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Thread: Legal questions concerning concealment and impersonation

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    I have been kicking around this question for almost a year now since one of my friends got a job as a security guard. He frequently carries openly while in uniform (black "security" t-shirt, bdu pants, hi-tec boots, duty belt). He has never been stopped, questioned, confronted or given a second glance. He routinely carries openly in civilian clothes to and from the local shooting range we use.

    I have seen people wearing "security" t-shirts like they would any other t-shirt, and I am not aware of any law preventing a free person from wearing a t-shirt with the word "security" on it, nor am I aware of anyone being questioned, arrested, or charged with impersonating an officer for doing so.

    My question is this:

    Would wearing a "security" t-shirt while legally open carrying be illegal? If there is nothing you could be charged with, then it would seem like a great way to allow most people to come to their own conclusions, which would likely be that you are a security guard and thus the gun does not look "out of place" to them.

    I am not intimately familiar with law, but while I have heard it is a crime to impersonate a police officer, I have never heard of "impersonating a security guard".

    Your thoughts and comments will be appreciated.



    Edited for spelling


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    I can imagine a boatload of issues that would spring up even if there were no law against it particularly simply because you appear to be somebody contracted to do a job which you are not doing.

    What happens if you are walking through some area – possibly without realizing it – where there is actual security contracted to police the area? I doubt they would just give you a wave and let you continue on your way.

    What if the actual police see you and ask you what job you are traveling to? I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought you were up to no good – maybe trying to stop/detain people for illegal purposes.

    And then if you ever did have to draw your weapon for some reason – this could look pretty bad in court, especially if you ended up shooting anything or anybody.


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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    IMO:

    Wearing a shirt that says 'security' means nothing, unless you are trying to 'act' in an official security capacity of some sort. If one is OC'ing and wearing a security shirt it could be a little dicey, in some situations, but I don't know about 'illegal'.IANAL

    What do you mean by 'legally open carrying', does that fact you are 'security' make it legal? It would be helpful to know what state you live in, as laws are different.

    Why would you want to wear a shirt that says 'Security' if you are not acting in that capacity?


    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    By "legally open carrying", I mean carrying a pistol in a holster on my belt in plain sight, in an area where it is not otherwise prohibited by law.

    To answer your question about my state of residence, Louisiana.

    The reason for wearing a "security" shirt would be to promote the conclusion that a firearm is not "out of place" on your belt, and hopefully thereby avoid confrontation by inquisitive people. I have never give a second look to anyone wering a gun while also wearing a uniform of some kind. Plain street attire, and a gun on the belt might draw unecessary and unwanted attention. People make instant assessments about their surroundings based upon what they see. I'd rather not be seen as an anomaly. In an environment where a holstered gun is rarely if ever unaccompanied by the trappings of law enforcement or security personel, it seems obvious that such clothing could persuade the observer to make the (correct) assessment that the person carrying openly is not a threat, rather than raise a mental caution flag and feel the need to take action such as confrontation or informing police, etc.

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    Based on your last statement BLoencustoms...it almost sounds like your intent is to impersonate to avoid any confrontations.

    VAOPENCARRY - they sell them security/swat team/bouncer shirts in the malls now and its a fad in some areas. Ever time I go to the mall I see 2 or 3 younger folks in them shirts that are obviously not in that job field. I know that doesn't truely answer your "Why would you want to wear a shirt that says 'Security' if you are not acting in that capacity?"

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    I know first hand that even if you don't say you are security and the police are called, they will believe the guy that said you said it.



    This has little to do with the t-shirt, but just the same, the guy that calls the police could easily say he heard you tell someone you were security.



    I paid a $500 fine that proves it.

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    Wearing a "CCW" badge, security shirt, or other indecia of official authority or quasi-official privilege defeats entirely the major positive externality of open carry - informing the public that the right to keep and bare arms still exists.

    Worse, the wearing of such indecia HURTS our open carry rights because it reinforces public misperception that the citizen needs permission or proper purpose to caryy a gun.

    I ask everybody to please not do this, and to actively criticise those who do so.

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    I'd like to add, I was not carrying a gun. I was actually 19 or 20 when it happened.

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    Not to come off like a d!ck or anything, but why would anyone want to voluntarily take upon themselves the risk and responsibility of appearing to be Security or Police, when they are not?

    I know of a few LEOs and Security Specialists who choose to appear 'tactical' when off-duty, for the thrill of authority or ego-boost...

    I can't say that I agree with, or respect,that mentality. IMHO, those who feel the need to display themselves that way, should re-evaluate why they carry a gun, in the first place...

    A gun is a TOOL.

    Law-Enforcement and Security is a JOB.

    Both require proper respect to be safe and effective.

    To address the original question, the legality of such action is under the purview of the specific state/locality involved... I have indirectly heard of several folks who have been 'popped' for impersonating an officer for various reasons, wearing official/identifying clothing being among them (regardless of whether a firearm was present).

    Make smart choices.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    If you don't want to be 'hassled' then carry concealed.

    +1 to Mike's post. To do as you are describing would just reinforce, in the minds of the sheeple, that one must be in some official capacity to carry a gun. Part of the educating that goes along with OC is showing the masses that gun owner's are not knuckle dragging creton's, well most aren't
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Certainly, my intention would not be to dress as a polic officer in order to get some "thrill" or feeling of power. I consider those few officials who have taken jobs in law enforcement for that reason to be despicable people. Ultimately, the reason (as I see it) for carrying a firearm has much more to do with defense than political activism. In my state, it is legal to open carry. It is also legal to dress like a gang-banger. Most people (myself included) do not want to draw the unsolicited attention that dressing like a gangster would bring. Yet, other people might chose to dress that way (even though they be law abiding good folks) out of personal prference, or to make a statement, political or otherwise.

    I suppose that my ultimate goal would be to carry openly (in order to gain the obvious benefits ofquicker access, physical comfort, and broader selection of equipment, deterrent, etc.) while drawing as little attention to the fact as possible. Carrying concealed is always an option, but I would rather not have to go that route. It has alway seemed to me that once a person purchases property, they have the right to haul it around however they please. Unfortunately, this is not the case with concealed weapons. You have to go throught the red tape, the fees, and the class, and carry a license, etc.

    As a side note, I disagree with the requirements of many juridictions that automobile windows must not be tinted beyond a certin degree. The premise is that it makes the police safer because they can more readily see into your vehicle. Same goes for weapon concealment. The laws intent in both cases is to eliminate the element of surprise for criminals. Unfortunately, the law in both cases assumes that everyone is a potential criminal that needs to be protected against. I think that window tint laws, like concealed carry laws, are an unconscionable invasion of privacy. No one has a right to see inside my home without a warrant. they likewise should not be looking inside my car, or looking inside my waistband or shirt, for that matter, but the law is what it is, and it must be obeyed.

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    Law-Enforcement and Security is a JOB.

    Both require proper respect to be safe and effective.
    Is this why speeders exceed voters in 50 out of 50 states? :/



    To say that someone who 'dresses with the intent of appearing to be a figure of authority' without 'exerting any act which may lead any person to believe the actor is an officially ordained officer of a business or institution' creates thought-crime.

    I find no suitable reason for policing "thought-crimes", for a multitude of reasons...
    1) thoughts do not harm anyone or impose on rights
    2) 'acquisition of thoughts' is in invasion of privacy and can violate search and seizure rights
    3) No one /knows/ (to the absolute definition of knowing) what I think, and I have the right to not incriminate myself, so to present my thoughts as possibilty unlawful subject to government interdiction would be a waste of time and resources.

    If we lived in the republic created by the founding fathers (if they wanted what we have now, they would have simply implemented democracy), dressing like a police officer without taking the acts of a police officer could be without consequence -- we could not have to habitually fear that everything we do is wrong, and police presence would not be a threat. Only as a side-effect of the gross and unnatural power is it necessary that emulation of an official, without what appears to be the actions appropriate to the duty of an officer, be illegal (perhaps the intent of this law is to protect people from impersonators, but as we know, anything a law says or does can and will be used against us in a court of law.)

    So:
    to only open carry and wear a black shirt with the white printing on the front "SECURITY" is hardly something we should really chastise anyone for.

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    If you have to ask the question -- it might be a bad idea..

    Although it doesn't come even close to the stupidity of a "concealed carry badge"(doesn't that defeat the purpose?), it seems to be asking for trouble if things "turn south - fast"

    It just seems juvenile, but I lost *ALL* of my "male coolness" 8 years ago with our 1st child..

    Bloencustoms wrote:
    I have been kicking around this question for almost a year now since one of my friends got a job as a security guard. He frequently carries openly while in uniform (black "security" t-shirt, bdu pants, hi-tec boots, duty belt). He has never been stopped, questioned, confronted or given a second glance. He routinely carries openly in civilian clothes to and from the local shooting range we use.

    I have seen people wearing "security" t-shirts like they would any other t-shirt, and I am not aware of any law preventing a free person from wearing a t-shirt with the word "security" on it, nor am I aware of anyone being questioned, arrested, or charged with impersonating an officer for doing so.

    My question is this:

    Would wearing a "security" t-shirt while legally open carrying be illegal? If there is nothing you could be charged with, then it would seem like a great way to allow most people to come to their own conclusions, which would likely be that you are a security guard and thus the gun does not look "out of place" to them.

    I am not intimately familiar with law, but while I have heard it is a crime to impersonate a police officer, I have never heard of "impersonating a security guard".

    Your thoughts and comments will be appreciated.



    Edited for spelling

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