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Thread: Sheriff's advice when OCer enters public building: Call the police

  1. #1
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    Sheriff's advice when OCer enters public building: Call the police

    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi..._river_default

    In a memo to the City Commission, City Manager Patrick Waterman wrote that “the likelihood of this happening is high given that many 2nd Amendment promoters are currently ‘testing the waters’ in many public buildings, looking for an opportunity to file a lawsuit.” For example, Grand Rapids Police are being sued for how they responded to a caller’s concern about a man who legally open-carried on the street while talking and singing to himself.
    You may politely contact Hudsonville City Manager Patrick Waterman HERE to tell him why you OC.

    Other municipalities are taking notice of what is going on in GR. Whether they follow the law because they want to respect our rights, or whether they are afraid of a lawsuit means little to me as long as they are following the law.

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    My open letter to the City Manager:

    Hello City Manager Waterman,

    I am writing to you in response to recent comments that you were quoted as making in an MLive article HERE. Specifically, that open carriers are "testing the waters" and are "looking for an opportunity to file a lawsuit".

    Sir, with due respect, I believe that you have us misunderstood.

    Speaking as a leadership member for an organization that represents Open Carriers, I assure you that we are indeed not looking for a lawsuit. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Myself and other members of my organization put forward a great deal of work to educated both sides in an effort to see legal action avoided. We believe the laws surrounding open carry in Michigan are clear and well established, and it is our goal to educate both citizens and government on what those laws plainly say and mean.

    As an open carrier, I open carry primarily as a means of protecting myself, wife and child. Open carry has repeatedly been shown to deter crime before it starts, as opposed to stopping crime after it starts as carrying concealed is more closely related to. This is exactly why police officers generally open carry. I, in no way, wish to be someone that successfully used their firearm to defend themselves or their family, but rather, it is my sincere wish that I end up someone who never had to defend themselves with their firearm.

    Furthermore, I am a law abiding citizen, and that does not change based on some imaginary line that I have crossed, just as a criminal is not deterred by that very same line. As a potential victim, I have the misfortune of not being the one that decides when or where I will become said victim.

    Again, myself and Michigan Open Carry seek to educate not only those that must follow the law, but also those that that are tasked with enforcing the law. The majority of the time, municipalities that we reach out to are willing to work with us and respect the laws of this State. Other times, some we reach out to possess an ideological stubbornness that might cause them to believe that they are better off not following State law. Often times the actions of the stubborn ideological few lead not only to their own detriment, but to the detriment of citizens of the municipality and the State.

    If you would like more information, have any questions, or ever need assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Sincerely,
    Tom Lambert
    Assistant Legislative Director
    Assistant SW Regional Coordinator
    Michigan Open Carry, Inc.

  3. #3
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Very good letter.

    Will be interested in any response you receive.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I'll post it here should I receive one. Doubtful but we'll see.

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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    This is what I would expect from any government official in Ottawa County. They are getting their "training" from the same sheriff whose gun board is very quick to deny or revoke CPLs. This is also the same sheriff who was consulted in dealing with the "Chris Fetters incident" in Grand Haven a few years ago. Grand Haven had to pay an OCer because of his advice to their city's PD. Also, a deputy under this person's "leadership" became enraged that the convenience store in which I was OCing wanted me to stay...even after the deputy was pleading very loudly that the clerk should request that I be removed for Open Carrying. She refused.

    I'll continue to do as I've done for years. I'll OC when and where I choose to. The opinion of the sheriff is just that...his opinion.
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer – I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

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    Michigan Moderator Shadow Bear's Avatar
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    Dear Mr. Waterman,

    In a recent article on mlive.com, you were quoted as saying ‘testing the waters’ in many public buildings, looking for an opportunity to file a lawsuit.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth. The decision to carry concealed, or openly, is completely dependant on a umber of factors, some of which include:

    Comfort- intentionally dressing to conceal a firearm, particularly in warmer weather, necessitates additional layers of clothing
    Legality (age)- there exists an old law that precludes individuals between 18 and 21 from receiving a concealed pistol license; mind you that includes active military and veterans.
    Legality (CPL waiting times)- currently Ottawa and Kent County have egregious wait times for individuals to receive a CPL.
    Tactical advantage- some hold that a sidearm, unencumbered by additional layers of clothing, provides quicker access in the event of an actual emergency. Other believe (rightly so) that it acts as a deterrent to victimization. Although there is only anecdotal evidence, it also is difficult to obtain data on crimes that do not happen due to the presence of a lawfully armed citizen.

    To suggest that they are looking for an opportunity to file a lawsuit is offensive. Although there are, indeed, some attention seekers who run 'reverse stings' on corrupt law enforcement officials, they are very rare. I am not aware of any in the West Michigan area. The cost of litigation for these types of suits generally consume the meager awards one may expect. It's just not profitable.

    For myself, I don't take additional steps to intentionally conceal my sidearm; it is irrelevant to me if it is concealed or exposed. I'm not looking to shock anyone, or garner unwanted attention. By the same token, I do not feel the need to have the 'element of surprise' in a encounter with the criminal element here in Grand Rapids.

    My wife and I both carry, but before you condemn us, you should know we are both missionaries involved in rescuing battered women. We carry to protect ourselves and our charges. Previously, I was worship leader and security at a small local church. Yes, I carried concealed during services, so as not to distract from any move of the Spirit.

    Please take the time to walk a mile in our shoes before you make blanket statements about 'open carriers'; you couldn't be further from the truth.

    Sincerely,
    Timothy M' Beahan
    'If the people are not ready for the exercise of the non-violence of the brave, they must be ready for the use of force in self defense. There should be no camouflage.....it must never be secret.' MK Gandhi II-146 (Gandhi on Non-Violence)-- Gandhi supports open carry!

    'There is nothing more demoralizing than the fake non-violence of the weak and impotent.' MK Gandhi II-153 (Gandhi on Non-Violence)

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    Regular Member DeSchaine's Avatar
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    Hudsonville also is exploring response plans for city staff in the event a shooter opens fire in a public building. The city plans to work with an architect on possible building modifications that could enhance safety, Waterman said.
    Oh I just LOVE this part. Lets see... *opens his politician decoder index* oh ok... it means "create bolt holes for all the grand poo-bahs while sheeple serve as meat shields." Wake up Hudsonville. Throw these bums out on their useless backsides.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Dear Mr. Waterman,

    In a recent article on mlive.com, you were quoted as saying "...‘testing the waters’ in many public buildings, looking for an opportunity to file a lawsuit.”

    Mr. Waterman, if your police department followed state law, and engaged in "good police practices", like, not using their "authority" unreasonably and likely unlawfully, then there would likely never ever be another lawsuit. Mr. Waterman, essentially, it is your fault that the city's employees are causing you to expend funds to defend their unlawful acts. Your employees continue to violate policy and the law, so too must you continue to expend additional city funds to provide redress to harmed citizens.

    Respectfully
    Mr. Common Freaking Sense

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Dear Mr. Waterman,

    In a recent article on mlive.com, you were quoted as saying "...‘testing the waters’ in many public buildings, looking for an opportunity to file a lawsuit.”

    Mr. Waterman, if your police department followed state law, and engaged in "good police practices", like, not using their "authority" unreasonably and likely unlawfully, then there would likely never ever be another lawsuit. Mr. Waterman, essentially, it is your fault that the city's employees are causing you to expend funds to defend their unlawful acts. Your employees continue to violate policy and the law, so too must you continue to expend additional city funds to provide redress to harmed citizens.

    Respectfully
    Mr. Common Freaking Sense
    City Manager Waterman is from Hudsonville, not Grand Rapids. I am currently not aware of any issues with Hudsonville.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Raggs's Avatar
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    invitation

    Some will take this as an invitation to visit public buildings in Hudsonville OCing.
    My reasons to OC
    1. to raise awareness of the legality of open carry in Michigan
    2. To raise awareness that good people carry guns
    3. A deterrent to people so that I won't be targeted
    4. Because it's more comfortable than CC in most situations
    5. Because I can and want to
    6. Because it's perfectly legal
    7. Self defense

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raggs View Post
    Some will take this as an invitation to visit public buildings in Hudsonville OCing.
    Some will decide that OCing as they go about their normal everyday business is the right thing to do.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigt8261 View Post
    City Manager Waterman is from Hudsonville, not Grand Rapids. I am currently not aware of any issues with Hudsonville.
    Did you read the op? Click the linked story?

    From the OP's linked story, opening paragraph.
    HUDSONVILLE, MI – Call the police if someone open-carries a gun into a public building: That's the advice the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office is giving to Hudsonville city staff during trainings this month.
    Not sure where to go after this.

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    Mr. Waterman, essentially, it is your fault that the city's employees are causing you to expend funds to defend their unlawful acts. Your employees continue to violate policy and the law, so too must you continue to expend additional city funds to provide redress to harmed citizens.
    What unlawful acts and violated policies/laws are you speaking of? As I said, I am not aware of any issues in Hudsonville.

  14. #14
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    I can't help you at this point.

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    Regular Member Raggs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigt8261 View Post
    What unlawful acts and violated policies/laws are you speaking of? As I said, I am not aware of any issues in Hudsonville.
    I agree, as far as I know Hudsonville police have not been involved in a lawsuit about OC, Ottawa county or Grand Haven has been as I recall because of an incident in Grand Haven.
    My reasons to OC
    1. to raise awareness of the legality of open carry in Michigan
    2. To raise awareness that good people carry guns
    3. A deterrent to people so that I won't be targeted
    4. Because it's more comfortable than CC in most situations
    5. Because I can and want to
    6. Because it's perfectly legal
    7. Self defense

  16. #16
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    I can't help you at this point.
    The guy from Hudsonville is using the Grand Rapids suit as a reference. Hudsonville is not being sued. So your letter stating that it is Mr. Watermans fault they are spending taxpayer money is incorrect.

    You wrote: "Mr. Waterman, if your police department followed state law, and engaged in "good police practices", like, not using their "authority" unreasonably and likely unlawfully, then there would likely never ever be another lawsuit. Mr. Waterman, essentially, it is your fault that the city's employees are causing you to expend funds to defend their unlawful acts. Your employees continue to violate policy and the law, so too must you continue to expend additional city funds to provide redress to harmed citizens."
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

  17. #17
    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    He meant well V. He's not from the area. Easy mistake to make.

    Damn non-MI subjects posting in MI threads!

    ETA- "All hail the king err....I mean the tough nerd aka - tricky Rick S."

    /sarcasm
    Last edited by FreeInAZ; 01-16-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Why not take the nice Sheriff's advice? We want to be cooperative, right?

    If for some reason you have a need to visit a public building, give the nice man a call (non-emergency line, please) and tell him that you expect to be at ___ sometime between 2 and 2:45 depending on traffic and you'll be dressed in ___ and ___ carrying a __." Explain that you're only calling for his convenience, not as a threat or warning, and so that he can schedule someone to be there should he so desire.
    And call the next day
    and the next
    and every day that week
    and month.

    He wants to play a "We'll come and check you out every time game" then play da game. First one to get tired of it loses.

  19. #19
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    First one who loses gets tried.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  20. #20
    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raggs View Post
    I agree, as far as I know Hudsonville police have not been involved in a lawsuit about OC, Ottawa county or Grand Haven has been as I recall because of an incident in Grand Haven.
    Just a quick FYI: The incident in Grand Haven a few years ago was the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety. However, I believe that GHPD's violation of Mr Fetters rights was aided by the Ottawa County Sheriff Department and one of the Ottawa County prosecutors. The police agency that covers Hudsonville is the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. Hudsonville used to, but no longer has, a city police department.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer – I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

  21. #21
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    OK, this is something of a similar issue that I have run into when filing FOIA requests.

    How are people supposed to understand what the boundaries are between acceptable and not acceptable under the law?

    How? You test them exactly in the manner that the people currently are doing...creating knowledge and understanding under case law if the law is vague on the point.

    This Sheriff just sees it as a hassle when it is a necessary aspect of the law.

    I have performed many FOIA requests asking for slightly different records to see where the boundary between accessible and non-accessible records is...this has been met with the attitude similar to the Sheriff's..disdain. But it has not affected my requesting and continued requests as I have yet to determine this boundary line yet.
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 01-16-2014 at 04:03 PM.

  22. #22
    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raggs View Post
    Some will take this as an invitation to visit public buildings in Hudsonville OCing.
    Get several 2 man teams working at the same time, one goes in OCing and the calls in a "Man With a Gun", preferably from a pay phone or a burner.

  23. #23
    Regular Member Raggs's Avatar
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    Library in Ottawa county

    Sitting in the public library in Hudsonville (Ottawa County Public building) open carrying. Listening to Aerosmith with another open carrier. No drama, yet!
    My reasons to OC
    1. to raise awareness of the legality of open carry in Michigan
    2. To raise awareness that good people carry guns
    3. A deterrent to people so that I won't be targeted
    4. Because it's more comfortable than CC in most situations
    5. Because I can and want to
    6. Because it's perfectly legal
    7. Self defense

  24. #24
    Regular Member Mosnar87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raggs View Post
    Sitting in the public library in Hudsonville (Ottawa County Public building) open carrying. Listening to Aerosmith with another open carrier. No drama, yet!
    So you are rocking out... Are either of you by any chance carrying a Glock?

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy IIIs using Tapatalk 2.
    "Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."
    —John F. Kennedy

    "If a man neglects to enforce his rights, he cannot complain if, after a while, the law follows his example."
    —Oliver Wendell Holmes

  25. #25
    Regular Member Raggs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosnar87 View Post
    So you are rocking out... Are either of you by any chance carrying a Glock?

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy IIIs using Tapatalk 2.
    Why yes, the gentleman with me is carrying a Glock in a serpa.
    My reasons to OC
    1. to raise awareness of the legality of open carry in Michigan
    2. To raise awareness that good people carry guns
    3. A deterrent to people so that I won't be targeted
    4. Because it's more comfortable than CC in most situations
    5. Because I can and want to
    6. Because it's perfectly legal
    7. Self defense

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