just wanted to apologize for scaring any patrons inside, but I've open carried here many times before, and I come here about once a week if you remember my face. I've never had a problem with any employees, and I usually say hi to the security guard on duty as soon as I enter just so he knows. Have the store policies changed to prohibit legally carried firearms in the store?"
Stephanie: "Oh no! It's not a store policy, it's just that we had a couple complaints from customers who were concerned tonight."
me: "I understand completely, and I don't want to scare anybody, so there's been no problem with me carrying before, right?"
Stephanie: "No, and in fact, I think I remember that you've been here before, and welcome you back, I just wanted to make sure everything was okay."
me: "Did you ask these officers to remove me from the building?"
Stephanie: "No, I called the officers and asked them to make sure everything was legal and alright and do whatever they had to do."
me: "So you didn't ask them to tell me to leave?"
Stephanie: "No, I just wanted to make sure everything was okay."
me: "I just wanted to get that straightened out, and thank you for being so nice, I'm sorry I caused any trouble, and wanted to talk to you to make sure that store policies haven't changed. If you don't mind I'd like to give you a call later this week to follow up on anything."
Stephanie: "Sure, I'd like that, in the meantime I'll try to call [I forget something about legal]L&P corporate to make sure about our store's policy."
me: "One last thing, if you could please find the people who complained about me and tell them that I was completely safe and legal and I didn't mean to scare them and that I'm very sorry."
Stephanie: "I'll try, and thank you."
I then asked:
me to Sgt. Mucci: "Management didn't ask me to leave, why was I removed?"
Sgt. Mucci: "Mangement had a problem, so we removed you."
Officer Brown: "I was told to escort you out by an employee, so I did.--"
Sgt. Mucci: "--Look, I'm not here to debate with you over your rights or the laws, we asked you to leave because management had a problem so you can get out of here now. I'm done talking with you."
me to Brown: "Fine, then why was I forced to leave if the management said she didn't ask you guys to ask me to leave"
Officer Brown: "I'm done talking with you as well. I have nothing else to say."
I then lit up a cigarette, took the long way to my car so I wasn't followed, only noticing now that there were about 4 cars and one police SUV, and another 4 officers standing about 15 feet out of sight. VERY nervous, I got back into my car, apologized again for embarassing my girlfriend and left. Went to Double D's for a coffee and came back to type this up. More when I calm down. *sigh* I thought this **** was over when Hassan got that email a couple weeks back. I guess not.
Now that's the way to handle an approach under said situation.
Kudos to you for thinking not to toss water on a grease fire!
As for that UCLA kid from last winter or so, he was practically asking for it as unlike your own his mind wasn't right.
Dude, you are a GUTSY, BRAVE man. If you handled yourself half as cool and confident as your account appears, then you have earned from me a tremendous amount of respect.
It's not every person who has the confidence to tell the police to stuff it when they don't have any reason to be harassing you.
I hate to say this as a fellow OCDO member. This thread is going to blow up into a OC vs. CC matter. I OC whenever I can and that is why I am on the OCDO forum.
Anyway, on the subject. I think you handled it as best you could. Good thinking with the recorder. As another OCDO thread pointed out, we need to start carrying both armaments. Our handgun and our mini recorder.
Now to address one thing. As much as I stand for OC B&N tonight was probably a really bad move. Well it turned out to be, but I probably would have locked it up with the amount of crazed parents in line. Hind sight is 50/50 eh.
Funny how police can get away (I say get away loosely) with telling you to just leave as they do not want to talk with you anymore.
Now the only way I could POSSIBLY justify why parents would complain:
"Oh my god, if that man does not get a Harry Potter book tonight for his woman I think he is going to shoot us all."
Open Carry on my friend.
Going to post a thread over at OCDO about calling for some coverage. Not related to this event but for the safety of all the OC members.
Most excellent restraint and a very articulate interaction with the LEO. I believe probably threw them off guard a bit as well. Especially going in and speaking with the manager and getting her side.
Very good apologizing to the manager and expressing that she passed your apologies to the concerned patrons.
I think your demeaner, cordial and low keyed went a long way in conveying that we are not irrational and irresponsible citizens like the Anti-gunners attempt to portray us in "their" out of control rants.
My question is how to you intend to proceed with follow-up?
Enquiring minds want to know...
Keep us posted closely on this one unrequited!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
If as described: abuse of power.
Virginia and Ohio are in a dead heat for impact on the future of our rights to carry and defend ourselves. VCDL's going to be busy.
[Removed comments due to how tired I was when I posted it. Not an accurate reflection of my thoughts.]
I'd like to make a suggestion, though: If you do follow-up with her, find out if she called 911 to have someone come out or if she dialed Arlington (Or Fairfax depending on where you were) County's non-emergency line...?
Last edited by SixBravo; July 21st, 2007 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Stated Above
Wow a lot of non LEO here. Let me preface this by saying I am not anti CCW and I am going to give a response in support of LEO here. They had a right to escort you out to discuss the matter for their safety and yours.
From my experience, stories like this are 9 times out of 10 exaggerated. You are presenting your side, that's cool. I would be curious to hear the Officers side. I would have seriously considered arresting you for obstruction because you probably were more of an as* than you're letting on. Great job recording the Officers, more of you should do it when in a situation. It's great because you present your snippet of a conversation in a complaint and then I play my Mobilevision audio of the entire incident and show how we got up to your snippet. I have had this happen in court relating to traffic stops and the look is priceless. We (at least my agency) don't act like a**es because everything is recorded now. I am not in it to bust anyone's hump, just comply with what needs to be done within the scope of the law and let's move on. It's a shame that some LEO's are a bad example of professionalism.
Not trying to get under anyone's skin it's just that there are two sides to every story.
Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.
I am also going to go against the grain here... I think it was handled poorly.
The story as I read it, the LEO's did nothing wrong at all. It is the first day that you learn to do everything you can to seperate a potential problem from the crowd. It solves a few different problems.
You started a challenge instead of just manning up to head outside and talk with the officers. Had you truly kept a cool head, I think both sides would have walked away happy. Instead, you showed a chip on your shoulder and I would have assume that you came across as a less than desirable person to the LEO. The LEO could have been you biggest supporter in this situation.
The store has every right to denie your entry with your gun... its their call. It does not matter if you have one it thousands of times before or not. The manager made a call, and that needed to be respected.
"Just blame Sixto"
I think you handled that situation very well. You complied with their first request to go outside and talk about the problem. I think it was perfectly reasonable for them to escort you out after a complaint.
They clearly knew what you were doing was legal (otherwise, they wouldn't have bothered talking to you for as long as they did).
I do have a problem with them pretending that the manager didn't want you coming back in. If there was a mystery employee that told them this, then ok, but once it's sorted out with the manager, that should trump anybody else.
Based on the story you present, it looks to me like these two officers had an axe to grind, and were doing everything they legally could to harass you, and then tried to pass it off as the store management's request.
If the police chief is receptive to OC and doesn't have his own agenda, you might consider lodging a complaint against these two officers for unproffessional conduct.
If the bold snippet you recorded is word-for-word, I would think the chief needs to know his officers are putting their personal views above enforcing the law, are mis-representing B&N's management, and are using their authority to intimidate peaceful law-abiding citizens.
If the store manager asks you to leave (for any reason, whether it's for open carrying or wearing a stained shirt), you have to do it. That's a given. But, she didn't.
All members should feel free to go to the forum rules page and read the very first line on that page typed by our DefensiveCarry.com owner and Administrator. That would be Bumper.
I'll post that first line here for you all - so no need for you to bother going there in order to read it.
"The DefensiveCarry.com forums have grown tremendously and we thank all of you for being part of this community committed to concealed weapons carry."
Notice anything in that first line in the way of a "not so subtle" message to our members?
DefensiveCarry.com members should keep in mind that DefensiveCarry.com IS a forum with a Primary Focus and that would be Legal, Concealed Carry of Firearms For Personal Protection And Self~Defense.
DefensiveCarry.com is NOT (and never was) OpenCarry.com and if this turns into yet another Open VS Concealed carry debate or it gets Heated and goes into Member Attack Mode ~ it will be promptly deleted.
I've posted this in advance so that you'll know why it's gone should it end up going Bye-Bye and you'll all not get bent out of shape over it.
Good Thread - Possibly Wrong Internet Forum.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
DefensiveCarry.com never was ShotgunApplicability.com, either, yet the suitability of shotguns in various scenarios is a legitimate are of interest and concern for folks who use firearms defensively. Not much different than the pros/cons of concealed versus other modes. To be completely honest, my read on the above-quoted snippet isn't that everything other than carrying is verboten, as implied by the above post.
Just looking for clarification.