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Thread: Openly carrying gun not a crime

  1. #1
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    Everyone but felons
    Openly carrying gun not a crime

    Sunday, March 30, 2008 3:43 AM

    By Bill Bush

    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH


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    In the political tussle over Ohio's concealed-carry gun law, one fact seems to have been overlooked by many: You never needed a permit to carry a gun in public, and you still don't --- you just can't conceal[/i] it.


    As long as you haven't been convicted of a felony, if you want to wear a pistol on your belt or walk around town carrying a shotgun, Ohio has no law against it.

    But if you do, don't be surprised if you get some unwanted attention from police officers.

    Philip Turner, 30, discovered that in July when he walked from his Hilliard apartment to his parked truck wearing a gun on his belt. At the time, Turner worked protecting banks' ATMs as they were serviced and delivering diamonds to jewelry stores.

    An undercover agent with the Ohio Investigative Unit -- the police agency that enforces the state's alcohol, tobacco and food-stamp laws -- saw the gun and quickly ordered him against his truck with his hands on his head.

    "He came up and treated me like a felon for absolutely no reason at all," Turner said. "There wasn't even a suspicious action on my part to warrant him taking this action against me. Had I been out waving a gun around the parking lot, (then) yeah."

    After being detained for about 30 minutes, and after Hilliard police arrived at the agent's request, Turner was released without charges. An internal investigation that concluded this week found that neither Agent Timothy Gales, who had stopped Turner, nor his partner, Betty Ford, did anything wrong.

    However, it also revealed that Gales did not know it was legal for Turner to carry a gun openly, said Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety. As a result, more than 100 agents in the unit are to attend a mandatory refresher course on Ohio's gun laws over the next couple of months, she said.

    They might be surprised at what's legal.

    The investigation report said that, weeks before Turner was stopped, agents stopped a 13- or 14-year-old boy who was carrying a rifle in public. They called his mother, who retrieved the gun. Then they called a supervisor to figure out what charge to file against the boy.

    The answer: nothing. The supervisor advised them that "it was their right to carry a gun openly and they were allowed to do this," according to the report.

    Ohio law says you can't sell a gun to people younger than 18 or provide them with one, except for "hunting, sporting or educational purposes," said Lt. Shawn Davis of the State Highway Patrol. A child must take a gun-safety course before going hunting, Davis added.

    It's not illegal "that we see" for a juvenile of any age to carry a gun in public, said Jennifer Brindisi, a spokeswoman for the Ohio attorney general's office.

    Turner, who has a license to carry a concealed gun, said he was carrying his gun openly "because it's my right. I choose to exercise my right to protect myself." He doesn't know whether the two agents pulled their guns; he was instructed not to face them. The agents told investigators they didn't.

    But it wouldn't be unreasonable for officers to draw their guns until they know what the situation is, said Sgt. Rich Weiner of the Columbus Police Division.

    "The first thing we need to address: This man has a gun," Weiner said. "We're going to pull our guns.

    "As a police officer, we also have the right to protect ourselves and protect the public, so we do have the right to disarm him momentarily. Now everybody is a little bit more at ease. We don't have a potential weapon being used against an officer or anybody else."

    If your open display of a firearm is causing panic, you could be charged with inducing panic, Weiner said. If you carry it onto private property, you could be charged with trespassing, he said.

    Komlanc of Public Safety wouldn't say why the agents and a police dive team were at Turner's apartment complex last July because the case is continuing.

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    Hopefully this continues to filter down through the ranks. But if you get an anti-gun cop, and they do exist, they may try to find something else to get you on.

    Just like people who get fired, how they get fired isn't always why they get fired.

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    Regular Member reefteach's Avatar
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    Here is the Dept of Public Safety's internal investigation report following the Terry Stop complaint:

    http://www.dispatch.com/wwwexportcon...ner_report.pdf



    Seems they believe that if an officer sees a gun openly carried, they can Terry Stop and Frisk.





    Agent Gales advised Agent Ford what he observed and stated he was concerned for the safety of himself, his partner, and the other officers in the area and was going to approach Mr. Turner to see what his status was with the weapon

    After reding these comments, I am curious about the content of the retraining:

    But it wouldn't be unreasonable for officers to draw their guns until they know what the situation is, said Sgt. Rich Weiner of the Columbus Police Division.

    "The first thing we need to address: This man has a gun," Weiner said. "We're going to pull our guns.

    "As a police officer, we also have the right to protect ourselves and protect the public, so we do have the right to disarm him momentarily. Now everybody is a little bit more at ease. We don't have a potential weapon being used against an officer or anybody else."

    If your open display of a firearm is causing panic, you could be charged with inducing panic, Weiner said. If you carry it onto private property, you could be charged with trespassing, he said


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    It should only have been a pat down of the clothing and not a full search of pocket contents and shoes.

    I guess they did mean well but the male agent was not thinking clearly. It should have been evident that the guy did not readily appear to be a threat to the community as he was walking to his apartment.

    At least the 100 agents will now get some training so they will know in the future.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    It should only have been a pat down of the clothing and not a full search of pocket contents and shoes.

    I guess they did mean well but the male agent was not thinking clearly. It should have been evident that the guy did not readily appear to be a threat to the community as he was walking to his apartment.

    At least the 100 agents will now get some training so they will know in the future.
    Anyone else wonder why Ohio needs over 100 agents to regulate Food Stamps, Alcohol, and Cigarettes? Can't an Ohio resident eat, smoke, and drink a little bit without an undercover food stamp agent getting involved?

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    reefteach wrote:
    Here is the Dept of Public Safety's internal investigation report following the Terry Stop complaint:

    http://www.dispatch.com/wwwexportcon...ner_report.pdf



    Seems they believe that if an officer sees a gun openly carried, they can Terry Stop and Frisk.

    Interesting. I've read Terry. That report has nothing to do with it. When did the Fourth Amendment stop applying in Ohio? Did I miss that?

    The agent "thought it was illegal." Well, the agent was wrong.

    The main problem is that Mr. Turner did not stand up for his rights. As you read, you see that he had no complaint about being forcibly stopped. He had no complaint about being disarmed. He even had no complaint about an "agent" laying hands on him.

    His only complaint was that he was held to0 long.

    :?

    Stand up for your rights! The police have no business stopping somebody with a pistol in a belt holster unless there are additional facts justifying a reasonable belief that the person is committing or is about to commit a crime!

    Terry:
    The actions of Terry and Chilton were consistent with McFadden's hypothesis that these men were contemplating a daylight robbery - which, it is reasonable to assume, would be likely to involve the use of weapons - and nothing in their conduct from the time he first noticed them until the time he confronted them and identified himself as a police officer gave him sufficient reason to negate that hypothesis.
    Was there anything like that in this case?

    No.

    The fact is, the officer was just wrong. He thought it was illegal, but it was not. Unless citizens are willing to stand up, it will continue. Even this police agency will continue to do it, mainly because Mr. Turner really did not complain about it and thinks the officers acted correctly.



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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Two storm troopers violate your Federal (2nd, 4th, 5th and 14th amendments) and Staterights, commit battery and false arrest, swear at your wife, and show themselves to be ignorant of the law even though they carry a badge. I'd be doing more than filing a complaint. Dirtbags like this need to be hauled into court--and Federal court does not give any type of immunity to cops for constitutional rights violations, as well as their agency and the state of Ohio. There are deep pockets there and the taxpayers--and voters, should see them have to pay for these two scumbag cops actions. That is how you secure your rights and get the garbage out of the police departments.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Regular Member Huck's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    At least the 100 agents will now get some training so they will know in the future.
    Dont count on it.
    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

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    Mr. Philip Turner should contact his lawyer andpress charges on the undercover agent, using O.R.C. 2921.45. Here's the link: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2921.45



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    Even if convicted, such a suit might make the offending agent liable for court costs and not much else. 1st-degree misdemeanors aren't enough to get a cop fired, or even assigned to a desk job, unless it's a domestic violence case. Probably not worth the effort/expense, especially given that you'll be on the department's radar after that. Rather a Pyrrhic victory. JMO.

    -ljp

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