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Thread: LEOs rolled up with their guns up and out...

  1. #1
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    The story begins with five people, including me, sitting outside my townhouse in Lynchburg, VA at around 11:30pm on a Thursday night about 4-5 weeks ago. We were all sitting in chairs in front of the residence chatting casually and smoking cigars. We hadn't gotten into any particularly lively discussions and were just mellowly relaxing and having a good time since most of us were off work that Friday. Our seating arrangement was two people sitting looking towards each other and my girlfriend was on the hood of her SUV.

    Sometime around 11:45ish, my next-door neighbor comes bursting out of his front door yelling and screaming about how "Some people have to work in the morning" and complaining that we were being too loud for him to sleep. No warning, no request, nothing. He opened his door and just started going off on us. It was the strangest thing I'd seen in awhile. Even more strange was that his sister (whom he lives with), had just come out about 15 minutes earlier to smoke a cigarette and we even briefly chatted with her and everything seemed great. I had just moved in about a month prior to this event and hadn't really had much interaction with the male neighbor except for a few casual hellos and goodbyes in passing.

    The guy then demanded that we go inside and be quiet so he could sleep, to which one of my friend's replied, "We'll go in as soon as we're finished." At that point we were already a bit aggravated at the manner in which this guy just came outside yelling and making demands without any prior requests or warnings. Finally, after a few seconds of him clamouring on more about needing to sleep, he said he was calling the cops and slammed his front door shut.

    Well, we continued on with our business for about 10-15 minutes and decided that he must have gotten over himself and went back to bed without calling the police since they had not shown up.

    Here's where the guns get involved. Just about all five of us own guns and some of us carry on a regular basis, so once the conversation died off about my strange neighbor, some of the guys wanted to see my Glock that I had in my car. So I went in the car and put it on my waist and let them see it. A few minutes later, it went right back onto my holster and stayed there.

    Probably 5-10 minutes later, three police cruisers pulled into my subdivision. As they were just about to get out of their vehicles, I remember stating out loud, "Oh, well here we go. That took awhile." And just as I was turning around in my chair (since I was facing away from the subdivision entrance), I saw two cops coming up quickly yelling "Get your hands in the air" and had us at gunpoint with flashlights in our eyes. I then heard one of the cops say "There it is. He's got it on his right hip." And one of the cops came and yanked it out of my holster. At that point there was nothing I could do to prevent myself from being disarmed without the cops thinking I could be going for my sidearm, so I let them have it. They unloaded the mag and chambered round and set it on the nearby sidewalk.

    I quickly asked why I was being disarmed and what was going on and they cops replied, "We got a call reporting someone brandishing a firearm." Needless to say, my friends and I were all extremely appalled at this claim and started to chime in with our own rebuttals. Once I could get everyone to be quiet, I explained the situation to the officer and about our recent encounter with my neighbor and then proceeded to state that it was well within the bounds of the law for me to be openly carrying my handgun (I also have a CHP so it wouldn't matter whether it was concealed or not). The cop agreed that I was legal and proceeded to knock loudly on my neighbors door and went in and spoke with him for a couple minutes. I don't know what was said, but the two first responding officers (who seemed younger--possibly late 20s) seemed to be on our side and were respectful. They returned my handgun to me shortly thereafter with the extra mag and round still unloaded from the weapon and requested that I wait for them to leave to reload it.

    As they were about to leave, the third cop (who was probably around 60 years old), came up to us and tried to explain the city noise ordinance to me. I responded stating that I fully understood the noise ordinance and that it is based on sound levels which we certainly had not exceeded. He claimed that because there were five of us we "Most likely were violating the ordinance at some point." I said, "Well that's just an assumption, officer. We were not raising our voices to any unreasonable levels." The two officers behind him kind of looked at each other, and then at me with an apologetic look. We all felt like this one was trying to make us feel guilty for something when we had done absolutely nothing wrong.

    Then the police officers left and we continued on with our business. Of course, the topic of conversation changed quite a bit after that altercation. At first I was irritated that the cops disarmed me when I had done nothing wrong, but they did say that with any firearm-related call that is standard operating procedure for their own safety. After talking it over after the cops left we agreed that it was understandable, even though I didn't like being disarmed without initially knowing the reason. I suppose in those situations that's just going to happen since they can't just sit there and explain the reason for dispatch during the inital confrontation.

    It just seems ridiculous that anyone would want to irrationally call the cops on his/her neighbor that they will see on a daily basis. ESPECIALLY one who owns and carries handguns.

    Anyways, I thought you guys might enjoy the story. It wasn't really THAT exciting, but it was the first time I've ever been held at gunpoint--even if it was just for a couple seconds.

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    Why would a neighbor owning/carrying guns make a difference whether or not to call the cops?

    I'd prolly be eager to keep the heat on a neighbor with an attitude and guns - especially by proxy of LEO666.

    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
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    "I then heard one of the cops say "There it is. He's got it on his right hip." And one of the cops came and yanked it out of my holster."

    Hey..., HankT. This doesn't happen to me ALONEDamn Cops.

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    It sounds like your a-hole neighbor played up the story to the cops and told them you were brandishing. If that's the case, I can't really blame the cops for thinking there was a threat. And since once they figured out you were legal they colled down quick I'm assuming the problem was with your neighbor more than with the cops. Your neighbor sounds like a peice ofwork. I can relate to that...

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    File a complaint. Guns drawn? lights in the eyes... That's an attack, not law enforcement, if the circumstances are as you describe.

    Wait until they leave to reload? Uh... No.They can go hang around OFF the property if the gun makes them uncomfortable.



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    While I think your neighbors are pathetic, I don't think I blame the cops too much for this incident. I mean, they had a call that you were brandishing (so they had a reasonable articulable suspicion) and it sounds to me like they weren't jerks about it (i.e., they didn't charge you or threaten you).

    I'm sure they were their normal pompousselves, but it sounds like they did everything by the book in a semi-respectful manner. It also doesn't sound like they drug the encounter out longer than it had to be.

    I give the cops2 thumbs up!

    Now, it sucks that you can't show a gun to your friends in this area...further south, you'd probably have no problem. That's something that will need to be remedied with more open carrying.


    (No, LEO 229 did not hijack my account. This is still me)



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    Mr. Y wrote:
    Wait until they leave to reload? Uh... No.They can go hang around OFF the property if the gun makes them uncomfortable.
    I agree with you on this. On occassions when I've been detained, as soon as they hand the gun back, the detention is over. I re-load it right then.

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    Wait, wait , wait.... This all happened on YOUR property?!? tell them you are going to reload whenever you feal like it and there is crap all they can do about it.

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    I have to say that having show and tell with guns when you know the cops are coming is an extraordinarily bad idea. Were you trying to antagonize him? Either your neighbor knew you were armed and embellished the report to 911, or he saw you passing the gun around after he went back inside. Probably an anti anyway, and you proved to him that he is right.

    Curious to know how the conversation went betwen him and the cop.
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    DezaraX wrote:
    The story begins with five people, including me, sitting outside my townhouse in Lynchburg, VA at around 11:30pm on a Thursday night about 4-5 weeks ago. We were all sitting in chairs in front of the residence chatting casually and smoking cigars. We hadn't gotten into any particularly lively discussions and were just mellowly relaxing and having a good time since...
    Where you folks drinking?

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    HankT wrote:
    Where you folks drinking?
    DezaraX wrote:
    ...sitting outside my townhouse in Lynchburg, VA at around 11:30pm on a Thursday night about 4-5 weeks ago. We were all sitting in chairs in front of the residence chatting
    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. LAB/NRA/GOP *******

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    I don't think you broke any laws.

    But, am I the only person who thinks maybe it wasn't such a good idea to have a midnight, outdoor, show-and-tell session with the handgun right after the irrational neighbor had a big outburst about not being able to sleep?

    Frankly, I give the cops a lot of credit for leaving without charging somebody. All it would have taken for somebody to get arrested would have been for Mr. Irrational to have said the gun was pointed in the direction of his house, and he was scared.

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-282

    "It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm...in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another..."

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    But, am I the only person who thinks maybe it wasn't such a good idea to have a midnight, outdoor, show-and-tell session with the handgun right after the irrational neighbor had a big outburst about not being able to sleep?
    I Normally feel like the nervous Nelly here but I don't think he did a thing wrong. He was in his yard, minding his business, didn't threaten the ******* and cooperated with the officer.

    Further, the officer couldn't have charged him. He wasn't there and had nothing but the neighbors allegation that he was frightened. The neighbor would have to go to the Magistrates office and request a warrant.

    Geeze, can we only look at each others guns in secret now?

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    peter nap wrote:
    I Normally feel like the nervous Nelly here but I don't think he did a thing wrong. He was in his yard, minding his business, didn't threaten the ******* and cooperated with the officer.
    Interesting how a single word can change a perception.

    When you say "he was in his yard," I tend to agree with you. But a "yard" looks like this to me.





    Now, I was visualizing something more like what's pictured below, and that would change the context considerably.





    Either way, I think the neighbor was an idiot, but I also think one should act differently in each situation...and I think it's reasonable for cops to react differently in each situation.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    You might be right,,,,but yard to me is private space and I don't like mine being imposed on.

    I have a little larger yard (10 acres) but I had a neighbor who called the county because I changed my brakes in my driveway. Nothing they could do but ask me to try to keep the peace.

    I dedicated the next year to making that son of a bitch miserable. He finally sold his house.

    I think the Police behaved fine in his case and he cooperated. I just don't see anything wrong with showing it to a friend while in his own Curtilage .

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    peter nap wrote:
    I think the Police behaved fine in his case and he cooperated. I just don't see anything wrong with showing it to a friend while in his own Curtilage .
    I agree. But holding a gun on 10 acres will be perceived much differently than holding a gun next to a street. For that reason, i think the police acted reasonably.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Well.....I guess there's not much sense wasting bandwidth on this one then, because it doesn't look like either of us are going to change out opinions.

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    peter nap wrote:
    Well.....I guess there's not much sense wasting bandwidth on this one then, because it doesn't look like either of us are going to change out opinions.
    Sorry to frustrate you. I'm open hearing what you've got to say.

    Assuming that the cops did indeed get a call about brandishing (And DezaraXneeds to get a FOIA request in to make sure that they actually did get such a call)...but assuming they did, how would you say they should've handled it?

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    The only frustrating part is that I HAVEN"T been talking about the Police.

    WEG Posted:


    But, am I the only person who thinks maybe it wasn't such a good idea to have a midnight, outdoor, show-and-tell session with the handgun right after the irrational neighbor had a big outburst about not being able to sleep?
    My response on each post was that the Police did fine IMHO. They responded to the call in a reasonable manner, He cooperated....all was good from that end.

    The discussion has been whether he should have shown the pistol to his friend at that hour.

    The police didn't initiate that call, the neighbor did.

    MY issue is that he has a perfect right to show the gun to his friend in his yard. Doesn't have anything to do with the police. He shouldn't have to hide it from his neighbor or anyone else.

    Sure, showing at that time of night might not have been the greatest PR Move, neither is OC'ing at a board of supervisors meeting. I don't do it because I think I'll be attacked there. I do it because I can!

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    peter nap wrote:
    MY issue is that he has a perfect right to show the gun to his friend in his yard. Doesn't have anything to do with the police. He shouldn't have to hide it from his neighbor or anyone else.

    Sure, showing at that time of night might not have been the greatest PR Move, neither is OC'ing at a board of supervisors meeting. I don't do it because I think I'll be attacked there. I do it because I can!
    Ah, so we've been ships passing in the night.

    One thing: I think OCing *IS* a good PR move...while people don't like it, it gets them used to it and I'd rather them be used to it than like it.

    I agree with you. He was within his right and if he's willing to deal with the police, he should continue to do it (I wouldn't though). And you're also right that he shouldn't have to hide it from his neighbor. Maybe if he keeps doing it, the neighbor will quit calling the police (although I imagine that police might get irritated and eventually charge him with something...and if I know anything, it's that I don't want to face a gun charge in front of a No.Va. jury).

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    One thing: I think OCing *IS* a good PR move...while people don't like it, it gets them used to it and I'd rather them be used to it than like it.
    Yes, that's true unless you go somewhere that frightens people to the extent it damages the image. I don't especially like carrying a gun. Been doing it for longer than I like to remember but because I felt I needed to...or to make a statement.

    I've always carried fairly large guns. My walking around gun is a 3" barreled.. L frame 44 spl. It's heavy. pulls my pants down but when I shoot it, I hit what I'm shooting at, with plenty of juice.

    Anyway....there's no special joy in walking around with it. A lot of times when I go to restaurants, I'll wear my air taser concealed rather than OC because I know people in that establishment will panic. Mortons is one of them and Ruth Chris is another. You won't get those people used to it, they just panic and leave.

    Now sometimes I do like to make a statement. At the last VCDL meeting I wore my 6" Dan Wesson 44 mag.

    Even Philip noticed

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    peter nap wrote:
    Anyway....there's no special joy in walking around with it. A lot of times when I go to restaurants, I'll wear my air taser concealed rather than OC because I know people in that establishment will panic. Mortons is one of them and Ruth Chris is another. You won't get those people used to it, they just panic and leave.
    I figure the first time, it will scare them (because it's out of the ordinary). THey'll probably call the police. The second time, they may call the police. The third time, they probably won't call teh police. The fourth time, they may not even notice.

    Now sometimes I do like to make a statement. At the last VCDL meeting I wore my 6" Dan Wesson 44 mag.

    Even Philip noticed
    That is HILARIOUS!

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    Thanks for all the responses. I was interested to see what you all thought of the incident.

    I honestly don't think the cops reacted inappropriately. At first I did think my rights were being violated, but that was until they told me that they got a call that someone was brandishing a firearm. Overall the cops handled it very well, with the exception of the older one who assumed we were "most likely" violating city ordinances.

    We were not drinking at the time. One of the officers even mentioned that fact during his assessment of the situation. He stated that if we had been drinking then there may have been more of a chance for questionable behavior. That brings a question to my mind:

    Does anyone know if it is it illegal to be OCing in VA while having a beer in your hand if you're on your own property?

    As far as "show and tell" right after an altercation with my neighbor, I can completely understand why some would think that wasn't a good PR move. To be completely honest, we had dismissed the likelihood of the police showing up and had gotten over the initial confrontation altogether. We didn't do it to prove any points, although I do admit that I am one who certainly doesn't mind confrontation when I know that it will solidify one of my inalienable rights, such as my neighbor understanding that I am able to OC legally and that he needs to think twice before calling the police anytime he sees a firearm.

    I haven't had any other negative encounters with my neighbor since that night. I should go over and talk to him about it and be cordial, but it simply hasn't been priority one for me lately and we're usually not home at the same time.

    Again, thanks all for your comments.

  25. #25
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    DezaraX wrote:

    Does anyone know if it is it illegal to be OCing in VA while having a beer in your hand if you're on your own property?
    Probably not yet still inadvisable. Gives the unarmed an unfavorable impression, plus I'd hate to explain to a hostile jury why I shot someone while I was drinking.
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