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Thread: Tired of inaction... any suggestions?

  1. #1
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    I have gone to school in thiscollege town for nearly 2 years now, and I have seldom OC'd. As many of you know, I was arrested and charged (Man arrested for open carry thread under Alabama forum) for OCing this summer, and am still a little "gun shy" about it.

    Well, I'm tired of it. This winter has proven to be an extension of summer (it's 78 degrees outside right now), and it's just too hot to CC all the time when I know OC is perfectly legal.

    When I get off work tonight around 9, I am going to draft a letter to the police chief and the Sheriff to find out what their respective departments' stances are on peacable open carry. Do any of you have any suggestions as to what I might need to include? I want to be as polite and non-confrontational as possible, but I also want to make it clear that I will not be pushed around by police harrassment and bullying. I am going to cite some Alabama laws and AG opinions to back up my assertions of its legality.

    (I am going to post this in the Alabama forum as well, however, I feel that I can get good advice from people in other states on this too)

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    Why "ask" them anything? State unequivocally that open carry is not illegal, ergo, it is legal, and you will thank them to respect your rights and to instruct their respective personnel to do the same. Just a thought.

    -ljp

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    Agreed. Just do it.

    And get some friends and/or like-minded neighbors to join you in educating the damn arrogant local boy cops.


    If you still get hassled, take the story to the news media and make it public.Expose thebastards to public ridicule and make them explain/defend their harrassment of law-abiding citizens.

    -- John D.



    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    cloudcroft wrote:
    SNIP Expose thebastards to public ridicule and make them explain/defend their harrassment of law-abiding citizens.

    -- John D.
    Now, THIS could work in Alabama, perhaps.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  5. #5
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    Sgt. Scarbrough, Chief Everage, and the Troy Police Department,



    My name is Victor Mathis. I am a life-long resident of Covington County, and spend a lot of time in Troy for various reasons. I have a few concerns I would like to discuss with you involving the peaceable and legal carry of firearms for self-defense in this city, particularly the standard police procedure involving a citizen who is openly carrying a firearm.



    As I am sure you know, the “Code of Alabama 1975” (http://www.legislature.state.al.us/C...75/coatoc.htm) does not expressly prohibit the peaceable open carry of firearms in public. Without such a prohibition, carrying in such a manner, with or without a permit, is legal. I understand that if you were to enter a vehicle, you would need a concealed pistol license, but a citizen on foot in the state of Alabama may legally carry a handgun openly, unless expressly prohibited by certain establishments, or upon entering an establishment, the citizen is asked to disarm or leave. This is my, and my attorney’s, understanding of this issue in this State.



    There also exists an Alabama Attorney General’s opinion issued by Attorney General Graddick in 1984 (viewable at http://www.ago.state.al.us/oldopinions/8400205.pdf), which confirms that Alabama law does not prohibit openly carrying firearms in a peaceable manner.



    While I am personally a concealed pistol license holder, for personal reasons, I have sometimes found it necessary to carry my pistol openly. These reasons may include a range of things from comfort to convenience. I’m sure you understand how it could be uncomfortable to tryto conceal a 2 pound .45 caliber pistol in the middle of July in Alabama. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention (through personal experience as well as research) that in the past, police have not responded well to citizens peaceably carrying firearms in plain view in this great state. Often there is a gross overreaction by police officers (as was my experience), which ultimately may lead to an unlawful arrest. It is my hope that the Troy Police Department does not handle such a situation in this manner. While I fully understand the need to check out anyone with a gun in public, if the person is behaving in a peaceful and otherwise lawful manner, there is no need for police officers to escalate the situation.



    While you, or any of the officers on the police force in Troy may have your own opinions about open carry, I am simply inquiring as to the department’s official stance on this issue, and how any calls may be handled.



    I intend to post our correspondence on an online discussion forum known as Open Carry dot Org (http://www.opencarry.com). I hope that you will take some time to look over this website if this issue interests you. My username is “vmathis12019” on this website, and any posts made by any other users using any other usernames may not necessarily share in my views or opinions about anything.



    I am truly thankful for your time, and look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. I would also be happy to meet with you in person to further discuss this issue. You may reach me at the return email address in this message.



    Sincerely,

    Victor Mathis


    This is the letter I just drafted. I'm exhausted from work, and listening to bluegrass music, so I may have trailed off a little, but I think it gets my point across. Again, I tried to sound as polite and sincere as possible, but I think I made it quite evident that I was not ignorant of the laws. I fully intend to post any replies I recieve from Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, the Public Information Officer with the Department.



    Believe it or not, I could not find an email address for Sheriff Thomas. I will most likely drop this letter, with the obvious adjustments,off at the SD Monday. I would schedule a meeting face to face, but work is looking rough this week.



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    I especially like the disclosure about other people not sharing your views. This forum is made up of many characters, and views.



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    nofoa wrote:
    I especially like the part about other people not sharing your views. This forum is made up of many characters, and views.

    Oh yeah, that was the first thing I thought about when I wrote that I'd be posting it on here. There are a few characters whose views/opinions I quite frankly don't want misinterpreted as my own....lol

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    I appreciate your pro-active position. It will be very interesting if/how the Sheriff responds to your inquiry. Normally, I don't see the benefit of such as this in advance of any real need but you have apparently had confrontations with his department. Would you not have made a better case by including these and asking for corrective action?
    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  9. #9
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    I would cite your appeals case and I would CC your letter to county officials and the local paper.

  10. #10
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    I appreciate your pro-active position. It will be very interesting if/how the Sheriff responds to your inquiry. Normally, I don't see the benefit of such as this in advance of any real need but you have apparently had confrontations with his department. Would you not have made a better case by including these and asking for corrective action?
    Yata hey
    It was actually not this department that I have had problems with. It was a department in my home county. While I "live" in Troy (Pike County), my official residence is in Covington County because of my student status. I have had no problems with this department because, as I have stated, I haven't OC'd here yet.

    I have been held at gunpoint, thrown to the ground, and arrested/charged with a crime before because of this, and I don't want it happening again. This letter is what I would call a preventative strike. Idon't want to have to prove myself right through lawyers again. I want the chief and sheriff to admit to me that it's right. That's why I'm doing it in advance.

    My request for "corrective action" with the problem department is being handled by my attorney.

  11. #11
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    color of law wrote:
    I would cite your appeals case and I would CC your letter to county officials and the local paper.
    As for the appeals case, I don't want to get too technical with it, as police officers are not lawyers. The Code and AG opinion should suffice, and if they are challenged, I will ask them to provide a statute/case that proves me wrong.

    I think I am going to wait on my response from Sgt. Scarbrough of the city PD before I mail the letter to the sheriff. When I do though, I think I am going to send it to the Troy Messenger as well.

  12. #12
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    vmathis12019 wrote:
    color of law wrote:
    I would cite your appeals case and I would CC your letter to county officials and the local paper.
    As for the appeals case, I don't want to get too technical with it, as police officers are not lawyers. The Code and AG opinion should suffice, and if they are challenged, I will ask them to provide a statute/case that proves me wrong.
    I would almost bet that they spout off sec 52 and tell you that the AG opinion is just that, an opinion....or something to that effect. I wonder if this is not what they are taught at the "academy" since it seems to go deeper than just one department/area....this seems to be the statewide opinion of LEOs.

    I think I am going to wait on my response from Sgt. Scarbrough of the city PD before I mail the letter to the sheriff. When I do though, I think I am going to send it to the Troy Messenger as well.

  13. #13
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    This looks good. Let us know how they respond.

    -ljp

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the words of encouragement guys. It's 10:47 AM, and I sent the email to the city PD Saturday night, so I do not expect a reply until today or later this week, as the department is closed on the weekends. Still no reply, but as soon as I get the email, I will post it. Hopefully it will be a positive response. If not, my next move will be to contact the newspaper...

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    78 degrees? After I finish scraping the 3 inches of ice off of my car, maybe I'll make a trip down there...

    Actually I do plan on travelling down to Georgia for a few days next month. I obviously won't be OCing there, but as I understand it, I can OC without a license in Alabama as long as I'm not in a car (like here in PA).

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    vmathis12019 wrote:
    I When I get off work tonight around 9, I am going to draft a letter to the police chief and the Sheriff to find out what their respective departments' stances are on peacable open carry.
    LEO's are not lawyers. Do NOT ask their opinion, because they will give you just that; their opinion. It is their job to uphold the law, not interpret it. I do not believe it is fair to ask them to play the part of a lawyer, when it is not what they are trained for. Consult a lawyer if needed, but do not base your actions on a LEO's opinion. OC is legal, and you want to OC,so practice those rights.



  17. #17
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    dngreer wrote:
    vmathis12019 wrote:
    I When I get off work tonight around 9, I am going to draft a letter to the police chief and the Sheriff to find out what their respective departments' stances are on peacable open carry.
    LEO's are not lawyers. Do NOT ask their opinion, because they will give you just that; their opinion. It is their job to uphold the law, not interpret it. I do not believe it is fair to ask them to play the part of a lawyer, when it is not what they are trained for. Consult a lawyer if needed, but do not base your actions on a LEO's opinion. OC is legal, and you want to OC,so practice those rights.
    No offense intended dngreer but, down here, your advice would lead to being put face down, your weapon taken, and being arrested.....as vmathis has already experienced first hand.

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    Comp-tech wrote:
    dngreer wrote:
    vmathis12019 wrote:
    I When I get off work tonight around 9, I am going to draft a letter to the police chief and the Sheriff to find out what their respective departments' stances are on peacable open carry.
    LEO's are not lawyers. Do NOT ask their opinion, because they will give you just that; their opinion. It is their job to uphold the law, not interpret it. I do not believe it is fair to ask them to play the part of a lawyer, when it is not what they are trained for. Consult a lawyer if needed, but do not base your actions on a LEO's opinion. OC is legal, and you want to OC,so practice those rights.
    No offense intended dngreer but, down here, your advice would lead to being put face down, your weapon taken, and being arrested.....as vmathis has already experienced first hand.
    As Comp-Tech stated, OC is not a good idea here in Alabama. Although there is a favorable AG's "opinion" on OC, Alabama LEOs will stop and arrest you as they did vmathis. CC is legal WITH a CC license and Alabama has reciprocity with several states.PA is not on Alabama's reciprocity list. I would advise against OC in Alabama!!!!!!

    This is the link to the list of states with which Alabama has CONCEALED CARRY reciprocity. http://www.ago.state.al.us/ag_items.cfm?Issue=64

  19. #19
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    Still no word from the local PD. Not sure where to go from here.

  20. #20
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    I would FedEx a copy of it to the Chief, and give special instructions to FedEx that it must meet the Chief's hands and be signed off by him. Then you'll have confirmation that he has indeed received it.

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    DreQo wrote:
    I would FedEx a copy of it to the Chief, and give special instructions to FedEx that it must meet the Chief's hands and be signed off by him. Then you'll have confirmation that he has indeed received it.
    Or send it USPS Certified with a Restricted requirement. The carrier is then supposed to check photo ID of the recipient to ensure delivery to that person.

  22. #22
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    Y'all DO realise that Alabama ain't exactly KNOWN for honoring civil or otherrights, dontcha? If not, just run a search for "Alabama civil rights".

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    spurrit wrote:
    Y'all DO realise that Alabama ain't exactly KNOWN for honoring civil or otherrights, dontcha? If not, just run a search for "Alabama civil rights".
    Dammit. Alright, let's give up then. We should focus our efforts on states that fully accept OC.



    In a nation of private healthcare, sick people go to a doctor, not healthy people.

  24. #24
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    spurrit wrote:
    Y'all DO realise that Alabama ain't exactly KNOWN for honoring civil or otherrights, dontcha? If not, just run a search for "Alabama civil rights".
    So Hank is gone, right? I think we need to pass the **** flag on to spurrit. Say something appropriate and useful (edit: or funny) or just don't say anything at all.

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    DreQo wrote:
    spurrit wrote:
    Y'all DO realise that Alabama ain't exactly KNOWN for honoring civil or otherrights, dontcha? If not, just run a search for "Alabama civil rights".
    So Hank is gone, right? I think we need to pass the **** flag on to spurrit. Say something appropriate and useful (edit: or funny) or just don't say anything at all.
    I miss HankT

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