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Thread: Open Carrying and FCPD

  1. #1
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    This is a story from about 2 weeks ago when the Dulles gun show was in town. We were preparing to go to the gun show and a buddy of mine shows me his new M1A out in the driveway.

    Later we were chilling in the garage waiting for the others to show up and out of the corner of my eye I see 3 cruisers roll by. Thinking they'd simply just look around and drive off, we ignored them. A couple seconds pass and more cruisers roll by and we go out to see what's going on.

    As we head out, about 4 officers walk towards us. I laughed and said I was going to the gun show that was in town. As we were talking, a total of 7 cruisers are parked in front of my house along with an undercover. Apparently they received a report of some people running around with evil looking guns and they were wearing "dark clothing". Pretty much the entire station force showed up but left after a minute when they realized there was nothing going on.

    For what it's worth, the FCPD were educated about open carrying and they were courteous. One stayed behind and asked a couple questions about my name and residence.

    I love living in the middle class white suburbs.

  2. #2
    Newbie W.E.G.'s Avatar
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    Use good judgment when you are handling firearms in public in Virginia.

    Your intent has no bearing on whether an individual might be "in reasonable fear" for his safety. If you are holding a gun in your hands, it won't take much to establish the "reasonable fear" element of a brandishing charge.

    Waving a rifle around outdoors in a northern Virginia residential neighborhood - even if you are just "showing it to a friend" is sure to get you EXACTLY the sort of trouble you got. That's why God created gun cases.Use some discretion. I don't know why you would want your neighbors - especially if they are the kind who like to call the police - to see you carrying guns back and forth to your cars anyway.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    W.E.G. wrote:
    Use good judgment when you are handling firearms in public in Virginia.

    Your intent has no bearing on whether an individual might be "in reasonable fear" for his safety. If you are holding a gun in your hands, it won't take much to establish the "reasonable fear" element of a brandishing charge.

    Waving a rifle around outdoors in a northern Virginia residential neighborhood - even if you are just "showing it to a friend" is sure to get you EXACTLY the sort of trouble you got. That's why God created gun cases.Use some discretion. I don't know why you would want your neighbors - especially if they are the kind who like to call the police - to see you carrying guns back and forth to your cars anyway.
    I think the key phrase here is "reasonable fear". It's not illegal to carry a rifle around, although if it's an "assault" rifle that has a magazine capacity of 20 or more rounds you do need a CCP to carry it loaded. Since it's legal to carry the rifle it cannot be "reasonable" if the neighbor is in fear from seeing the black, evil gun.

    Now if Wayne or his buddies were drunk off their butts or waving the guns around (which you incorrectly imply they were) or saying things like "Who can we shoot next?", or if the neighbor came out and you gave him a leering look while stroking the barrel, then that would be different.

    The neighbor appears to have been in some sort of fear, most likely. But the cops didn't waste their time once they found out what was actually going on. Ie, the fear was unreasonable.

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    W.E.G. wrote:
    Use good judgment when you are handling firearms in public in Virginia.

    Your intent has no bearing on whether an individual might be "in reasonable fear" for his safety. If you are holding a gun in your hands, it won't take much to establish the "reasonable fear" element of a brandishing charge.

    Waving a rifle around outdoors in a northern Virginia residential neighborhood - even if you are just "showing it to a friend" is sure to get you EXACTLY the sort of trouble you got. That's why God created gun cases.Use some discretion. I don't know why you would want your neighbors - especially if they are the kind who like to call the police - to see you carrying guns back and forth to your cars anyway.
    I have to disagree here a bit. Even when I lived in the notoriously liberal enclave of Arlington, there were times when I would show a few of my guns to my next door neighbors and they would reply in kind. This was in the front yards of our two single family homes in north Arlington.

    Currently where I live in western Prince William County, there have been numerous times when I have carried a rifle (even an AR15) out to my truck for a morning of range time. Once when returning and carrying it back into my home, a lady walking her baby in a stroler passed by in full view of me and clearly saw what I had in my hands (the AR15).

    Waving around a firearm and acting menacingly or strange is a far cry from carrying a weapon, ammo, and spotter scope to and from your home. I seriously doubt that if a PWC officer happened to see me doing any of this, he would pay me any attention.

    BTW, I also attended that same Dulles Gun Show two weeks ago and both unloaded and loaded my Glock 23 at the rear of my car in the public parking lot without giving a thought to doing anything out of the ordinary.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    It is sad that parents freak out at the sight of guns.

    Such as the case where you transport it to and from the car. But the media poisons their minds and they only see guns are being bad a a tool of criminals.

    They have no idea that good people enjoy shooting and actually own them too. :shock:

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    It is sad that parents freak out at the sight of guns.

    Such as the case where you transport it to and from the car. But the media poisons their minds and they only see guns are being bad a a tool of criminals.

    They have no idea that good people enjoy shooting and actually own them too. :shock:
    Leo229 - Please explain how you concluded that the mom "freak[ed] out" when SouthernBoy posted this:
    Currently where I live in western Prince William County, there have been numerous times when I have carried a rifle (even an AR15) out to my truck for a morning of range time. Once when returning and carrying it back into my home, a lady walking her baby in a stroler passed by in full view of me and clearly saw what I had in my hands (the AR15). [emphasis added]

    Waving around a firearm and acting menacingly or strange is a far cry from carrying a weapon, ammo, and spotter scope to and from your home. I seriously doubt that if a PWC officer happened to see me doing any of this, he would pay me any attention.
    Not only does the gymnastic leap required to arrive at your conclusion bother me because it defies logic, it bothersme because you post here as a representative of law enforcement.

    Your leap to the conclusion that the mother "freak[ed] out" is an example of how things get blown out of proportion and suggests howsome (how much is a debate for later) of the over-reaction of LE comes about. I'm not talking about tasering a 6-year old, or shooting a guy holding a knife to his own throat, but about the "everyday" responses discussed here about LE reaction to peaceable OC.

    Could it be that LE also has the problem that
    they only see guns are being bad a a tool of criminals.
    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    skidmark wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    It is sad that parents freak out at the sight of guns.

    Such as the case where you transport it to and from the car. But the media poisons their minds and they only see guns are being bad a a tool of criminals.

    They have no idea that good people enjoy shooting and actually own them too. :shock:
    Leo229 - Please explain how you concluded that the mom "freak[ed] out" when SouthernBoy posted this:
    Currently where I live in western Prince William County, there have been numerous times when I have carried a rifle (even an AR15) out to my truck for a morning of range time. Once when returning and carrying it back into my home, a lady walking her baby in a stroler passed by in full view of me and clearly saw what I had in my hands (the AR15). [emphasis added]

    Waving around a firearm and acting menacingly or strange is a far cry from carrying a weapon, ammo, and spotter scope to and from your home. I seriously doubt that if a PWC officer happened to see me doing any of this, he would pay me any attention.
    Not only does the gymnastic leap required to arrive at your conclusion bother me because it defies logic, it bothersme because you post here as a representative of law enforcement.

    Your leap to the conclusion that the mother "freak[ed] out" is an example of how things get blown out of proportion and suggests howsome (how much is a debate for later) of the over-reaction of LE comes about. I'm not talking about tasering a 6-year old, or shooting a guy holding a knife to his own throat, but about the "everyday" responses discussed here about LE reaction to peaceable OC.
    This is a classic case of not fully understanding what was being said.

    I was speaking "Generally" and not to that event specifically.

    It would actually appear that YOU have leaped and not I.

    Thank you!


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    Not to beat a dead horse and cry foul all over again, but I think it's one of those "it's an asian with a gun" type knee jerk reactions.

    We were looking at the rifle sitting in a gun case in the bed of his truck. We weren't waving it around or pointing it at people. To give credentials to my friend, he's a RSO @ Blue Ridge Arsenal. But, I suspect somebody driving by might have spotted it.

    A concerned citizen? Sure fine, that I can understand. But when the entire Sully station force shows up and says that the caller also cited us for wearing "dark clothing" then that's a bit ridiculous. To me, that is a clear indicator of some guy freaking out over an asian dressed in black with a gun.

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    Well, if the gun made it's way to the truck cased, stayed in the case and it was only the case that was open, you were the victim of a neighbor / passerby gotcha.

    You could always request to hear the call & traffic between the cruisers & dispatch to see what they were told. Sometimes what they're told /= truth or ~/= truth... Even though you had a bunch of cruisers, you weren't surrounded & face planted, or Manassassed. It sound like the real complaint here is with the neighbor. If you live in a barrio/hood with an HOA, you might consider having them includean item in the next communication kind of as a subtle hint to the busybody involved. You could subtly include that it's a misdemeanor to make false statements to law enforcement.





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    All my experiences with FCPD off of this board have been good. They're educated on the law and usually don't do more than a "Hey, I see you're carrying, that's fine, but if the owner asks you to leave, you'll have to leave."

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    I agree - FCPD is pretty good overall on lawful gun carry, as are most of the larger jurisdictions in VA - and even in the smaller jurisdictions, things appear to have have settled down - but there will always be outliers.

    And this is the pattern we see in other areas where open carry is spreading, like Washington State, oregon, Utah, North Carolina, etc. When open carry becomes more common, it becomes less controversial and less likley to draw an unconstitutional response by law enforcement.

    It takes time, and it takes citizens willing to politely but firmly stand up for their right to open carry, to make informal or formal complaints if they are unnecessarily detained or editorialized against, etc. At some point, the management of the PDs get it, get fed up with the issue, and lay the law down to both 911 dispatchers and officersin the filed - SH## eventually rolls back downhill on officers who don't get it.

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    Mike wrote:
    And this is the pattern we see in other areas where open carry is spreading, like Washington State, oregon, Utah, North Carolina, etc. When open carry becomes more common, it becomes less controversial and less likley to draw an unconstitutional response by law enforcement.
    :celebrate

    That's a large part of why I do it!

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    just a guy, with a Glock wrote:
    Brandishing is clearly defined in Virginia law. You have to actually have intent to cause a person to fear by drawling, holding in a threatening way etc. Just walking to your vehicle with a rifle doesn't meet the standard. This is another of those "going about armed to terrorize the public" type thing that anti gunners and ill trained officers like to throw around.

    Carrying a firearm to you car without a case is not a problem.
    I agree.... But this will cause "some" people to be worried about what your about to do.

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    just a guy, with a Glock wrote:
    Brandishing is clearly defined in Virginia law. You have to actually have intent to cause a person to fear by drawling, holding in a threatening way etc. Just walking to your vehicle with a rifle doesn't meet the standard. This is another of those "going about armed to terrorize the public" type thing that anti gunners and ill trained officers like to throw around.

    Carrying a firearm to you car without a case is not a problem.
    § 18.2-282.
    Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense. Persons violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds or upon public property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

    [ ...]

    No mention of 'intent' beyond the general principle of criminal law of mens rea as intent. IANAL, instantly deferring to W.E.G.

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    Here is what is needed.....

    "in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another"

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    just a guy, with a Glock wrote:
    No one has ever been convicted in the Commonwealth of Virginia for Brandishing a firearm for simply carrying to their car. It's not illegal.
    That is because the cops know that there should be no fear induced to a "reasonable" person by someone putting his gun in his car.

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    Correction to Neplusultra's post, magazine that holds MORE than 20 rounds not 20 or more. VA Code 18.2-287.4

    Blue Ridge has RSO's?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    VAopencarry wrote
    Blue Ridge has RSO's?
    Blue ridge has part/full time employees that patrol the range. Some are cool, some are just complete **********. :P

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Here is what is needed..."in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another"
    I don''t know for what that is needed, but that is not 'intent'.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/intent
    (law) The state of someone’s mind at the time of committing an offence.
    'Intent' is intrinsic to the actor, as is mens rea.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mens_rea
    (law) a guilty mind, a conscious knowing by the perpetrator that the act s/he committed was illicit
    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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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Here is what is needed..."in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another"
    I don''t know for what that is needed, but that is not 'intent'.
    ....
    It would be so easy to pull it out and "ever-so innocently" brandish it thenplay it off like you never meant to scare anyone. How are you going to prove intent unless the person says he did itto scare the person.

    Furthermore... someone can point a weapon at a group of people and only have intent to aim it at one person. Does this negate the others as victims since there was no intent to point it at them?

    The keyword here is "reasonably" and this allows the magistrate to decide if there was a violation of the state codebased on the what happened.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Here is what is needed..."in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another"
    I don''t know for what that is needed, but that is not 'intent'.
    ....
    It would be so easy to pull it out and "ever-so innocently" brandish it thenplay it off like you never meant to scare anyone. How are you going to prove intent unless the person says he did itto scare the person.

    Furthermore... someone can point a weapon at a group of people and only have intent to aim it at one person. Does this negate the others as victims since there was no intent to point it at them?

    The keyword here is "reasonably" and this allows the magistrate to decide if there was a violation of the state codebased on the what happened.
    Dog Gone LEO, you made sense this time :^). The law makes it incumbant on the gun owner to behave himself in a way that would not cause a reasonable person to fear, as it should be in a civil society. There should be only one reason to have your gun out of it's holster in a public place and that's to use it. I don't consider Mr. Chiang's front yard "public", nor to my knowledge was there anyone else around, except the neighbor who saw them from his window?

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    I do not see the responsible gun owner doing anything that would be considered intimidating if he is just putting a rifle in his car. I did that today behind my house before going to the range.

    As I said.. the manner that he carried it would be described and there would have to be some overt act where he actually pointed it at a neighbor from the hip or shoulder.

    The exception would be if he held it up to display it at his neighbor and never actually point it while saying"I got something for you" might be problematic.

    Just having it in your hands down at your sidesin transport mode would never be a problem.

    EDIT: For someone to call the police and then state" Well, I was scared when he walked out of his house and put a rifle in the trunk of his car." This just would not cut it. The person is going to need to report something far worse then relocating the gun from one location to another.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    The exception would be if he held it up to display it at his neighbor and never actually point it while saying"I got something for you" might be problematic.
    Maybe he was going to give his neighbor an AR15 .

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    nova wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    The exception would be if he held it up to display it at his neighbor and never actually point it while saying"I got something for you" might be problematic.
    Maybe he was going to give his neighbor an AR15 .
    Oh... he was going to give it to him... bullets first?? :celebrate

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    hahaha

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