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Thread: First time Open Carry in Akron, OH

  1. #1
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    So after reading up on the laws and ensuring that I could legally try this, I went for broke. I do have my application in for my CCW but it takes at least 3 weeks and I just turned in my application yesterday.

    After having spent a year and a half in Iraq, where I carried a side arm 24/7, plus when on daily missions, a long weapon. ( I'm an MP in the Army and was on an extremely small base in one of THE worst areas. FOB McHenry ) Anyway, I feel a lot safer when I am carrying and can't wait to be able to carry without issue under my CCW permit. However, tonight I wanted to try OC and decided that no better place than Akron, OH. I chose a local Coffee Shop close to campus that I; 1. Knew the owner personally and she knows I am in the Military recently back from Iraq. and 2. Knew that MANY LEO's frequented this shop for free coffee while on duty. ( some of the LEO's I knew as well )

    So I walked in, after ensuring that there was no sticker on the door or windows about not carrying, ordered my coffee, and said hello to the owner. She noticed the pistol and said nothing AT ALL just continued to carry on in conversation. After talking to her at the counter for about 10 min a local Akron LEO walked in and right away "Mean Mugged" me. He ordered his coffee, went the rest room, and then came out and continued to watch me. After I finished talking with the owner, I looked over and he motioned with a "wag" of a finger, for me to come over. My heart began beating quickly as I hoped I could calmly recite everything I read up on and still sound intelligent enough while doing so to not get cuffed and stuffed.

    Let me say that I "know" this cop and he is, without speaking poorly of an LEO, a complete idoit. He does shady things like wearing his uniform off duty to take advantage of local companies that are "Cop Friendly". Which I say in terms of offering free coffee or half price food out of thanks.

    Anyway, as I walk up to him I can feel myself shaking, pumped up on adrenaline, and thinking to myself, I hope I handle this in a professional manner and set a great standard. First thing he asks is "what is that?" while pointing at my Springfield XD .45 Compact. First thought that came to mind was scream "It's a friggin’ pistol IDIOT! Did you think it was a banana?!" But then my sense's came too, and I calmly replied with, "my firearm." Next thing he asked was " Are you a police officer?" Now this is one thing I wish I had done differently, but I replied with a truthful answer of, "Yes, in the military."

    What happened next was shocking, he flashed a dirty look and told me to break the law by saying, "You need to cover that up." To which I responded, "I can not do that as I do not have a Concealed Carry Permit and would then be breaking the law." Well of course, I'm sure he didn't like that I wasn't willing to just cover up my pistol, tuck my tail between my legs, and go away quietly. So his next retort was, "You are need to read up Akron’s laws, you can't legally carry that." So I pulled out the ole', "Actually officer, under the Ohio HB 347, local laws are null and void when it comes to firearm regulation."

    Well, by now he was fumbling to think of something and just told me that I should take it off and not wear it because I will just be causing problems seeing that, "many cops frequent this shop". He also said that if I continued to carry I would end up getting arrested. Plus he AGAIN told me that I needed to read up on Akron laws. By now he knew that I was well informed and just decided to tell me how he dosn't understand why "I need to carry". So, I smiled and replied, "Thank you for your concern, but Ohio law allows me to open carry. I agree that this may cause some controversial issues, but I am willing to explain my actions to anyone that ask's. As for the reason why I feel the need to carry is for self defense. Besides sir, I feel that if I dont use my second amendment right I'll lose it."

    To this he had nothing to say, turned and left the shop. Now it helped that by this time, the shop owner came up behind me and she stated that, "He is an Sgt. in the Army, I feel plenty safe with him around." But he none the less left without further issue. So, I finished my coffee and 5 min later two more LEO's walked in. I smiled at them and said hello, but I dont think they noticed my side arm. Not wanting to deal with the speech again I simply decided to head home for the night before they saw the pistol and asked about it.

    SOOOOOO...... All in all, an interesting first OC. Im glad I didnt get arrested, but until I feel more and more comfortable I'll continue to just carry places like that. Kinda just keep testing the waters where I feel like I would be able to skate by, even with a "jerk" LEO.


    PS I wasn’t wearing anything special either. In fact, I wanted to try this out in something I would be wearing as an every day Joe. Here's the pic of me when I got home. Nothing that screams hood rat but just that I am an average joe.



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    WELL DONE!!

    Obnoxious enemies of freedom, such as they were,in full retreat!!

    Do you have a voice-recorder, yet? (You'll want to check Ohio law about recording conversations without the other party's consent.)

    As you get more experience, you'll feel more confident. The next time an LEO wags his finger at you, you'll ignore him or say, "I don't consent to talk to you, Officer."

    I'd go ahead and write a complaintabout:


    • his lack of understanding of the law,
    • his arrogant method of initiating the contact,
    • rudeness, (tone, expressions)
    • attitude (his statement about not understanding why you need to carry reveals a lot, mainly the existence of a personal disagreement)
    • attempt to get you to commit an offense (transition to concealed carry)
    • his attempt at getting you to forego your carry rights to avoid unlawful arrest.
    Raise the standard. Send a complaint. You have a First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Let the police know that even this low level of unprofessional conduct will not be tolerated, and the standard will come up.

    By the way, stand by for some naysayers who will say its not a big deal, you handled it well, its over, let it go. If you let it go, you will likelyget more. The one thing that hasproven to work is to bring pressure with complaints. Sometimes it takes a few to actually reveal the depth of antipathy to 2A rights in a given police department, but eventually it smooths out. But only because we stand up to them and make formal complaints.







    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.

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    Thanks! I'm very excited that it went so well. I'm not one to complain but I think you have a very valid point about making a formal complaint. I just dont know how I feel about possibly hurting an LEO's career by complaing formally. I guess its a moral delema really, but then again, this cop is deserving of a formal complaint even before tonight in my opinion. But we shall see. Does anyone know the laws about recording conversations with LEO's in Ohio?

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    Swhetsel,

    Read the below police bulletin in response to my open carry in Akron lst summer. The cops should have already received this training so they ar enforcing theiropinion, not the law.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum43/5502.html

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    Gratz on your first time out!

    One thing... Is that the XD holster? If so, you may *seriously* want to consider picking up something a bit nicer, perhaps with at least Level II retention such as a Blackhawk SERPA. It's my (humble) opinion that, if we're taking the responsibility of open carrying, it's our duty to use a holster from which our weapon cannot be easily drawn.

    As for your encounter, we all get a little flabbergasted sometimes when talking to LEO's the first time out. In the end you pulled it out and came off like a champ.

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    Taclead-

    I actually read antoher article that you wrote telling about your encounter in the "sub shop" in downtown. So thanks for the link to that thread because I printed off that memo in case I come across any more ignorant or un informed LEO's.

    Wynder-

    Yes its the XD holster, and I have the Fobus for my G23, but the only 2nd lvl or above "retention" holster I own is a ACU pattern drop leg holster with 2 retention straps. I agree that if I where to make a regualar habbit of this then perhaps a better holster is in due order. But, just my two cents, I would never buy one of those Serpa holsters. I know the conditions are better here stateside, (as in less sandy) but I saw WAY to many guys drop $80-$100 on those things just to have the the button break, or not release the gun when we needed them most. (the spring was the most common issue, either it would freeze up or it would snap) This may have been from the baby powder like sand, but it put a sour taste in my mouth. Maybe a nice thumb break holster instead ehh? (what is the main issue with just the simple XD holster in your opinion btw, besides the lack of a secondary retention system)
    And as far as being less shakey next time I talk to an LEO I have a feeling it will be no problem. I mean, I've been trained to take control of the situation just like any officer is, BUT when it's your @$$ on the line, even though I felt confident in myself it was still a little uneasy for me. I guess I was just worried more about "what if his ignorance clouds his common sense." LOL

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    SWhetsel wrote:
    Yes its the XD holster, and I have the Fobus for my G23, but the only 2nd lvl or above "retention" holster I own is a ACU pattern drop leg holster with 2 retention straps. I agree that if I where to make a regualar habbit of this then perhaps a better holster is in due order. But, just my two cents, I would never buy one of those Serpa holsters. I know the conditions are better here stateside, (as in less sandy) but I saw WAY to many guys drop $80-$100 on those things just to have the the button break, or not release the gun when we needed them most. (the spring was the most common issue, either it would freeze up or it would snap) This may have been from the baby powder like sand, but it put a sour taste in my mouth. Maybe a nice thumb break holster instead ehh? (what is the main issue with just the simple XD holster in your opinion btw, besides the lack of a secondary retention system)
    I think I picked mine up for $30 or so for the XD SERPA... But you've really seen the buttons break on them? Four out of five of us were wearing them at our OC gathering a couple of weeks ago and no one had expressed any problems with them and I had never heard of that happening before.

    The main issues (my opinion, of course) is it's very small and does cover the gun to protect it from wear and tear on the muzzle end; it doesn't even have friction retention like a fobus might -- I know you can adjust the 'grip' it has on the gun, but it's still just a flimsy peice of equipment.

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear your first experience OCing didn't go so smoothly. Unfortunately, there are some uninformed officers out there who don't really take the time to know what the law really says. Don't let it scare you off.

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    Citizen wrote:
    WELL DONE!!
    Raise the standard. Send a complaint. .....If you let it go, you will likely get more.
    DItto.... and ditto.


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    SWhetsel wrote:
    ... I just dont know how I feel about possibly hurting an LEO's career by complaing formally.
    You should feel perfectly fine...
    Way better than the LEO should feel for attempting to subdue your civil rights, without the authority to do so, by using his uniform.

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    SWhetsel wrote:
    So after reading up on the laws and ensuring that I could legally try this, I went for broke. I have my application in for my CCW but it takes 3 weeks at least. I turned in my application yesterday...
    Regarding the content of your post - GREAT JOB!!

    Regarding the form of your post - one word: paragraphs!

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    The cop obviously knew the law otherwise he would have tried to arrest you. Since he did not it's apparent he was harassing you with the intent to modify your behavior (encourage you not to carry). If I was you, I'd take Citizen's advice and fire off a complaint (if you know the officers identity all the better).

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    Wynder-

    You have to understand that the extreme conditions we threw at those serpa's (mostly blackhawk brand) where insane. And the part that would break on most of the holsters was the spring behind the button AND the button itself. The spring would either snap/freeze up, or the plastic nubs that hold the switch in place would break after constant draw, replace, draw, replace, draw, replace, ect..... The nice thing is that blackhawk is VERY supportive of the troops, (and why wouldnt they be, we are their biggest source of income I would venture to say) and would send us another one and just have us mail back the borken one. But I guess I could try anther go at Serpa's I'm all about second chances.

    PA. Patriot-

    Very true, ingorance of the law isn't in my opinion a one way street that only applies to civilians. If we are held accountable for laws we may not know then why shouldn't an LEO? I may just be heading to the police station on Monday.

    BB62-

    Yeah like I said, sorry for the poor spelling and grammer. Never was my strong suit, plus it was late last night when I typed it. Ill go ahead and re edit it after I post this.


    NakedShopLifter-

    I know his name, and it would only take 30 sec's to find his badge number and so on. He is not well liked because of the bad name he gives to all officers. And like I stated above, a trip to the station Monday may be due.


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    First of all thank you for your service to our country. I pray daily for those in harms way securing the interest of our country.

    I think you did extraordinarily well for a first time out oc. I think your strategy of going to a place where there would be LEO was a great idea and I would recommend it to anyone new to oc as it gets you over the "worrying" about when your first confrontation with law enforcement will occur. This certainly will not be the first time it happens, but it gets easier with time. I open carry exclusively and have had two major confrontations with law enforcement and three minor ones in three years. That's not counting all the dirty looks from officers, which I find kind of amusing.

    I also have had an elderly couple ask me to walk them back totheir car from a restaurant because these creeps were following them and several positive comments from citizens. Most citizens could careless about another citizen carrying a gun. Most of the problems come from cc fans that think oc should be illegal (including several of my friends) and law enforcement officers that are ignorant of the law. Possibly a few that assume you are ignorant of the law, and seek to imply that it is illegal because they don't want people carrying guns.

    Your holster is fine. I open carry in a Uncle Mike's kydex paddle holster. It is well made and is easier when you have to take it on or off multiple times daily. I agree with your analysis of the retention holster, I have seen a few problems with them that concern me. Ultimately maintaining control over your firearm is up to you, not an overpriced holster.

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    SWhetsel wrote:
    SNIP I just dont know how I feel about possibly hurting an LEO's career by complaing formally. I guess its a moral delema really, but then again, this cop is deserving of a formal complaint even before tonight in my opinion.
    There are many angles to this. I'll adress several in no particular order.

    Your Constitutional rights, and everyone else's, trumps an officer's career. Always. He's government; he's supposed to be protecting your rights, not trying to infringe them, dissuade you from them, etc. Others have mentioned variations of this.

    In thatit wasn't recorded it will be your word against his.Your complaint will likely be adjudicated, "Unsubstantiated." However,if his department is like many, the complaint will nonetheless go into his personnel file. (Ouch! Nobody likes that.) He and every otherdeputywho has similar attitudeswill startthinking about their file and promotion prospects.

    Also, his supervisors can read between the lines. Even if found unsubstantiated, whichonlymeans there was no evidence to back it up, supervisors 1) know this cop and 2)may already have a number of complaints in his file and may belooking for something that would justify taking him off the street.Makethe report (complaint) from the point of view, "I'm a citizen helping the police police themselves."

    You also might want to reference in your complaint the training bulletin mentioned in the post above if it applies to the same jurisdiction.This lets them know you know the score.

    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.

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    Thanks for all the input thus far in this thread. I have decided that I am going to OC more often now and did again today. Didn't go anywhere to public, but I am still trying to get used to the idea. I did however create PDF files for both the ORC 9.68 and of that Akron PD memo about being able to carry. I even made one that has both on one sheet of paper that I now have folded up and in my wallet.

    PS Anyone know the laws on recording voice conversations with LEO's?
    Can you do so without consent?
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Taping conversations apply to telephone conversations and only one person needs to know. In the public you can tape all you want. You nor the cop has any expectation of privacy as to a conversations in public.

    http://www.copwatch.org/

    http://copwatch.com/AAAindex.html

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    For recording audio, check out the Olympus VN-4100PC, possibly with an external mic. Foraudio/video, you definitely need to check out the Flip Video ULTRA.

    http://www.theflip.com/

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=6926

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    Do send in a complaint or in the least a certified letter or even just an e-mail to the policeadministrationinforming the department of the incident and thattheirforceneeds to be trained in State firearm pre-emption. This way they can't fall back on ignorance if your are ever hassled or cited for the city code. I vote for a complaint but that is up to you.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Ok some new stuff for this thread. After Church this morning I came home, watched some TV, grabbed my pistol, and went to my buddies B day party. After cake and swapping some war stories (he was also in Iraq about 2 years ago) I went home and watched the Cavs game. My evening was relaxing after they won the game, and I was reading other threads on my new favorite website. http://www.opencarry.org

    Well I did see the thread regarding the Wal-mart incident, which doesn't pertain to me because the Wal-mart in Stow, OH doesn't sell beer or anything. What DID catch my eye is the whole issue on stores like, Giant Eagle. So when my best friend and room mate asked if I wanted to go get groceries for the house with him at Giant Eagle, I jumped on the chance.

    Now before anyone gets too excited, I decided that because I had never looked before, I would leave my side arm in the car until I knew they didnt have it posted for no weapons. Also the Giant Eagle at Chapel Hill Mall in Cuyahoga Falls, OH has an LEO that comes in at 8ish pm. I got there at 7:56 and decided that since he wasn't there yet I would hold off on carrying. Also that from the other thread about the whole "Class D" Sunday sales vs. Stores only "Distribute" not "Sell for consumption" on the premises thing had me worried a little. When he strolled in not to long after we go there I approached him and began to ask questions....

    After saying hello and chit-chatting with him here is what I asked about; "Sir, do you know what the law is or your opinion on carrying in this store?" His response was such, "They dont have it posted here? Wow, thats refreshing, most places anymore have no weapons signs. As far as I know, you are allowed to carry in here as long as they dont have it posted otherwise." I explained to him the whole splitting hairs on the Class D thing and he just told me that "I dont see it being a problem if you carried in here." Now when talking to him I was referring to the CCW laws and decided that now would be a good time to sneak in the ole' "Well thanks for your input sir, I openly carry my pistol in my hip holster, and didnt want to get hemmed up with the Sunday liquor thing." At this point he smiled and said its funny how most people dont know that you can legally carry open.

    WOAH...

    So there are some LEO's out there that do know the laws. Now no offense to older crowd, but this was an older officer and most likely wiser than some newb fresh out of the academy. But after continuing to chit-chat he did mention that Open Carry is likely to cause people to be uneasy and that if it causes enough issues yo could be asked to leave by the store. Which makes sense because then the store could just charge you with trespassing if you didnt leave. (did this all the time at the Mall when I worked there as a Security guard at 18) So kinda cool to talk to an officer that knows the laws or at least wasnt afraid to learn.

    I did however go to the gas station by my house, again no signs forbidding weapons, and openly carried in there. Both attendants saw me AND my buddy (who is a strong supporter of his 2nd amendment rights and interested in OC since I wont stop talking about it) carrying into the gas station. Neither said anything to us, and neither of them seemed worried. In fact, I would venture to say they seemed to feel quite comfortable with us there.

    So I guess this was just another night in the life of OC...

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    Thanks for the reports from our "north!" It's nice to hear that there are at least a few places up there that don't care. From some other people's general stories, I've tended to get the impression that it's fairly socialist up there, butI have no personal experience with carrying there so I don't know! Good to hear it first hand.

    I think you'll find LEOs vary just as wildly as in any profession. You'll have some that take their job very seriously, read up on the relevant info (like law, etc.), and others that couldn't care less. Then the majority are probably somewhere between those two. Sounds like you found one from somewhere near each end of the spectrum!

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    No problem, I enjoy posting on my encounters. Is anyone else on this forum from the Akron area? I was thinking of going to the local police offices with this memo from Akron and asking them if they have handed out something similar to their LEO's. Just wondered if anyone has tried this or done so in my area already.

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    Welcome!! Obviously my name is Paul. I live in Ravenna and have been trying to work the courage to OC for some time now. The only real hitch I have is transport. I am scheduled to take my ccw February 16 so I will finally have that 'under my belt.' (sorry, had to do it) I just want you to know I am glad to see someone so close to my town that is here and is OC'ing. I will tell you now you are my new hero. I will be picking your brain and paying attention to your posts to learn as much as possible. I also downloaded your PDF document for reference. Thanks again and nice to meet you.

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    Nice to meet you as well, I too am just waiting on my CCW to go through to help with the whole "transportation" issue, however.... While reading the laws on weapon handling in a vehicle, I took it as you ARE allowed to carry the weapon on your person as long as its openly carried, not loaded, and the ammo is seprate.


    HB 347

    Sec. 2923.16.


    (A) No person shall knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle.

    (B) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in such a manner that the firearm is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle.

    (C) No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless it is unloaded and is carried in one of the following ways:
    (1) In a closed package, box, or case;
    (2) In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;
    (3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;
    (4) In plain sight with the action open or the weapon stripped, or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or which cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight.
    To me, a "holder made for the purpose" is a holster. So I have been taking the mag out of the weapon when I get in my car and locking it my glove box untill I get to my destination. Then I simply insert the mag back into the pistol. (I havent been chambering a round to keep this simple, plus I know I can draw and chamber from a holster quick enough) Perhaps this will help you untill you get your CCW and dont have to worry about unloading.

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    SWhetsel wrote:
    ...So I have been taking the mag out of the weapon when I get in my car and locking it my glove box untill I get to my destination. Then I simply insert the mag back into the pistol...
    You could be in for big trouble if you are found doing so.

    In our Ohio court's infinite wisdom, doing as you do could be construed as "ready at hand" or in other words "constructively loaded". By black letter law, you're fine, but what really matters is courts' interpretation of what ought to be clear.

    There are far too many twists and turns for me to cover here, but there are articles at Buckeye Firearms Assn., and forums at Ohioans for Concealed Carry where you can search on just such matters.

    Be careful!

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