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Thread: Fall Festival / Oktoberfest in Boulder

  1. #1
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    This weekend is Boulder's Fall Festival/Oktoberfest celebration down on the Pearl Street area of downtown. Our group's weekly get-together tends to be down there anyways, so this time around we eschewed our normal place for a table on the Boulder county courthouse's lawn, with me being one of the two designated drivers and everyone else (about ten) having the beer. And since I wasn't drinking all night, I kept my 1911 on my hip.

    As everyone went down to stand in line, the other DD and I grabbed our table. As I was walking around OCing, I passed a Boulder PD officer who nodded at me as I dipped my hat at him. We grabbed a table facing back towards where he was, so I noticed he was on his radio as we sat down.

    A few minutes later, he and another officer came over to where we were. In true fashion of Thucydides' speeches in his History of the Peloponnesian Wars, I'll re-create the conversation as best as possible without having a recorded transcript or something to that end:

    Officer 1 (Original Officer) - Good evening, sir. Do you have a firearm on you?
    Me - Yeah, I have my pistol on my right side. [as I'm in the chair, it's impossible to tell where they're standing]
    Officer 1 - OK, keep your hands where we can see them. Do you have any sort of identification on you?
    Me - Of course, I have my concealed weapons permit. Mind if I grab that? [Colorado's a must-disclose state for CHPs, and at the time my vest was covering my 1911 by virtue of me sitting, so no need to go off on resisting unnecessary IDing]
    Officer 1 - Sure. Do you have a driver's license or something like that too?
    Me - Yep.

    (Officer 1 takes my CHP and DL, and checks them on his radio. Officer 2 remains)

    Officer 2 - Are you guys down here for the Oktoberfest?
    Me - We are, but we're the designated drivers for our group. [I point to the four or so who are coming back with their beers now]
    Officer 2 - That's good. We don't need people with pistols downing all the beer around here, and we're always happy to see people doing their friends a favor by driving. There's free soda for DD's down there if you get a bracelet showing you're not drinking.
    Me - Thanks for letting me know.

    (A few minutes of silence between the officers and me; our group has returned, so we talk amongst ourselves, including the mandatory "thanks for making it interesting like always, *Denwego*" )

    (Officer 1 returns)

    Officer 1 - OK, everything's good on our end. Now, we know you're not breaking any laws, and my partner here tells me your a designated driver, so that's good you're staying away from alcohol. Now while what you're doing isn't a problem, we'd like to ask you to cover your gun up while you're walking around, because as the night goes on more people are going to be getting more alcohol in them, and we don't want to have the case were someone who's had one too many tries to grab your gun from behind or something like that.
    Me - (Thinking on the validity of the statement, as well as their hitherto professionalism) - That's fine, although I'm not dressed for concealment. At very least, the bottom half of my holster's going to be sticking out, and if I'm standing the gun's going to be very visible under my ****.
    Officer 2 - That's OK. We just don't want it stick out uncovered so someone can grab it. They can't grab it through your shirt. And it doesn't matter if we can see it, or if other people can, because we know you're OK to carry.
    Officer 1 - Just try not to flout it too much. If anyone comes up to us about it, we'll know it's you and you're OK, but we don't want too much work on what's already going to be a tough night.
    Me - Not a problem. Have a good evening!
    Officer 2 - You guys too. [Hands me a business card with their names on it.]

    ---

    Quite a professional stop, if I may say so, and very positive in light of how it could've been much more unpleasant with all those yuppies and drinkers around, especially on the courthouse lawn. They never asked me to disarm, nor gave off any air that they were unhappy about an everyday-folk carrying, concealed or open. And while in the end the typical police line of "conceal it" came into play, it wasn't the mantra of "concealing is the only way to carry," but rather a legitimate concern that I should've thought more of myself. In the end, it was a great affirmation that the BPD knows open carry is legal and good, so the ball keeps rolling forward!

  2. #2
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    I've got 2 questions for ya.

    I was under the impression that CO was NOT a must-disclose state. After checking a few other resources (notably: http://www.handgunlaw.us/) I couldn't find evidence that CO is, infact, must-notify. I was unable to find mention of this in CO state law either way.

    Second, I seem to recall there being some kind of provision about carrying, whether open, or concealed, in a place where alcohol is being served. I thought carrying in a bar or such was a legal no-no. Granted, I don't even recall where I got that information from, so I have no idea if that's the case or not.

    Now, your experience was on pearl street, on city property, where they happened to be serving beer, but the idea prompted my question.

  3. #3
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    I have to go back and read on oc versus cc. But while cc'ing it's allowed. Florida law has something specifically stating you can't cc in places that primarily server alcohol but I have yet to read anything like that for here. Haven't read anything on must-disclose either. I used to have the laws printed out but I can't find them, that means more internet searching since I didn't bookmark it.

  4. #4
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    Whoops, missed the question posed here for a few days...

    Carrying where alcohol is served, openly or concealed, is perfectly legal in Colorado. Since a home-rule municipality can pass laws against open carry in specific locations, it could theoretically happen that a city or town bans carrying in a bar; however, to be valid, each bar would have to be posted no-carry, and it wouldn't affect the legality of concealed carry at all.

    Of course, it's illegal (and a horrible idea) to be intoxicated and carrying. The standard of "intoxication" isn't in the law and hasn't been established in a state-wide court precedent, so any alcohol in your system is getting into muddy water. I recommend sticking to coffee and soda when you're carrying to be safe, both legally and semantically.

  5. #5
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    Fedge wrote:
    I've got 2 questions for ya.

    I was under the impression that CO was NOT a must-disclose state. After checking a few other resources (notably: http://www.handgunlaw.us/) I couldn't find evidence that CO is, infact, must-notify. I was unable to find mention of this in CO state law either way.

    Second, I seem to recall there being some kind of provision about carrying, whether open, or concealed, in a place where alcohol is being served. I thought carrying in a bar or such was a legal no-no. Granted, I don't even recall where I got that information from, so I have no idea if that's the case or not.

    Now, your experience was on pearl street, on city property, where they happened to be serving beer, but the idea prompted my question.

    Fedge,

    You are correct, in that, Colorado is not a must-disclose state for CCW,however, they do require one to identify them self if requested by a LEO and if concealed carrying, provide their permit if requested. One does not have to notify an officer they have a permit or that they are carrying, but if asked toproduce a CCW permit after becoming aware of a concealed weapon, the person is required to do so. AlthoughDenwego was open carrying at the time, according to his own account of the events, he volunteered the permit as a means of ID rather than being asked for it.

    As for carry in a a venue where alcohol is being served/ consumed, there is not restriction on that in Colorado, except that some local ordinances prohibit it for OC.

    Personally, I do have issue with randomly being asked to prove I am legal to carry based simply on the fact that I am seen carrying. I can live with it as long as it is confined to special situations and circumstances such as an event like this, but too often it is this practice is carried over into daily life and normal public places, in which case it should be addressed. I liken it to stopping everyone driving a car to see if they have a drivers license and running it to see if they have anything outstanding.

    Take care all and be safe,

    Doc


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