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Thread: Causing alarm

  1. #1
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    What does it take before "causing alarm" is a valid argument against OC? I have had a cop tell me I would be causing alarm, even though no-one else seemed to care about me. I am guessing that the law puts it somewhere between one call and riot, but where is it?

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    Inducing panic and/or inciting a riot requires an underlying word or action that is false that results in public unrest to the point of threatening public safety. As owning a firearm and carrying a firearm openly are not crimes, neither could ever apply. You need to tell the policeman in question that being uncommon is not criminal, that being uncommon is not inducing panic, etc. For that matter, why should YOU have to pay for the ignorance and lack of education of others?

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    It depends on what state you’re in at the time. The short answer is; alarm is whatever the cop thinks it is.

    Here in Washington, our law says,
    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm . . . in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that . . . warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

    Notice there are four things listed; manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place. That means that the court will weigh your so-called alarm against those four qualifiers. Now, the rest of the sentence is really more important; “…warrants alarm for the safety of other persons…” It doesn’t say “causes alarm” -so someone ‘being alarmed’ is irrelevant. It doesn’t say, “…warrants alarm of other persons…” either. The officer would have to be able to articulate that you were behaving dangerously, such that his intervention was necessary to ensuresomeone's safety.

    In a recent appeals court case, the WA appeals court ruled on this issue. A man was walking through a medium sized city here with two rifles. A bystander called 911 and police were dispatched. They detained him, and then arrested him for being a felon in possession of firearms. They did a search after his arrest and tacked on some drug charges. The trial court ruled the detainment was a violation of his rights and would not allow any evidence the police obtained as a result of the detainment. Carrying a gun openly in WA is not a crime, and thus is not enough (by itself) for the police to detain someone.

    The court said.
    Nothing indicates that the manner in which the Defendant was carrying the weapons in any way would give reasonable cause for alarm unless the mere fact of carrying a weapon within the city limits in the open in daylight on a major thoroughfare in and of itself would cause such alarm. The statute does not and, under the [Washington] Constitution, cannot prohibit the mere carrying of a firearm in public.

    Now, do the police know this? It doesn’t matter, they are going to count on you not knowing this.

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    Thanks for the answers guys. Basicly I was looking for something I can say to a LEO in my defense. That whole "warrents alarm" is a world of different from "causing alarm".

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    Just tell him that if your gun causes him alarm then he's a pu**y. Cops love it when you tell them that.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Just tell him that if your gun causes him alarm then he's a pu**y. Cops love it when you tell them that.
    That brings up another question: can a cop claim that I caused him alarm? When I was told I would be causing alarm the only nervous people in the theater lobby were the cops. Everyone else didn't seem to care, and most of them didn't even notice me until the cops ran over to me and brought my gun to everyones attention. Thanks, cops.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Just tell him that if your gun causes him alarm then he's a pu**y. Cops love it when you tell them that.
    ROFL!!!!!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Just tell him that if your gun causes him alarm then he's a pu**y. Cops love it when you tell them that.
    Don't forget to politely remind them that you pay their salary. It generally puts the police in a more accepting frame of mind to know they're dealing with their superiors.

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    I'm still fuzzy on this. A gun on a Cop's hip is comforting, but a gun on my hip is alarming? Somebody explain that to me.

    LoveMyCountry

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    LoveMyCountry wrote:
    I'm still fuzzy on this. A gun on a Cop's hip is comforting, but a gun on my hip is alarming? Somebody explain that to me.

    LoveMyCountry
    Yep! If you were face to face to that cop, both of you naked as the day you were born, then you two would be equal. Now he straps his gun around his hip, and guess what? He's more powerful than you. Now you strap a gun on your hip. Aww crap now you're equal again.

    When you are required to act in a position of authority, most people need something to make them FEEL that they'reabove others. It is VERY difficult for the average person toact likethey are in charge when they don't have a badge, a uniform, or a gun. I strongly believe this is why so many LEOs are having issues with citizens carrying. It is a psychological reaction to the fact that they've lost their upper hand.

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    DreQo,

    that's almost universally true, what you said about cops "loosing the upper hand," LEOs have told me time and again, that they want to "control the situation" and "because I can"... I had two friends (twins) who wanted to be cops their entire lives until going through pre-LEO classes in college here in Idaho, and they both dropped their life-long pursuit when they saw 1. how cops are taught to manipulate and coerce confessions and admissions of things the cop isn't sure of, and 2. the type of people going into the LE type of work. Sad.

    DreQo wrote
    Yep! If you were face to face to that cop, both of you naked as the day you were born, then you two would be equal. Now he straps his gun around his hip, and guess what? He's more powerful than you. Now you strap a gun on your hip. Aww crap now you're equal again.

    When you are required to act in a position of authority, most people need something to make them FEEL that they'reabove others. It is VERY difficult for the average person toact likethey are in charge when they don't have a badge, a uniform, or a gun. I strongly believe this is why so many LEOs are having issues with citizens carrying. It is a psychological reaction to the fact that they've lost their upper hand.

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    Causing alarm isn't illegal (at least in WA). Warranting alarm is illegal. You have no control over what will alarm individuals. Some individuals will be alarmed by you wearing a Raiders jacket. It doesn't make it illegal.

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    The argument made with PA Open Carry (with regards to disorderly conduct, but I feel could apply to other charges) is this:

    Since a person who is not licensed MUST open carry their firearms on foot in order to avoid criminal charge, nor is there any duty for anyone licensed to conceal their handgun, open carry is not disorderly conduct. The open carrying of firearms is not by itself threatening, nor does it cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition.

    There are also two cases that that specifically state that a person may carry a firearm openly: Commonwealth v. Ortiz http://www.tinyurl.com/2wtovz and Commonwealth v. Hawkins. http://www.tinyurl.com/346wwr

    I don't know if out of state case law can apply in other states, but there are cites if they do.

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    Public Property is a touchy subject. Walking down the street here in vegas with a gun on your hip i legal, so you can't be subjected to "causing alarm for that. LEO's could ask to see your blue card, prior to the new bill that passed, but now all they can do is ask for your name to verify that you are legal. If some old lady reports you for walking down the street armed, the 911 operators are trained to as "what is he/she doing" are the waiving it around or is the weapon holstered. If the report is that the person is just carrying a holstered weapon, then the operator will tell the caller that its not illegal and they will send a unit to survery the scene.

    I've had LEO's drive by me and wave while I was OCing. I waived back and they continued on.. had I ran, I would have been in trouble, but cops here are not as gung'ho and people seem to think.

    On the other hand, in the Malls in Vegas, more than 3 people in a group (unless its obviously a family) is subject to being disbursed, as written in the rules of the Mall when entering. Anyone seen wearing "gang attire" is also not welcome and willbe asked to leave, because it causes alarm or unrest. But the Mall istechnically private property.

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