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Thread: Open Carry in Sbux -- Police Called

  1. #1
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    Well just had my first police confrontation. It was wonderful

    I go to a number of sbux around town to do work on my notebook. All the ladies/gentlemen that work at the different stores know me and we get along just fine.

    Today a couple of Greentree's finest (Greentree is just outside PGH) came up to me while I was working and asked if they could speak to me. The first question was "are you a police officer?". I, of course, said "no." They asked if I had a license to carry and I handed it to them; then the one fellow told me that I *had* to carry concealed because I was causing alarm. I told him that I do carry concealed when I put my jacket on (loosely, you can still see my sidearm if you look) but most of the time, if I don't feel the need for a jacket I prefer to carry open. He pushed the point and I resisted: "sorry, I prefer to carry openly, thank you. How can I educate people to the legality of open carry here in PA if they can't see my gun." He got steamed.

    After talking to the DA (they said) they did come back in and let the sbux ppl know that I checked out ok. Now making a Terry stop like that was completely out of line but they were courteous enough, I guess. The officer told me that it was an undercover cop that saw me and complained. Of course, that's bogus because any undercover cop would simply confront me, not call for "backup".

    A few tidbits that I got from the officer that was waiting with me while the other guy ran my "rapsheet" (which is non-existent--thank goodness speeding doesn't count).

    1/ Sir, how do they know that you're not coming in to rob the place when you're wearing a gun like that?

    --> Well if I was wearing concealed it would be much easier to rob them because I would have the element of surprise. In fact, how do any of them know that *anyone* isn't coming in to rob them, Armed or not?

    2/ Sir, you obviously know the finer points of the law but you must be reasonable as well.

    --> That's funny, you know I was speeding the other day, and I thought I was being quite reasonable, but I got stopped and charged anyway. Seems the officer was more interested in the law in that case.

    Now one thing I didn't say, but should have, was when they told me about having to come out and investigate the whole "man with the gun" thing and how it was a waste of resources, caused panic (which it didn't as far as I could see--the girls behind the counter afterwards said to me "the cops hassling you Pete?"), etc. I should have said to them "you know, officer, the next time you get a call like that you can tell the person on the phone that open carry is perfectly legal, and unless the 'man with the gun' was waving it around or drilling customers they should stop calling them and wasting their time." But I didn't say that. I'm a tool.

    Very important point however: the police were very adamant about telling me that they were *not* arresting me when I asked if they were. And eventually did drop the whole "you have to carry concealed" bit when I told them in no uncertain terms that I was not going to. They *are* starting to get educated about this concept and are left with intimidation, not the force of law. If you are not easily intimidated (I'm, ummm, not) they will back off.

    I was still carrying my Walther P99 on my hip openly when they left.

    Everyone have a wonderful day now.



  2. #2
    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    Well done critter! Well done indeed.

    With dedicated and educated people like you with the courage to stand up and not be bullied, we will continue to educate the masses!



  3. #3
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    I've learned from the ladies at sbux here that they had a customer come in, look at me sitting down at my notebook working, and ask them "what's up with Rambo?". (Apparently Rambo was a literate computer hacker, a fact of which I was heretofore unaware). He then said "that's f--king rude" and stormed out of the store.

    I'm assuming this fellow was the one that called the police.

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    Wow, I am impressed critter. You stood your ground, and stayed calm. I might have a new hero, LOL.

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    Regular Member reefteach's Avatar
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    Nice job. A model example of what one should do, and evidence that the masses need more education about laws and firearms. Thanks.

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    Sounds like Greentree needs more "speech control." Idiots who like to call the cops mess it up for everyone else who are more responsible about what they say. Did the guy have a permit to shoot his mouth off? Swearing in public is at least a misdemeanor, right?

    What's the fine for making a nuisance phone call?

    Critter, you are awesome. Keep it up!

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    Why show a license? Except in PHL, it is not required for open carry.

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    I think he was just fine to show the license, even if it was not required - after all, the credential is called a License to CarryFirearms ("LTCF") and he WOULD have to show it even if open carrying in a vehicle, streets of philadelphia, or during any declared emergency.

    The police here were either misinformed as to the fact that normally no LTCF is needed to open carry in starbucks in or were sent on a mission to get the guy to cover up. I will leave a voice mail with the police chief to please remind officers that OC is lawful in PA on foot without any LTCF - of course, the poster is not as precise as he could be using the term "Greentree" and "PGH" but I will figure it out:shock:

    Please write out all acronyms before using them.

  9. #9
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    critter wrote:
    Now making a Terry stop like that was completely out of line but they were courteous enough, I guess.
    I bet if you asked them now, like in Staunton, VA, the police authorities would tell you that the encounter was not a Terry stop and was entirely consensual. They would say you were free to go, nobody patted you down, etc.

    Generally the rule on educating the police on OC legality is to first give sugar a try - we got plenty of vinegar in the shed if they don't eventually get it in a particular jurisdiction.

  10. #10
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    Hi Mike:

    Greentree is a small township outside of Pittsburgh (PGH). It was the Greentree police that I spoke with.

    As far as showing my license the law states: "When carrying a firearm concealed on or about one's person or in a veĀ*hicle, an individual licensed to carry a firearm shall, upon lawful demand of a law enforcement officer, produce the license for inspection. Failure to provide such license, either at the time of arrest or at the preliminary hearing, shall create a rebuttable presumption of nonlicensure."

    Now I did argue with the officer that I didn't need to show my license because I was carrying openly, but his point was that I got there in a car, and had a jacket beside me which would have obviously made it concealed when I put it on. I thought that was a perfectly reasonable assumption and handed over my license. He asked for my ID as well and I gave him that too.

    At the end of the encounter I also got the "having a carry license is a privilege and it can be taken away" blah blah blah speech.



  11. #11
    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    critter wrote:
    I've learned from the ladies at sbux here that they had a customer come in, look at me sitting down at my notebook working, and ask them "what's up with Rambo?". (Apparently Rambo was a literate computer hacker, a fact of which I was heretofore unaware). He then said "that's f--king rude" and stormed out of the store.

    I'm assuming this fellow was the one that called the police.
    WTGCritter, hopefully you will not have any more issues with 'man with gun' calls. I also find the use of that langauge rude - there could have been children around (I do not like it to be used around my children). :P

  12. #12
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    Yes, well every day I make my idiot quota--why should yesterday be any different?



  13. #13
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    critter wrote:
    At the end of the encounter I also got the "having a carry license is a privilege and it can be taken away" blah blah blah speech.
    Well, a shall issue license is not really a privilege, but in any event even if your Sheriff revoked your LTCF, you could still:

    1. Open Carry on foot.

    2. Get a FL CHP by mail and carry concealed and in your vehicle.


    I left a voice mail for Chief Cifrulakto remind all officers than OC on foot in PA requires no license.

    We need more OC in PA, particularly in the greater Pittsburgh area. Day by day we are making great progress educating the public, press, and police.


  14. #14
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    I carry every day in the Greater Pittsburgh area, although have not carried in Pittsburgh proper yet--I'm still wary of city ordinances and can't confirm one way or the other whether they'll nail you for open carry. Legal ordinance or not. Talk the the Pittsburgh police and you may as well phone up the Brady campaign.

    I estimate that I inform at least four people per day about the legality of open carry. I'm quite approachable and people, once I strike up a conversation with them, invariably ask me if I'm a police officer (it's sad that this is the case almost every time).

    Open carry:

    1/ More accessible handgun;
    2/ Can carry a bigger, more accurate handgun;
    3/ Perfect vehicle for open carry advocacy and education.

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