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Thread: Close encounter of the unlawful detainment kind...

  1. #1
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    Close encounter of the unlawful detainment kind...

    JKuz and I just got back from the park (what IS it with us and parks?!?) As we were preping to leave, a park ranger pulled up in his police explorer. Thought nothing of it, as there is NO law in Springfield regarding the OC of a firearm. As soon as we pulled out, Ranger Smith lit us up. Detained us for 15 minutes and insisted that OC was not allowed. "Did us a favor" by not citing. Never even ASKED my wife anything... never even knew SHE was carrying as she was in the car before he rolled up. Anyhow, video of the encounter is on the way...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JggKx8LQxDk not much action, but still bothersome to me. Sorry for the stupid phone not rotating the image...
    Last edited by BriKuz; 03-08-2015 at 07:50 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Looks like you've found a city in Missouri that needs some "edumacation".

    Go get em, BriKuz!

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    (sigh) Even at this late date, we still have law-enfarcement personnel who make it up as they go along with regard to OC.

    (sigh)

    (sigh)

    (siiiiiighhhhhhh)

    Get 'em, BriKuz!!

    For new readers and unfamiliar readers, the crucial point is not whether OC is prohibited, not whether the 'ranger' made a mistake of law. The crucial point is that the cop seized another human being without knowing to a dead moral certainty that he had the clear and unquestionable authority of law.

    This is a point that police and police-apologists have tried to fog up repeatedly. They use ideas like, "well the cop didn't know whether you might be a crook." "well, the cop was just checking to make sure you weren't a crook." Or, my favorite, "Well, the cop has to check you out in case you might be dangerous. Even if there is no law against OC."

    Rubbish.

    One of my all time favorite US Supreme Court quotes:
    No right is held more sacred or more carefully guarded than the right of all individuals to the control and possession of their own persons, free from all restraint and interference unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford.

    Basically, unless the cop knows with 100% certainty that OC is illegal, he cannot possibly know whether he has the authority of law to detain you. From another angle, if the cop cannot remember for sure that OC is illegal--not suspect its illegal, not guess its probably illegal--if the cop cannot remember for sure that OC is illegal, he cannot possibly know whether he has the clear and unquestionable authority of law to restrain or interfere with you. I mention this here in the context of OC, but the concept is much, much broader than that.

    It goes to the foundational premises of delegated powers and representative democracy. Unless the government agent knows to a dead moral certainty that a certain power has been delegated, he cannot possibly know for sure whether he has the authority to act. Acting without authority is known as usurpation.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    A truism that is becoming more and more true:

    Any time an officer tells you he's "I'ma goin' ta do ya a favor and not cite/arrest you for this heinously illegal act 'cause I'm such a nice guy an' any other cop would just haul you off to jail but I'm gonna be all nice..." he's unsure about the legality of his actions and is just truing to blow smoke up your alimentary canal.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    You handled yourself pretty well. (The butterflies sure get to churning, don't they?)

    Several items of adviceof which, I have also done, so please don't view my comments as "preachy" or condescending.)

    The stop was, as you stated, unlawful. Without probable cause, there is no reason you should not be able to continue your peaceable journey.

    The law enforcement officer , not you, is now "on the hook" for his behavior. Realize this. Have confidence in this. The law works as equally for you as it does for him.

    I completely understand the tendency to comply with law enforcement. I also have an ingrained respect for authority. I have also responded to unlawful actions by law enforcement by complying with their unlawful demands. It's the butterflies. Something about the emotional content of the interaction, and the unlawfulness of the officer. I never seem to say the right things until after I review my actions. Then, I watch the video of my interaction and view myself kow-towing to the most egregious rights violations. I can watch a video of my interactions with law enforcement 5 minutes later, and cringe at some of the things I have willingly accepted. I think to myself, "Why didn't I say this?" or "Why did I answer that question?" or "Why did I agree to obey that unlawful command?".

    Similarly, I see some of the things I have done in your video. This is why I'm pointing them out. Not as criticism, but to offer advice and relate my experience at overcoming the things I realized about my own interactions with law enforcement.

    YOU are in the right. Realize this. Have confidence in this. Rely upon it. Take heart in the fact that you have done nothing wrong, and the officer is the one who needs to explain his actions to YOU.

    There was no need to volunteer your CCW. While courteous, the only purpose it served was to justify the officer's actions. HE needs to request it. Don't make it easy on them by willingly tossing your rights away, not only upon request, but out of the blue.

    If he did ask, remember: HE is the one justifying his actions to you, not the reverse. Upon request for your papers, he should be required to tell you why he wants to see them. Asking him "What probable cause do you have?" is always a good question that requires them to explain their actions. If their actions are lawful, they should have no problem answering your questions, right? (See how the interaction demographics are subtly being altered? Remember: HIS actions are unlawful, so why should YOU be answering questions?)

    Have confidence in this. If you were, in fact, breaking any laws, there would be no question and answer session. You'd be immediately placed into custody.

    I once heard a brilliant piece of advice: If you are currently NOT under arrest, you can't talk your way out of it. This leaves only one direction to talk yourself in.

    I know from experience that it is hard to do, but faced with what I watched in the video, the officer shouldn't have been offered such compliance. He should have been asked if you were being detained and for probable cause. If told yes, you were detained, he should have been met with a request for an attorney and further silence. If told no, you weren't detained, he should have been met with a "Have a nice day." and your disappearing tail lights.

  6. #6
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    A stop is a detainment - in this case w/o apparent RAS.

    Could have, should have asked the question, "When am I being released from this detainment?"

    Any answer other than, "Now, you are free to go." from the officer should generate nothing but, "I will provide all answers through my attorney. I have nothing else to say." Then KYBMS (keep your big mouth shut) - quoting Dan Hawes
    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.

  7. #7
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    A CCW endorsement is not required to CC or OC while in a vehicle in MO.
    RSMo 571.030.3. Subdivisions ...Subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of this section does not apply to any person nineteen** years of age or older or eighteen years of age or older and a member of the United States Armed Forces, or honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces, transporting a concealable firearm in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, so long as such concealable firearm is otherwise lawfully possessed, nor when the actor is also in possession of an exposed firearm or projectile weapon for the lawful pursuit of game, or is in his or her dwelling unit or upon premises over which the actor has possession, authority or control, or is traveling in a continuous journey peaceably through this state. ...
    Arrest vs. detainment. A detainment is a fabrication of the courts and is not supported in MO law.
    RSMo 544.180. Arrest - An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the person of the defendant, or by his submission to the custody of the officer, under authority of a warrant or otherwise. The officer must inform the defendant by what authority he acts, and must also show the warrant if required.
    The OP should seek legal council.
    "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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    A CCW endorsement is not required to CC or OC while in a vehicle in MO.
    RSMo 571.030.3. Subdivisions ...Subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of this section does not apply to any person nineteen** years of age or older or eighteen years of age or older and a member of the United States Armed Forces, or honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces, transporting a concealable firearm in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, so long as such concealable firearm is otherwise lawfully possessed, nor when the actor is also in possession of an exposed firearm or projectile weapon for the lawful pursuit of game, or is in his or her dwelling unit or upon premises over which the actor has possession, authority or control, or is traveling in a continuous journey peaceably through this state. ...
    I am fully aware, though thanks for bringing it up again so that others may learn. This ranger's justification was that we were still in the park when detained, so, somehow, this was illegal. Again, i think this man was confused, and fully intend to make contact with his supervisors to ensure that all rangers are properly trained on the law, both regards to OC in parks AND unlawful detainment.

    Superlite, not my first rodeo (check the ohio board! lol) but I DID have some butterflies a churnin'. J and I have decided to start role playing out some scenarios again to help clean up our response to any future incidents.

    Fallschirmjäger, i'm with you, and that's why i will explore administrative means to ensure that proper training is taking place to help reduce incidents such as this. If admin channels don't work, there is always the court system.

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    Springfield Municipal Code Sec. 82-1. - Park rules generally.

    (a) Adoption; prohibited acts. Those rules and regulations adopted by the public park board of the city on March 16, 1971, relating to conduct within the parks of the city under the control and operation of the Springfield/Greene County park board are hereby adopted and approved by the city council, which rules and regulations read as follows:

    (1) Conduct in parks. It shall be unlawful for any person while on property or in buildings under the operation and control of the park board to:

    (k) Carry, possess or discharge any firearm, pellet gun or pistol, BB gun or other similar device, bow and arrow, crossbow or any other device capable of projecting a missile able to inflict harm to persons or animals or to injure property, except law enforcement officers in the performance of their duty or employees of the park board, and except in such places and under such special regulations as the park board may have adopted for practicing the use of any such devices or giving exhibitions or holding competitions in the use thereof.

    Guess there will be some fun with regards to Amd 5 and SB 656 and its relation to the training of rangers.

    https://www.municode.com/library/mo/...2PARE_ARTIINGE

    If anyone has info on Missouri open-records law, please post here or PM me... Thank you!
    Last edited by BriKuz; 03-09-2015 at 11:47 AM.

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    Just sent an e-mail to the Ranger Supervisor, CCing the parks director and the park board:

    Mr. Coats,

    Ranger Smith, badge # 1072. Detained my wife and I for Open Carry at Doling Park yesterday, Sunday, March 9th, 2015.

    Ranger Smith apparently observed that I was openly carrying a sidearm as we were leaving Doling Park. After observing me smoking outside my vehicle while discussing dinner plans with my wife and kids inside the vehicle for approximately 10 minutes, Ranger Smith drove away (south)

    Upon entering my vehicle and attempting to depart the park, Ranger Smith initiated a traffic stop. He insisted that open carry was not legal (Amendment 5 and SB 656 notwithstanding) He then demanded my Drivers License and Concealed handgun License and headed back to his vehicle for approx 8 minutes. He returned and stated that he was "doing me a favor" by not citing me and warned me NOT to OC in the park again of "you'll get in trouble"

    SB 656 provides that any person with a valid Concealed Carry permit or license may open carry in ANY non-statutorily prohibited public place in the State of Missouri. A 10 minute detainment for a lawful activity is NOT acceptable.

    Per 610.100.2, RSMo, I am hereby requesting electronic copies of any incident reports, audio/video recordings (including Ranger Smith's body cam recordings and his vehicles on-board recording equipment), and/or any telephone calls for dispatch of a Ranger in relation to a "man with a gun" or "woman with a gun" call between 1500 and 2000, 9 Mar, 2015. Please let me know of any issues with the expeditious release of said information.

    Feel free to contact me at (330) nnn-nnnn or at nnn@nnn.com with any questions.

    Sincerely,

    BriKuz

  11. #11
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BriKuz View Post
    --snipped--

    If anyone has info on Missouri open-records law, please post here or PM me... Thank you!
    Missouri open records information:
    http://www.nfoic.org/missouri-foi-resources

    Note that there is a difference between open records and freedom of information (FOIA) requests.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 03-09-2015 at 12:09 PM. Reason: added
    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.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Redbaron007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BriKuz View Post
    Springfield Municipal Code Sec. 82-1. - Park rules generally.

    (a) Adoption; prohibited acts. Those rules and regulations adopted by the public park board of the city on March 16, 1971, relating to conduct within the parks of the city under the control and operation of the Springfield/Greene County park board are hereby adopted and approved by the city council, which rules and regulations read as follows:

    (1) Conduct in parks. It shall be unlawful for any person while on property or in buildings under the operation and control of the park board to:

    (k) Carry, possess or discharge any firearm, pellet gun or pistol, BB gun or other similar device, bow and arrow, crossbow or any other device capable of projecting a missile able to inflict harm to persons or animals or to injure property, except law enforcement officers in the performance of their duty or employees of the park board, and except in such places and under such special regulations as the park board may have adopted for practicing the use of any such devices or giving exhibitions or holding competitions in the use thereof.

    Guess there will be some fun with regards to Amd 5 and SB 656 and its relation to the training of rangers.

    https://www.municode.com/library/mo/...2PARE_ARTIINGE

    If anyone has info on Missouri open-records law, please post here or PM me... Thank you!
    What's the penalty for violation of said park code? Trespassing?

    Most of their buildings are posted, however, I haven't noticed it at the outside areas.

    I would ask for the case he 'convicted' this other person not too long ago. More than likely, it probably it's not the same/similar circumstances. If there isn't any, you can know show this Ranger will say anything and therefore cast doubt on his statements.

    Keep us posted.
    "I can live for two weeks on a good compliment."
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  13. #13
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BriKuz View Post
    Just sent an e-mail to the Ranger Supervisor, CCing the parks director and the park board:...
    I would have asked for their training material on SB656, Amendment 5, and open carry.

    Unfortunately, Missouri's open records laws are not as advantageous to a citizen as other places, Ohio for example. In MO, you can be charged for the time it takes to get and copy records. As you can imagine, this discourages governmental oversight because you've got to shell out money for various things.

    I don't know how they would handle such a request, but if they come back with a cost that you dislike, tell them you merely want to view the information you requested.
    Last edited by BB62; 03-09-2015 at 02:41 PM. Reason: edited to add: BriKuz is no stranger to records requests, just not MO records requests

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    Regular Member Redbaron007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlite27 View Post
    You handled yourself pretty well. (The butterflies sure get to churning, don't they?)

    Several items of adviceof which, I have also done, so please don't view my comments as "preachy" or condescending.)

    The stop was, as you stated, unlawful. Without probable cause, there is no reason you should not be able to continue your peaceable journey.

    The law enforcement officer , not you, is now "on the hook" for his behavior. Realize this. Have confidence in this. The law works as equally for you as it does for him.

    I completely understand the tendency to comply with law enforcement. I also have an ingrained respect for authority. I have also responded to unlawful actions by law enforcement by complying with their unlawful demands. It's the butterflies. Something about the emotional content of the interaction, and the unlawfulness of the officer. I never seem to say the right things until after I review my actions. Then, I watch the video of my interaction and view myself kow-towing to the most egregious rights violations. I can watch a video of my interactions with law enforcement 5 minutes later, and cringe at some of the things I have willingly accepted. I think to myself, "Why didn't I say this?" or "Why did I answer that question?" or "Why did I agree to obey that unlawful command?".

    Similarly, I see some of the things I have done in your video. This is why I'm pointing them out. Not as criticism, but to offer advice and relate my experience at overcoming the things I realized about my own interactions with law enforcement.

    YOU are in the right. Realize this. Have confidence in this. Rely upon it. Take heart in the fact that you have done nothing wrong, and the officer is the one who needs to explain his actions to YOU.

    There was no need to volunteer your CCW. While courteous, the only purpose it served was to justify the officer's actions. HE needs to request it. Don't make it easy on them by willingly tossing your rights away, not only upon request, but out of the blue.

    If he did ask, remember: HE is the one justifying his actions to you, not the reverse. Upon request for your papers, he should be required to tell you why he wants to see them. Asking him "What probable cause do you have?" is always a good question that requires them to explain their actions. If their actions are lawful, they should have no problem answering your questions, right? (See how the interaction demographics are subtly being altered? Remember: HIS actions are unlawful, so why should YOU be answering questions?)

    Have confidence in this. If you were, in fact, breaking any laws, there would be no question and answer session. You'd be immediately placed into custody.

    I once heard a brilliant piece of advice: If you are currently NOT under arrest, you can't talk your way out of it. This leaves only one direction to talk yourself in.

    I know from experience that it is hard to do, but faced with what I watched in the video, the officer shouldn't have been offered such compliance. He should have been asked if you were being detained and for probable cause. If told yes, you were detained, he should have been met with a request for an attorney and further silence. If told no, you weren't detained, he should have been met with a "Have a nice day." and your disappearing tail lights.
    If the Parks code does not allow the open carrying of firearms on the premises, the un-educated Ranger believes he has RAS, because he has been told no firearms on the park property.

    This Ranger is in for some re-education. Hopefully the Parks Board will be too.
    "I can live for two weeks on a good compliment."
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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    I would have asked for their training material on SB656, Amendment 5, and open carry...
    Heck, I'll do that part.

    I'l post the response I get.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Sec. 1-7. - General penalty; continuing violations.

    (a)

    Notwithstanding the provisions of any other ordinance of the city or provision of this Code to the contrary, whenever in this Code or any other ordinance of the city an act is prohibited or is made or declared to be unlawful or an offense or a misdemeanor, or the doing of any act is required or the failure to do any act is declared to be unlawful or an offense or a misdemeanor, and no specific penalty is provided therefor, the violation of any such provision of this Code or other ordinances of the city shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment in jail for a period not exceeding 180 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.

    (b)

    Every day any violation of this Code or any other ordinance of the city shall continue, such violation shall constitute a separate offense.

    (c)

    In no event shall any person be imprisoned for a period of more than 180 days for a violation of this Code or any other ordinance of the city, whether such imprisonment shall be because of sentence of imprisonment or because of failure to pay a fine imposed, or because of both such a sentence and failure to pay a fine imposed.

    (Code 1981, § 1-7; G.O. No. 5280, § 2, 7-14-2003)
    For not violating State law!!!!!!

  17. #17
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    E-mail sent to Springfield officials and the Police Chief, which included a .pdf of the recent STL Amendment 5 court decision and a records request regarding training materials.

  18. #18
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    E-mail sent to Springfield officials and the Police Chief, which included a .pdf of the recent STL Amendment 5 court decision and a records request regarding training materials.
    Well, I hit Springfield officials and the Police Chief, only to find out that (as I would have had I read more carefully) <hangs head> that Springfield has no anti-OC ordinance.

    Park rangers are commissioned as deputies by the County Sheriff. The Chief forwarded my e-mail to Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott and Springfield Greene County Park Director Bob Belote for processing.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Redbaron007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Well, I hit Springfield officials and the Police Chief, only to find out that (as I would have had I read more carefully) <hangs head> that Springfield has no anti-OC ordinance.

    Park rangers are commissioned as deputies by the County Sheriff. The Chief forwarded my e-mail to Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott and Springfield Greene County Park Director Bob Belote for processing.
    That makes sense...its the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. Because there are parks and such outside of the city, they combined. Sheriff Arnott has seemed to be pro-carry.....if he stays true to his colors, the park code will probably see change. Not real familiar with Bob.....scuddlebutt is he is a governmental bureaucrat....so making a change may be hard.....the bureaucrats don't like to give control. Hope he is the exception.
    "I can live for two weeks on a good compliment."
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  20. #20
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbaron007 View Post
    That makes sense...its the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. Because there are parks and such outside of the city, they combined. Sheriff Arnott has seemed to be pro-carry.....if he stays true to his colors, the park code will probably see change. Not real familiar with Bob.....scuddlebutt is he is a governmental bureaucrat....so making a change may be hard.....the bureaucrats don't like to give control. Hope he is the exception.
    I received a very nice e-mail from a Major with the Greene County Sheriff's office. He explained a few things, and included the information that "Park Rangers have been given a second authority by the Springfield City Counsel which allows them to enforce Springfield Municipal Ordinances on park properties".

    The Major also made it clear that the Sheriff "is a concealed carry proponent" and offering the assurance that there are "no anti concealed carry movements or sentiments in place at the Greene County Sheriff's Office". It should be noted that he said nothing about open carry, though. I'm going to leave that lay for the time being.

    So... I've written back to Chief Williams of Springfield (copying in the council and city manager) so that he can address the park rule (cited previously) which prohibits ALL carry in Springfield parks.

    Interesting stuff.

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    Just spoke with Lana Woolsey of Springfield Law Department. She stated that though SB 656's changes to state law do, in fact, supersede Springfield 82 (a) (1) (k), said state laws DO allow for a detainment to determine License/Permit status. Mrs. Woolsey has seen the video of the incident and has determined that a 15 minute detainment is perfectly acceptable for anyone open carrying in the park (the stop was initiated well before my video started. We'll have to wait for Suunshine Law disclosures to get cruiser dashcam data on full time.) I disagree. I am bouncing around ideas on how to proceed, but it looks as though the courts may be the most viable option for determining what is a "reasonable" amount of time for a detainment. I know that BB62 has requested training materials, and I look forward to perusing them. ANy thoughts on next steps?

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    She's an attorney representing the city. Of course, she's never going to admit any guilt on them.

  23. #23
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BriKuz View Post
    Just spoke with Lana Woolsey of Springfield Law Department. She stated that though SB 656's changes to state law do, in fact, supersede Springfield 82 (a) (1) (k), said state laws DO allow for a detainment to determine License/Permit status. Mrs. Woolsey has seen the video of the incident and has determined that a 15 minute detainment is perfectly acceptable for anyone open carrying in the park (the stop was initiated well before my video started. We'll have to wait for Suunshine Law disclosures to get cruiser dashcam data on full time.) I disagree. I am bouncing around ideas on how to proceed, but it looks as though the courts may be the most viable option for determining what is a "reasonable" amount of time for a detainment. I know that BB62 has requested training materials, and I look forward to perusing them. ANy thoughts on next steps?
    Ms. Woolsey doesn't want to acknowledge Amendment 5/Article 1, Section 23 of the MO Constitution:

    Before Amendment 5: That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.

    After Amendment 5: That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those duly adjudged mentally infirm by a court of competent jurisdiction.

    Some things to note: 1) the removal of “concealed weapons” from the former A1, S23, and 2) “…the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement”.

    That's her and Springfield's choice.


    (the rest of this is written "to" BriKuz, but he's been in more than a few rodeos - it's just easier for me to write things "to" him than otherwise)

    Your choice, and the choice of your fellow Missourians, is whether you want to:

    A) Attempt to have a legal precedent established by carrying openly without giving notice, being willing to be cited and/or arrested, and following up with a lawsuit

    B) Make it publicly known that, after being given notice, Springfield/the Park Police/whomever is not willing to go up against A5/A1, S23, and will not challenge you or you and your 100 closest friends having a meet 'n greet open carry picnic in a local park

    Choice A is a winning strategy, if you have the time, money and a willing attorney. After I and others are done communicating with Springfield they're not going to be able to claim in court that they had no idea that Amendment 5 existed, or that there was only the slightest of chances that a clear and comprehensive constitutional statement of RIGHTS more likely than not overrode statutory law to the contrary. In other words, they've been put on notice, and they'll drop your case. They're not stupid - the last thing they want is a court decision saying what we all know to be true - their OC prohibition won't stand up to A5/A1, S23's terms like "unalienable" and strict scrutiny".

    Regardless, when you file your lawsuit, steel yourself for 18 months to 2 years of legal wrangling and everything that goes with it. When you win, and I have no doubt you will, the word will get around quickly that those who have the resources to not back down will win. The question is "How many people does that apply to?" Will winning establish the precedent you're seeking? Could a broader win come out of action like I've described above? YES, I certainly think so, but it will take planning, time, money and a willing attorney.


    Choice B is also a winning strategy, though it may not establish a legal precedent. For a start, put the city & county on notice that you intend to have an open carry picnic. Do a records request for the guidance each party has received from the Attorney General on Amendment 5/Article 1, Section 23 - especially as it relates to the viability of local anti-OC laws. Write the Attorney General and let him know that you not only expect him to defend you if you or your fellows are charged ("...the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement..."), and also that you expect him to notify those in authority in Springfield and Greene County how they should conduct themselves with respect to individuals seemingly exercising rights under the MO Constitution, when no RAS exists of a violation of the law other than a local anti-OC ordinance.

    Will the city harass or cite participants? I don't think they're that stupid. St. Louis wasn't.

    Do this in city after city, and in the meanwhile, for those who insist/want a legal precedent (which Ohio has proven will STILL be challenged), pass Missouri's version of Ohio's 9.68, and sue cities who refuse to read it: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/gp9.68


    Other choices may develop as people challenge the status quo, starting with putting various cities on notice. For example, depending on how Springfield and other cities respond to people doing so, suing for harassment may become more viable. A few more thoughts: 1) no smart city is going to be willing to run an aware OCer through the system, and 2) a legislative fix is more likely than a judicial fix, and 3) nothing is going to change unless people challenge the status quo - municipalities in a position to intimidate will keep on doing so because it works, and 4) suing for being detained for an unreasonable amount of time is not a winning approach.

    There is more that can be said, and other approaches that can be taken, but, since I have no doubt that Springfield is monitoring this thread, I'm not giving away everything in public!

    My hope in writing all this up is that, even with A5/A1, S23, people recognize that moving things from where they stand means winning a battle of intimidation. You may be intimidated at the thought of being cited/arrested, but cities are intimidated at the thought of a legal precedence against them being set, or of losing a case involving harassment. They aren't going to put themselves in that position. Also, people in positions of power will not give it up willingly. You ask them to remove a law from their books, and some will say "Make me!" (recognize the intimidation?)

    I'm convinced that the real battle is between gun-haters (some politicians and some members of the public) and enlightened people. As time progresses, most cops aren't going to care if you're open carrying, as long as it doesn't look like you're involved in criminal activity - but everything starts with people willing to challenge the status quo. I know BriKuz is. My hope is that others will join him.

  24. #24
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BriKuz View Post
    Just spoke with Lana Woolsey of Springfield Law Department. She stated that though SB 656's changes to state law do, in fact, supersede Springfield 82 (a) (1) (k), said state laws DO allow for a detainment to determine License/Permit status. Mrs. Woolsey has seen the video of the incident and has determined that a 15 minute detainment is perfectly acceptable for anyone open carrying in the park (the stop was initiated well before my video started. We'll have to wait for Suunshine Law disclosures to get cruiser dashcam data on full time.) I disagree. I am bouncing around ideas on how to proceed, but it looks as though the courts may be the most viable option for determining what is a "reasonable" amount of time for a detainment. I know that BB62 has requested training materials, and I look forward to perusing them. ANy thoughts on next steps?
    I'm not up on all of MO law, but what law allows for detainment to determine if you are licensed? I mean, in that, the Supreme Court has ruled that stopping someone just to see your papers (driver license) is unconstitutional.
    Last edited by color of law; 03-10-2015 at 08:26 PM.

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    I'm not up on all of MO law, but what law allows for detainment to determine if you are licensed? I mean, in that, the Supreme Court has ruled that stopping someone just to see your papers (driver license) is unconstitutional.
    I think he may be referring to 21.750, as modified by SB656:

    http://legiscan.com/MO/text/SB656/2014 (lines 22-38)

    (2) In any jurisdiction in which the open carrying of firearms is prohibited by ordinance, the open carrying of firearms shall not be prohibited in accordance with the following:

    (a) Any person with a valid concealed carry endorsement or permit who is open carrying a firearm shall be required to have a valid concealed carry endorsement or permit from this state, or a permit from another state that is recognized by this state, in his or her possession at all times;

    (b) Any person open carrying a firearm in such jurisdiction shall display his or her concealed carry endorsement or permit upon demand of a law enforcement officer;

    (c) In the absence of any reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity, no person carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm shall be disarmed or physically restrained by a law enforcement officer unless under arrest; and

    (d) Any person who violates this subdivision shall be subject to the penalty provided in section 571.121.

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