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Thread: White Bluff PD Encounter

  1. #1
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    White Bluff PD Encounter

    Well, after eight months of OC, I had my first LEO encounter at McDonalds in White Bluff.

    I had just gone hiking at Montgomery Bell State park, and stopped by McD's in White Bluff on the way back. I went to the restroom first, and the officer walked in just as I got in line. I was thinking it was coincidence, since I had just waked in the store a minute ago. He walked back to a booth behind me and I overheard the words "grey shirt" and "weapon", and I was hoping it would tell them I looked fine, not to worry, and then leave with no encounter. Not the case. Here is the email I sent the White Bluff Police Chief (to save story time):

    Mr. Holman;
    I was briefly detained in McDonald's around 4:15 this afternoon by Officer ******* (car #***). I was openly carrying a black pistol, which was holstered on my right side. Officer ******* approached me and asked for my carry permit after entering the store and having a brief conversation with some people in a booth behind me. After checking my permit, Officer ******* informed me that there was no "open carry law" in Tennessee, and that I must conceal my firearm according to state law. I replied that I thought the law did not require me to conceal my firearm. He again told me that I had to conceal it, and to cover my sidearm with my shirt, which I did before placing my order and leaving the store.
    According to TN State Attorney General Opinion No. 05-154, state law does not require firearms carried under Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1351 to be concealed. I ask that you confirm this with your city or district attorney, and inform your officers of what the law requires in this case. I had no problem with being contacted and showing my permit, and I appreciate Officer *******'s professional manner during the contact. However, by his asking me to do something not required by state law, anyone in McDonalds who overheard the contact likely believes I was doing something illegal, and are now misinformed on the law as well. Again, please update your officers on how the law relates to open carry. Thank you for your time.
    - Q-tip

    Yes, I caved and covered , but I had much rather settle it through email if at all possible. If the chief updates the officers and they act accordingly, then I'm happy. I'll let y'all know when/if the Chief replies.
    Last edited by Q-Tip; 04-29-2012 at 12:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    I think you did the right thing. You're not going to win the argument at that moment.

    The question is whether the chief will follow through and do anything and/or contact you back even.

    If he does, make sure to post it.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
    Regular Member sawah's Avatar
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    Normally, I would suggest that you:

    1. Have your recorder running when OC-ing, because now it's your word against the officers who can just say he 'requested you do blah-blah-blah'.
    2. Have memorized and or have an info card with you showing the statute the covers firearm carry (sometimes there isn't one, and in absence of one banning OC you don't need one)

    But you did get a badge number and car number and name and you did not contest the officer in the street and you ended the encounter peacefully and you did follow up by sending a note to his superior. Thus, I applaud your restraint and your proactive response. Good job. Now cover your arse for future situations like this. Get an Olympus long running recorder, know the laws in your state. Tennessee is a one-party state http://www.aapsonline.org/judicial/telephone.htm, and carry the letter from the chief.

    Thanks for posting an interesting encounter.
    A firearm is a tool of convenience, not effectiveness - Clint Smith, Thunder Ranch

  4. #4
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Becoming a police officer in Tennessee is tougher than in other states, they require a High School diploma instead of just a G.E.D.
    Still, even with the high standards, there are some that will go by what they think is right rather than apply themselves to learn what the Tennessee state code actually says.

    My take on it, do what the nice officer says while he's there, and when he's not you can return to being under the authority of State law.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q-Tip View Post
    Yes, I caved and covered...
    Since it is a CRIME to carry a firearm in TN and a permit is only a defense to that crime the officer could have arrested you just for carrying a firearm. I think you did just fine. I don't see it as you caving. I see it as acquiescing to ignorant power (surviving to fight another day).

    I really wish the state I called home for 20 years would go the way of Georgia and make it a crime to only carry without a permit instead of it being a defense to the crime of carrying a firearm....Actually I would prefer they follow the constitution(s) but that is not going to happen anytime soon.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish View Post
    Since it is a CRIME to carry a firearm in TN and a permit is only a defense to that crime the officer could have arrested you just for carrying a firearm. I think you did just fine. I don't see it as you caving. I see it as acquiescing to ignorant power (surviving to fight another day).

    I really wish the state I called home for 20 years would go the way of Georgia and make it a crime to only carry without a permit instead of it being a defense to the crime of carrying a firearm....Actually I would prefer they follow the constitution(s) but that is not going to happen anytime soon.

    I agree.

    Sometimes it is hard to make people understand why a LEO can detain you just for carrying a firearm and that a HCP is a defense. They always reference a LEO can't pull you over just to see a DL.

    I try to tell them that even though you have to have a DL to drive, driving itself isn't illegal, but carrying a firearm is. Most don't seem to get it.

    I do agree that technically a LEO could still arrest you, but unless there were some other aggravating factors, I wouldn't think it would go over well. For that matter, being in your own home is just a defense and not an exception.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Thanks to everyone for the replies/advice. Here is the Chief's reply from early this afternoon.

    "Mr. Q-tip, thanks for your email in reference to the contact with my officer. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me at Town Hall or my cell number."

    I'm not sure what to do with that. I get the feeling he just acknowledged the email and didn't do anything, but I hope I'm wrong. Any ideas on what to do from here or should I just let it go at that?

  8. #8
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I read and re-read your email,... twice, and it's possible I might be missing something. I didn't see where you asked any questions of the good Sheriff.
    If my summation's correct, then how could the Sheriff ask there were further questions when there were none to begin with?
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Your email was answered, but I don't think any answers were provided.

  9. #9
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    I didn't ask questions, but I guess I was hoping for confirmation that he would update his officers. The fact that he needed to do so was pretty clear in the email.

  10. #10
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    So write him back & cc the town's lawyer, city council president, etc.
    "Please send me a copy of the most recent training bulletins, memos, etc. dealing with encounters with lawfully-armed citizens."
    "Please send me a copy of the memo you sent this officer, reminding him that he does not have the authority to require someone to change his manner of carry to suit the officer's idea of what is proper."
    Things like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by MLK, Jr
    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy.
    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie
    Citizenship is a verb.
    Quote Originally Posted by Proverbs 27:12
    A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions.
    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
    Quote Originally Posted by Proverbs 31:17
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