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Thread: Months of research and talking to public officials:

  1. #1
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    After literally MONTHS of talking to public officials and reasearch, I finally broke down and consulted a civil lawyer.

    I was trying to get a judge to render a decision on the legality of open carry in Louisiana after getting so many incorrect and/or illegal answers from various LEOs in my area, including the Sheriff.

    I was told that there already WAS a judge's decision on the matter, and that it has been ruled on repeatedly throughout the years that open carry is 100% legit in Louisiana, and that anyone arrested for it has grounds for a false arrest case.

    I tried on 13 different occasions to get a meeting with the Sheriff in my parish. I left messages, talked to his secretary, etc. He never ONCE returned my phone calls or emails. Every time I showed up in person, I was told he was "very busy and I'd have to schedule an appointment." I did so on FIVE occasions, only to be told he was out of town on an important matter.

    Bottom line: Open carry is CLEARLY 100% legal in Louisiana. The downside is that there are TONS of leo's and their superiors that don't know the law.

    I continue to carry openly everywhere I go..but I have found and printed out the laws and judge's decisions that firmly state that open carry is NOT an offense.

    Also, being arrested for 'disturbing the peace' because you are openly carrying a firearm is a lie.

    It is going to take someone being arrested for each of these false charges, and fighting them and winning in court for this to stop. Of course, I'm not willing (or financially able) to fight each and every one of these. I can only hope that the LEO's wise up...and sincerely hope Mark's case will be won.

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    It appears the Sheriff has forgotten he is a public servant, whose salary is paid for by your taxes. I don't know how your local gov't works, but he must answer to someone. Is there an ombudsman for your county government? Perhaps your lawyer has a suggestion? If you research this, then tell his secretary you want an appointment, otherwise you will go to his superior, he might be persuaded to actually meet with one of the "serfs" in his district. People like this give LEO's a bad name......

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    If possible, could you post a link to the decisions in LA stating that OC is legal? One of the purposes that I see of this forum is a central depository for legal decisions on OC, although in most states we do not have to prove that OC is legal as the onus is on LE to show us the specific prohibition (although they often do not understand that).

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    Crash Vector, May I ask what parish you are in?

    I've been wondering if you ever got a chance to talk to your sheriff. I had followed your posts on PDO.

    I find it sad but not surprising that he would not meet with you. He is supposed to be there for his citizens but these days our LE just doesn't want to be bothered. The police are supposed to enforce the laws but they don't know the law. While the sheriff has very important things to deal with if something is brought to his attention that he may need to address with his deputies he should at least show some interest.

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    All one needs to do is point to the Louisiana constitution which says:

    The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons CONCEALED ON THE PERSON.

    The RKBA provision in Kentucky's constitution is similar and it took the court case Holland V. Commonwealth in 1956to recognize the legality of it[The contributor] carried openly for years before the CCDW law passed in 1996.

    The constitution clearly gives the legislature the power only to regulate the carrying of weapons concealed on the person. Unconcealed weapons are NOT concealed, and therefore, not subject to regulation by the legislature.

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    Crash,

    Welcome to OCDO, and if your posts here are as spirited as those on PDO, then we are all in for a treat!

    I seem to recall that you have begun to OC in your home state, any problems to date?

    TrueBrit.

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    ike wrote:
    Crash Vector, May I ask what parish you are in?

    I've been wondering if you ever got a chance to talk to your sheriff. I had followed your posts on PDO.

    I find it sad but not surprising that he would not meet with you. He is supposed to be there for his citizens but these days our LE just doesn't want to be bothered. The police are supposed to enforce the laws but they don't know the law. While the sheriff has very important things to deal with if something is brought to his attention that he may need to address with his deputies he should at least show some interest.
    Maybe he is legitimately busy. maybe he is dodging. Is it possible to get in touch with his campaign? Maybe a less direct approach will work at getting a meeting. Be careful what you ask for though. If you get a meeting, remember you are representing a lot of people who do not even know you. Be respectful and polite, and do your research. Don't ask for the sheriff to give you a piece of paper saying you can OC. He has no authority to do so. IMO, the most you can expect is that he would acknowledge OC is not illegal, and that under normal circumstances he would not expect to arrest anyone for OC.

    I think you might have a better shot at this (pun sort of intended) if you are able to come to him as a leader of some recognized group rather than just yourself. A local or state gun owners group might be a way to show you are not a lone kook.



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    I think folks in LA would be most helpful to just open carry and forget trying to get LEOs to declare somthing as "not illegal."

    Why would they do that? I sure would not if I were an LEO.



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    Sure the Sheriff is busy. He should however make an effort for the citizens, the people who put him in office and finance his department.

    He could ask another officer below him to talk to you and find out your concerns.

    I would not expect the sheriff to give me something saying Open Carry is legal. This is not his place. However, it is his place to answer for his deputies if they have been stopping me for open carry. If they do not know the law it is his responsibility to educate them. A deputy can not just stop you for doing something that is not illegal.

    If the OP had been personally stopped by one of his deputies for OC then the Sheriff needs to make an effort to tell him why.

    Law Enforcement works for us, the citizens. They have an obligation to us. They don't get the privilege of ignoring people, they should go into a private field if they want that.

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    ike wrote:
    Law Enforcement works for us, the citizens. They have an obligation to us. They don't get the privilege of ignoring people, they should go into a private field if they want that.
    Unfortunately there are very few people in government who actually believe that. Most of them consider us mere taxpaying citizens to be a nuisance to be tolerated at best.

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    Just once since I quit posting at PDO.

    I was stopped (well..I was already stopped pumping gas) and questioned by a police officer when he saw me wearing my Walther while pumping gas.

    I kept repeatedly saying "Is that all....so I'm free to go right?" without really answering any of his questions except "you realize that open carry is completely legal in Louisiana, right? I have a copy of the specific laws in my car if you would like to see them"

    He basically kept fishing, and I pretty much ignored him after I realized what he was up to. I wasn't being legally detained (since you cannot be detained for NOT breaking the law), so I finished pumping my gas, went into the store and paid..and drove off...leaving the so-called cop.

    Other than this nearly non-encounter, I have not hadany serious issues. Only one or two people have even noticed my pistol, and BOTH of them merely said "hey...I didnt realize you could wear a holstered gun like that...." I gave them copies of the law that I keep on my person at all times, and left. As I was leaving I could hear expressions of "hey..I never know this" or "that cop lied to us.." etc.

    I may be a little paranoid, but I keep specific laws printed out in my back pocket, along with judge's rulings concerning the legality of OC.




    EDIT: West Baton Rouge parish



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    CrashVector wrote:
    Just once since I quit posting at PDO.

    I was stopped (well..I was already stopped pumping gas) and questioned by a police officer when he saw me wearing my Walther while pumping gas.

    I kept repeatedly saying "Is that all....so I'm free to go right?" without really answering any of his questions except "you realize that open carry is completely legal in Louisiana, right? I have a copy of the specific laws in my car if you would like to see them"

    He basically kept fishing, and I pretty much ignored him after I realized what he was up to. I wasn't being legally detained (since you cannot be detained for NOT breaking the law), so I finished pumping my gas, went into the store and paid..and drove off...leaving the so-called cop.

    Other than this nearly non-encounter, I have not hadany serious issues. Only one or two people have even noticed my pistol, and BOTH of them merely said "hey...I didnt realize you could wear a holstered gun like that...." I gave them copies of the law that I keep on my person at all times, and left. As I was leaving I could hear expressions of "hey..I never know this" or "that cop lied to us.." etc.

    I may be a little paranoid, but I keep specific laws printed out in my back pocket, along with judge's rulings concerning the legality of OC.




    EDIT: West Baton Rouge parish

    Good work, in consensual encounters by the police, best to keep it that way and act matter of factly and then go on about your business as if you are not concerned about them.

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    What are you keeping a copy of? The laws outlining what illegal carry is or specific rulings?

    Thanks.

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    Mike:

    Once they say the magic words, I stop talking. I ask "Am I being detained?" and in the case of the officer I referenced, he said "no, I just have a few questions." Once you learn that you are not being detained or that you are free to go, shut up and walk away. My reply to him exactly was "ok, if I'm not being detained, then I have nothing further to say...have a good day, officer"

    ike:

    I keep a copy of the LA State consitution, and a copy of two judge's rulings that support open carry.


    EDIT: the article of the LA consitution that states that the legislature may create laws that affect concealed carry ONLY..I believe it is article IV of the state constitution.

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    CrashVector wrote:
    EDIT: the article of the LA consitution that states that the legislature may create laws that affect concealed carry ONLY..I believe it is article IV of the state constitution.
    Louisiana Constitution Article 1, Section 11:

    The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person.
    (emphasis mine)

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    CrashVector wrote:
    I keep a copy of the LA State consitution, and a copy of two judge's rulings that support open carry.
    Can you tell me the cases that you have? I want to put them on the LA page. Thanks!


    John

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    jpierce: I'm not sure what cases CrashVector has, but they may come from a 1978 Attorney General Opinion which stated that OC was legal. http://www.ag.state.la.us/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=3165

    Kudos to 4sooth who posted it in another thread. http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum26/183-2.html



    CrashVector: Good to see you around here.
    ProguninTN

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    Crash! Good form man! Shame whats happened to PDO, but this place has come far. For those that want to search go to the state AG webpage http://www.ag.state.la.us/opinionsearch.asp

    and search for "exposed handgun" , or the article 78-795.

    I intended to print it out and give open carry a go. My wife is fired up as well.

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    ProguninTN wrote:
    jpierce: I'm not sure what cases CrashVector has, but they may come from a 1978 Attorney General Opinion which stated that OC was legal. http://www.ag.state.la.us/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=3165

    Kudos to 4sooth posted it in another thread. http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum26/183-2.html



    CrashVector: Good to see you around here.
    ProguninTN
    I no longer even look at PDO...the site is no longer relevant.

    anyhow, yes, those are the rulings I have copies of.

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    Crashvector--here is another ruling for you. State vs Ferrand--SO.2nd 396 (circa 1995).

    The police were called to a disturbance in a alley.Upon arrival there was no one in evidence in the alley but as the police watched a male walked out on the porch of the house next to the alley.He had a handgun which he held down buy his side.After walking to the end of the porch and looking into the alley he went back into the house and closed the door.

    The police rushed the house and forced entry.The male was a convicted felon and also had six pounds of cocaine in the house.

    In court the officers admitted they had no probable cause to enter the house since they were unaware of the mans status as a felon.

    The case went all the way to the La.Supreme Court where the case was thrown out.The last paragraph of the decision reads--"the public possession of an openly displayed handgun is not a crime in Louisiana and does not alone provide probable cause for an arrest".

    For many years I was told the partial concealment of a firearm was the same as totally concealed--such as when the gun was displayed in a holster.This comes from the ruling in State vs Bias (circa 1885) in which just such a ruling was effected by the courts.This type of foolishness by the courts prevented any excersize of the right and was of course wrong both morally and legally.Thankfully this has changed.

    As some of you have no doubt realized much of the law enforcement has no idea what the law is and many don't care!!

    In this parish (St Tammany) I have questioned numerous police,security trainers and by proxy a judge.None of them knew the proper law.So it is good to carry a copy of the cases with you.But if arrested you have a solid false or improper arrest case.

    Stay safe!!



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