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Thread: Refusal to surrender your weapon

  1. #1
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    Refusal to surrender your weapon

    Hello everyone. I'm new here, and this is my first post, so I apologize if it's in the wrong place or anything.

    To preface my question, I am naturally very untrusting of LEO's in general. Even when I am sure the individual I'm dealing with is an officer, it only marginally improves my comfort with them, but that aside, I hear all the time of people criminally impersonating police officers. A very close friend of mine was actually raped by an imposter cop, so I have made it my mindset to ALWAYS doubt a LEO's identity/authenticity.

    If I am legally carrying (open or concealed) and I find myself in an encounter with a supposed LEO who will obviously demand I surrender my weapon, can I refuse to do so pending some verification of the officer's identity? If so, how?

    I (mostly) know my way around a LEO encounter. I am, of course, calm, polite, and respectful. I know there is no other option than to cooperate when dealing with a legitimate law enforcement officer, not just in surrendering my weapon, but with any demands or orders, even if I disagree with them or they are outright illegal, and that such complaints will have to be dealt with after the encounter. I am willing to be disarmed by a real officer for his or her pace of mind, but for my own safety and peace of mind, I want to be 100% certain that he or she IS a real officer first.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epyon View Post
    ....
    If I am legally carrying (open or concealed) and I find myself in an encounter with a supposed LEO who will obviously demand I surrender my weapon, can I refuse to do so pending some verification of the officer's identity? If so, how?

    I (mostly) know my way around a LEO encounter. I am, of course, calm, polite, and respectful. I know there is no other option than to cooperate when dealing with a legitimate law enforcement officer, not just in surrendering my weapon, but with any demands or orders, even if I disagree with them or they are outright illegal, and that such complaints will have to be dealt with after the encounter. I am willing to be disarmed by a real officer for his or her pace of mind, but for my own safety and peace of mind, I want to be 100% certain that he or she IS a real officer first.
    1 - Welcome to OCDO. Would you consider editing your profile to narrow down your location - "U.S." is a pretty big patch of ground and some differences in law may have a bearing on what the answer to a question will be.

    2 - Yes, you can refuse. Be aware that there are some significant negative results to be expected from doing so.

    2a - You may want to assess the level of paranoia you seem to have regarding imitation cops.

    3 - Why are you "willing to be disarmed by a real officer for his or her pace of mind" if you have done nothing to demonstrate or suggest that you have any ill intent? Same question regarding "for my own safety and peace of mind"?

    The administrative manipulation of a firearm only increases the chance that it will be mishandled, resulting in a negligent discharge which may result in physical injury. Is not the LEO as safe if you just don't touch your handgun?

    How do you feel about the "habit" of some LEOs applying handcuffs during even a consensual stop "for officer safety"?

    Given your admitted paranoia that the person in front of you may be an imitation LEO, how/why is "[your] own safety and peace of mind" enhanced by surrendering your weapon?

    Presuming the encounter to be, at least in the beginning, a consensual stop, why are you willing to accept a violation of your 4th Amendment rights in order to facilitate the "safety and peace of mind" of the LEO and yourself? (Are there other rights you are willing to allow to be violated for the sake of "safety and peace of mind"?)

    BTW - I am not known as one who climbs on soapboxes and shouts that all violations of constitutional rights must be forcefully resisted on the spot where/when any violation occurs. There have been numerous discussions of how to indicate your disagreement with the violation of your rights that does not put you in high jeopardy of getting beaten/shot right then and right there. While the search function here is wonky, and the advanced search often just as wonky, I suggest you try to find and follow at least some of those discussions. And while you are at it, do a search for "digital voice recorder".

    In closing, we are quite a bit leery of folks who say "I am a supporter of __ but ...." I don't know enough about you yet to suggest that you fall in that category or are an over-zealous Constitutional Rights warrior, or somewhere in between. Stick around and let us get to know you.

    stay safe.
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    The devil is in the details of your local jurisdiction, specify your location and consider requesting re-posting in a state sub-forum.

    Once you accept indicia of police authority and submit then you CANNOT ask a do over.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Well, OP, exactly what would you do if a person you think is not a cop approaches you?

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epyon View Post
    I (mostly) know my way around a LEO encounter. I am, of course, calm, polite, and respectful. I know there is no other option than to cooperate when dealing with a legitimate law enforcement officer, not just in surrendering my weapon, but with any demands or orders, even if I disagree with them or they are outright illegal, and that such complaints will have to be dealt with after the encounter. I am willing to be disarmed by a real officer for his or her pace of mind, but for my own safety and peace of mind, I want to be 100% certain that he or she IS a real officer first.
    Polite, well mannered, civil, courteous, mannerly, respectful, deferential, well behaved, well bred, gentlemanly, genteel, gracious, urbane or diplomatic are the very words that describe the attitude that I expect when a police officer wishes to interfere with my time, let alone my rights. However, these are not words describing an attitude I'm required to convey in turn. Yet, depending on the situation I may choose to be polite. Many factors play into how I react.

    I recently had a cop who was ticked-off because I would not respect his authority. I have not found any local, state or federal law requiring the citizen to show any respect towards their servants, elected or hired. The last time I checked, you earn respect. Anyone demanding respect doesn't deserve respect.

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    Respect is good, but fear works. Either we are equal or we are not. Why I am armed.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    As stated, I'm sure the details depend on your state.

    As for me, I'll not voluntarily surrender my firearm to an officer whether they've adequately confirmed their identity or not... There is no need for it, and it certainly doesn't make me any safer, even if it makes them a little safer (edit: it doesn't). I don't think I'm out of place to decline trading my safety for theirs. Their job should be to make me safer, not make themselves safer at my expense.

    I have been disarmed once, though. The officer uttered the most practiced, insincere "for my safety and yours" that I've ever heard.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 08-12-2014 at 07:10 PM.
    Advocate freedom please

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    Cops should learn the old adage: you can be 100% right and still be wrong

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    If in doubt call 911 and tell them that you are facing a cop impersonator.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    First posting by new member ... heck of a post .. and now he's gone.

    I vote to close the thread.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    As stated, I'm sure the details depend on your state.

    As for me, I'll not voluntarily surrender my firearm to an officer whether they've adequately confirmed their identity or not... There is no need for it, and it certainly doesn't make me any safer, even if it makes them a little safer (edit: it doesn't). I don't think I'm out of place to decline trading my safety for theirs. Their job should be to make me safer, not make themselves safer at my expense.

    I have been disarmed once, though. The officer uttered the most practiced, insincere "for my safety and yours" that I've ever heard.
    +1

    I'll also never consent to be disarmed. I will disarm at the demand of an armed law enforcement officer, but I will make it verbally clear than I am only doing so under duress - then I'll ask that I be allowed to remove my belt instead of removing my firearm from its holster, seeing that avoiding mishandling of a firearm reduces the risk for all involved.

  12. #12
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Platitude = "for my safety and yours"

    "for my safety and yours" = "I don't trust anyone but a cop to possess a gun. Unfortunately I am not the king."
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    1 - Welcome to OCDO. Would you consider editing your profile to narrow down your location - "U.S." is a pretty big patch of ground and some differences in law may have a bearing on what the answer to a question will be.

    2 - Yes, you can refuse. Be aware that there are some significant negative results to be expected from doing so.

    2a - You may want to assess the level of paranoia you seem to have regarding imitation cops.

    3 - Why are you "willing to be disarmed by a real officer for his or her pace of mind" if you have done nothing to demonstrate or suggest that you have any ill intent? Same question regarding "for my own safety and peace of mind"?

    The administrative manipulation of a firearm only increases the chance that it will be mishandled, resulting in a negligent discharge which may result in physical injury. Is not the LEO as safe if you just don't touch your handgun?

    How do you feel about the "habit" of some LEOs applying handcuffs during even a consensual stop "for officer safety"?

    Given your admitted paranoia that the person in front of you may be an imitation LEO, how/why is "[your] own safety and peace of mind" enhanced by surrendering your weapon?

    Presuming the encounter to be, at least in the beginning, a consensual stop, why are you willing to accept a violation of your 4th Amendment rights in order to facilitate the "safety and peace of mind" of the LEO and yourself? (Are there other rights you are willing to allow to be violated for the sake of "safety and peace of mind"?)

    BTW - I am not known as one who climbs on soapboxes and shouts that all violations of constitutional rights must be forcefully resisted on the spot where/when any violation occurs. There have been numerous discussions of how to indicate your disagreement with the violation of your rights that does not put you in high jeopardy of getting beaten/shot right then and right there. While the search function here is wonky, and the advanced search often just as wonky, I suggest you try to find and follow at least some of those discussions. And while you are at it, do a search for "digital voice recorder".

    In closing, we are quite a bit leery of folks who say "I am a supporter of __ but ...." I don't know enough about you yet to suggest that you fall in that category or are an over-zealous Constitutional Rights warrior, or somewhere in between. Stick around and let us get to know you.

    stay safe.
    You make some very good points. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

    1. I will update my profile eventually. It was the wee hours of the morning when I made an account just to ask this question haha. I live in baton Rouge, Louisiana. Any specific information my location is appreciated, but I would also like to know about the nation in general.

    2&2a. those results are a lot of what I was asking about, and I know that my paranoia level is high enough to cause concern in some people, but it is well founded on personal experience and reliable 1st hand accounts.

    3. This is actually a very good question for which I have no answer. I am now rethinking my stance on this, but the part about my own safety and peace of mind was that if I were to surrender my weapon, it would only be with the knowledge that he or she is acting in an official capacity. I didn't mean my safety or peace of mind would be enhanced by handing over my weapon, quite the opposite, but what I meant was that my safety and peace of mind would be somewhat enhanced by at least knowing that I am dealing with a real LEO before doing so.

    Again, similar to your 3rd point, I hadn't thought of it that way. My thinking was that if I were ordered, not asked, to surrender my weapon, it would be as I'm being detained, in which case I assume they would insist on applying handcuffs as well. I would disagree with both of these, and as you said, I would verbally protest, but not physically resist, but this again goes back to my question, because if I'm dealing with an officer who refuses to verify his or her identity, then I would resist by any and all means in my power.

    Indeed, I hope I do not fit into either of those groups. I like to think of myself as a very reasonable and rational person. You've given me much to think on. Thank you.

    To everyone else, thank you for your replies as well. I wasn't expecting so many replies so quickly, or I would have come back sooner.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    One phrase that works is 'I'd rather not...'.

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    Firstly, Welcome to OCDO and I hope you stick around. Fresh minds and all that, eh?



    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    2 - Yes, you can refuse. Be aware that there are some significant negative results to be expected from doing so.

    The administrative manipulation of a firearm only increases the chance that it will be mishandled, resulting in a negligent discharge which may result in physical injury. Is not the LEO as safe if you just don't touch your handgun?
    On the first, what will you do if the LEO takes it anyway? Resist? Negotiate?
    On two, the safest place is in the holster it was designed for. The more you play, the more you pay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Respect is good, but fear works. Either we are equal or we are not. Why I am armed.
    Good point. The last time I was bullied by a LEO I was verbally aggressive. Be careful with that though, your mileage may vary.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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