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Story from vagunforum.net via VCDL ALLERT, with comments from Philip Van Cleave <[email protected]> VCDL President

MARYLAND Transit Authority Police Harass Open Carrier in VIRGINIA
Park!
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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.
I would love to know what, if any, joint/inter-jurisdictional agreement exist.
 

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This is unreal. I can't believe this MTA guy.
 

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You expect MTA to know the law? Maybe best know what time the trains rolls by.
 

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"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."
If true, he's just another example of those who abuse the trust given with the badge. He should realize that instead of merely rolling over and taking it up the backside, upstanding citizens can have him removed for cause, for threatening citizens and abusing the authority of the position. He should keep in mind who he works for, and why, particularly if he's going to go saying such things. It'll catch up with him, at some point.
 

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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.]
...and the officer is glad no one like me showed up to rain on his parade...

What would happen if others armed in the area had shown up and noticed the commotion with a person in an invalid uniform ie not recognized as of this state or locality ordering around a VA citizen with children around at the point of his firearm... Can we say police impersonator...?
Before those from out of state comment, please remember we have had a LOT of those police impersonator types in VA in the past. So it tends to be in the back of my mind when someone in a uniform shows up and the uniform doesn't match anything the local leo's wear on a daily basis.:frown:

At the very least I'd be calling in to the local LE for a Police IMPERSONATOR holding a citizen at gunpoint. See how MR MTA likes that one.
 

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What gave the MTA officer to do anything in VA, unbelievable the arrogance of some people!
 

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Every now and again, there are those very few people in Law Enforcement that think they are LAW INCARNATE (Judge Dredd types).

It is a rare occurrence, but they are out there.

I am not disrespecting any LEO's, so please leave your comments on topic.

We all know that this happens.

It wouldn't be as bad, if they knew the Laws.
 

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You folks in Virginia need to be careful with Maryland authorities near the river. If the person in the encounter with the MTA officer stepped below the high water mark on the Virginia shore he would actually be in Maryland and subject to Maryland law.
 

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Dave, you might want to make sure the folks on that other forum are aware of that little detail. The thing that has me concerned is
The kids were looking for shells on the beach and I was wandering around with them.
Depending on where they were and what was going on with the tide at the time, he may easily have crossed that threshold without even knowing it. The case would be heard in a Maryland court by a Maryland judge who would in all likelyhood find him guilty of a weapons offense that may well cost him his permit or even get him listed as a prohibited person in NICS.
 

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Best to ask the VA AG on the exact delineation of the MD/DC/VA borders along the Potomac? I had always heard it was basically like wet foot/dry foot...kinda like little Cuba(Miami) :rolleyes:

edit:
http://www.virginiaplaces.org/boundaries/mdboundary.html
Interesting read on the VA/MD border. It seems the actual border was the LOW WATER mark as of the Arbitration of 1877 agreement. To make it even more interesting is that in 1927 a new survey determined that the "low water mark" does NOT necessarily follow the shore line and in some cases actually juts into the Potomac itself(under the actual water line).

and it gets even more interesting as of 1958...
The 1958 agreement established the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, defined the jurisdictional boundaries for that commission's powers (in great detail for the Maryland side of the Potomac River, but simply referencing the mean low waterline of the Potomac River on the Virginia side, as marked by the Matthews-Nelson Survey of 1927). After both the Virginia and Maryland legislatures and the Maryland voters approved the 1958 agreement, Congress affirmed it in 1962.
 

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It's well established -- the high water mark on the Virginia shore, as MCP1810 said.
 

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Hey I'm new here but had to respond.

Since he was out of his jurisdiction what would be wrong with "Since this is Virginia and not Maryland, none of your damn business on this side of the river."
 

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Hey I'm new here but had to respond.

Since he was out of his jurisdiction what would be wrong with "Since this is Virginia and not Maryland, none of your damn business on this side of the river."
Mostly the example it would have set for his two kids watching. If the guy wants to question respectfully, there's nothing wrong with a cordial response.

At this point in time with regard to our gunrights, and in my opinion, it's important to be an ambasador for both OC'ers and CC'ers everywhere.

I would have followed up with MTA regarding the guys threat - clearly unprofessional.
 

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Should have got his badge number and turn him into his captain..
His last comment to you was very near a threat and I would think a call to his Department head would be in order.
 

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There was a paddle wheel three deck boat on the Virginia side of the Potomac river in the 60s which was actually in Maryland because it was located out past the low tide mark. It was a gambling boat and gambling is illegal in Virginia. Just goes to show that sometimes you cannot tell where the state line is.
 

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Hey guys, the point is what he believed to be Virginia may not in fact have been Virginia. And when he is brought before a judge in the District Court of Maryland and tells the judge he believed he was in Virginia, the judge is not going to be impressed.
 

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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.
Everywhere that I can think of, the border between two places is marked in the middle of the river. For example, the Snake River between Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Not so, between VA/MD in the Potomac.

See below. Looks like this is the section of river in Virginia that's being described, just north of the US Naval Surface Weapons Center complex. In that section of river, the border of Maryland extends all the way onto Virginia's side of the river. Nice little glitch, which allows Maryland to claim legal authority for folks standing on the Virginia side. For folks attempting to keep the hell away from MD, this looks like a pothole that is ripe for abuse.

And when he is brought before a judge in the District Court of Maryland and tells the judge he believed he was in Virginia, the judge is not going to be impressed.
Yeah, well. A MD judge wouldn't be, in the land where anyone caught with a gun who isn't on the Who's Who list is deemed a felon.
 

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Should have got his badge number and turn him into his captain..
Considering this guy was MTA and an agent of the People's Republik of Maryland, his Captain would have probably given him a commendation for his "heroic act".

gag:puke:

Seriously though, I hate hearing about this stuff. But I do have to commend the deputy for setting MTA dork straight. It's good to hear the deputy did it in front of him, and didn't just pull MTA aside and explained the law to him to save face in front of Mr. Sandlin.

But sad part is that this happens in Va with our own LEO's more then you think.
 
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