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Thread: Police defend armed response to report of teens carrying shotguns

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    Founder's Club Member bnhcomputing's Avatar
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    Waukesha police responded to the call Saturday about 2:40 p.m. Officers located the suspects in a house and drew their weapons as they commanded the pair to come out.
    After the two surrendered to police, officers discovered the weapons were toy guns.

    Captain Mark Stigler says observers might think police overreacted, but the officers had no choice.

    He also urges citizens to use common sense when they carry any toy guns outdoors. He says whether a suspect is an adult or juvenile, any report of a person with a weapon will result in an armed response.

    Neither of the two suspects was arrested.
    What gave them probable cause to order anyone out of the house?

    Even if the weapons were real, after age 14, minors can carry firearms unsupervised by adults, can't they?

    Does anybody have more info on this story?

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    Link?



    Seems to me that the officers could use more "common sense" when responding to such incidents, but, then again perhaps they truly "had no choice."

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    Kids Found Toting Fake Guns Around Town
    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/17376344.html

    WAUKESHA - They looked like real guns. That’s what residents and police originally thought whey they saw teens walking around with shotguns. Turns out the guns were fakes and police don’t think it’s funny.

    On Saturday police were getting calls about two teens walking around with shotguns. Monday, the mother of one of the teens has a message for all parents. "Of course. Yes, they do look like real guns," says the teen’s mother. She doesn’t want us to use her name but she knows her 18-year-old son is in jail for doing something stupid. “He should not have been doing what ever it was he was doing,” she said.

    Police say the teen and a friend were walking near Grand and College avenues with what looked like real shotguns. An eyewitness snapped a picture and sent it to the Waukesha Freeman. It shows the teens on the ground with handcuffs after surrendering to police. There’s no way for police to know if the guns are fake or real. That’s why they had their guns drawn when they asked the teens to come out of the house where they were staying.

    It turns out the teens were in possession of an Air Soft type toy gun that you can easily find on the Internet or in stores.
    The 18-year-old's mother thought her son owned a Red Ryder BB gun.

    TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson: "What do you know about these guns that he has?"

    "As far I know they are his BB guns that he’s had," the teen's mother said. She says police did the right thing and she hopes other parents will talk to their children after what happened to her son. “Of course my son has been encouraged not to use them out on the streets in the city making anyone believe that they were possibly real," the teen's mother said.

    Police are also asking parents to use caution. They say the teens were not arrested although the mother tells us her son is in jail.

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    bnhcomputing wrote:
    Even if the weapons were real, after age 14, minors can carry firearms unsupervised by adults, can't they?
    Uh, I think if they're hunting. Otherwise, no. Could be wrong though.
    A. Gold

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    It seems as though firearm possession between the ages of 14 and 16 is closely linked to hunting, however, the only requirement for possession (without parental supervision) at that age is that the individual have completed hunters safety, and not necessarily that they be engaged in the act of hunting.

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    Toys that shoot plastic balls can now cause panic?

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    Founder's Club Member bnhcomputing's Avatar
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    OK, so the one was 18. That means that unless he actually THREATENED someone, he didn't break any law, but rather was participating in his RIGHT to open carry.



    The fact that neither of the "suspects" was arrested implies they didn't break the law but rather the mother made those comments because she is unfamiliar with the law?


    So, doesn't this fit with harassment on the part of the police? What about unreasonable search and seizure? I am wondering if these "suspects" have a case for violation of their civil rights.



    Example:



    The neighbor has two kids. Both are over 15, but neither is over 18. Am I to interpret that they cannot take their shotguns and walk to their turkey or duck hunting area?



    Wouldn't that violate their right to "hunt" as guaranteed by the constitution?



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    Not to pick on anyone, but maybe read what's posted. Like many here, I try to balance posting a minimum of text with being complete. Sometimes there is a lot of text that is relevant so I bold the highlights. (I try to edit out parts out of articles when they're repeated or don't apply.) With that said, thank you for your interest.

    The one boy in police custody has probably been "detained."

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    Ahhh, but the law is obtuse. The word facsimile implies that it "reasonably resembles" a real firearm. Any legal airsoft gun does not fit this description as it will instead fit the description of a "look-alike" or "imitation" that is exempt from the WI law because of its orange barrel tip, complying with 15 USC.

    Unless it comes out that the orange markings had been removed (removing the federal exemption and allowing prosecution), I am going to go ahead and say this police action is entirely improper and illegal under the state and federal laws.

    I can't even believe it's come to this - "man with a gun" call sfor a couple of kids with plastic BB guns.

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    Rick Finsta wrote:
    Ahhh, but the law is obtuse.* The word facsimile implies...
    Read the included definition of facsimile.

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    I have no idea why the teens came out of the house (obviously they didn't know their rights). But LEOs could not enter the house legally, people CAN own guns and CAN carry them openly in WI. So there was no way to get probable cause. Not to mention that "the home" has maximum protection against police searches.

    The LEO's defending their armed response will make my stomach quiver a bit when I start to OC on a regular basis in the future in Waukesha. No doubt I will have an LEO encounter at some point, and depending on who responds the encounter will be unique.

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    It turns out that they were Air Soft BB guns, similar to paintball game guns
    http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/17381964.html

    Airsoft guns fire plastic 6mm BBs that weigh between 0.12 and 0.36 grams (1.85 and 5.56 grain). Top muzzle velocity is 400 feet/second, where as a .22 caliber cartridge is around 1,000. The plastic BB is also much less dangerous, just like a rubber bullet is less dangerous than a lead bullet. Comparatively, paintball top speed is 300ft/s, and the paintball weighs around 3.2 grams, meaning there is a lot more force behind a paintball than a Airsoft BB, especially at distance because of air resistance.

    Realistically, the teens posed no threat to anyone by walking down a public street with Airsoft guns. Shooting a clothed person (remember, it's still cold in Wisconsin, the high on Saturday was 63 F) is going to do little more than make a sound, unless the person was hit in the eye or on bare skin. Since the teens aren't accused of doing anything more than walking home, no harm was done.

    Even the
    SD87 GA Airsoft Pistol Grip Shotgun, which is about the most menacing Airsoft shotgun I could find, is $25. It is made in China, and is not only much smaller than a real shotgun, it's plastic!

    Details of Airsoft guns with images: http://hubpages.com/hub/Airsoft-Safety
    Details of Airsoft plastic BBs: http://hubpages.com/hub/Airsoft-BBs---More-than-just-pretty-colors
    SD87 GA Airsoft Pistol Grip Shotgun: http://www.airsplat.com/Itemdesc.asp?ic=AR%2DDE%2DSD87B
    List of Airsoft shotguns: http://www.airsplat.com search word: shotgun
    Paintball weight: http://home.comcast.net/~dyrgcmn/pball/paintstats.html
    Weather.com link: http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/USWI0723?from=36hr_topnav_undeclared
    Conversion: 1 gram = ~15.43 grains, a .22 caliber bullet is between 15 and 49 grains, usually around 29.
    Edit: Fixed link issues


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    I did read it, that's why I draw the conclusion that these did not meet the definition of facsimile firearms; they instead fit the definition of a type of look-alike firearms that are specifcally exempt from the prohibition. :?

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    Pointman wrote:
    It turns out that they were Air Soft BB guns, similar to paintball game guns
    http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/17381964.html

    Airsoft guns fire plastic 6mm BBs that weigh between 0.12 and 0.36 grams (1.85 and 5.56 grain). Top muzzle velocity is 400 feet/second, where as a .22 caliber cartridge is around 1,000. The plastic BB is also much less dangerous, just like a rubber bullet is less dangerous than a lead bullet. Comparatively, paintball top speed is 300ft/s, and the paintball weighs around 3.2 grams, meaning there is a lot more force behind a paintball than a Airsoft BB, especially at distance because of air resistance.

    Realistically, the teens posed no threat to anyone by walking down a public street with Airsoft guns. Shooting a clothed person (remember, it's still cold in Wisconsin, the high on Saturday was 63 F) is going to do little more than make a sound, unless the person was hit in the eye or on bare skin. Since the teens aren't accused of doing anything more than walking home, no harm was done.

    Even the
    SD87 GA Airsoft Pistol Grip Shotgun, which is about the most menacing Airsoft shotgun I could find, is $25. It is made in China, and is not only much smaller than a real shotgun, it's plastic!

    Details of Airsoft guns with images: http://hubpages.com/hub/Airsoft-Safety
    Details of Airsoft plastic BBs: http://hubpages.com/hub/Airsoft-BBs---More-than-just-pretty-colors
    SD87 GA Airsoft Pistol Grip Shotgun: http://www.airsplat.com/Itemdesc.asp?ic=AR%2DDE%2DSD87B
    List of Airsoft shotguns: http://www.airsplat.com search word: shotgun
    Paintball weight: http://home.comcast.net/~dyrgcmn/pball/paintstats.html
    Weather.com link: http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/USWI0723?from=36hr_topnav_undeclared
    Conversion: 1 gram = ~15.43 grains, a .22 caliber bullet is between 15 and 49 grains, usually around 29.
    Edit: Fixed link issues
    actually airsoft guns can go alot higher than 400fps (i have one that is adjustable to ~1050 fps) however generic store bought ones usually hover around 230 fps. Although not a threat to skin, airsoft bbs can shoot out unprotected eyes, so yes, they are a danger to the unsuspecting public

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    Brigdh wrote:
    Pointman wrote:
    It turns out that they were Air Soft BB guns, similar to paintball game guns
    http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/17381964.html

    Airsoft guns fire plastic 6mm BBs that weigh between 0.12 and 0.36 grams (1.85 and 5.56 grain). Top muzzle velocity is 400 feet/second, where as a .22 caliber cartridge is around 1,000. The plastic BB is also much less dangerous, just like a rubber bullet is less dangerous than a lead bullet. Comparatively, paintball top speed is 300ft/s, and the paintball weighs around 3.2 grams, meaning there is a lot more force behind a paintball than a Airsoft BB, especially at distance because of air resistance.

    Realistically, the teens posed no threat to anyone by walking down a public street with Airsoft guns. Shooting a clothed person (remember, it's still cold in Wisconsin, the high on Saturday was 63 F) is going to do little more than make a sound, unless the person was hit in the eye or on bare skin. Since the teens aren't accused of doing anything more than walking home, no harm was done.

    Even the
    SD87 GA Airsoft Pistol Grip Shotgun, which is about the most menacing Airsoft shotgun I could find, is $25. It is made in China, and is not only much smaller than a real shotgun, it's plastic!

    Details of Airsoft guns with images: http://hubpages.com/hub/Airsoft-Safety
    Details of Airsoft plastic BBs: http://hubpages.com/hub/Airsoft-BBs---More-than-just-pretty-colors
    SD87 GA Airsoft Pistol Grip Shotgun: http://www.airsplat.com/Itemdesc.asp?ic=AR%2DDE%2DSD87B
    List of Airsoft shotguns: http://www.airsplat.com search word: shotgun
    Paintball weight: http://home.comcast.net/~dyrgcmn/pball/paintstats.html
    Weather.com link: http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/USWI0723?from=36hr_topnav_undeclared
    Conversion: 1 gram = ~15.43 grains, a .22 caliber bullet is between 15 and 49 grains, usually around 29.
    Edit: Fixed link issues
    actually airsoft guns can go alot higher than 400fps (i have one that is adjustable to ~1050 fps) however generic store bought ones usually hover around 230 fps. Although not a threat to skin, airsoft bbs can shoot out unprotected eyes, so yes, they are a danger to the unsuspecting public
    The way I hear it, getting out of bed is a danger to the pub-lick. And so is staying in bed. I guess the world doesn't have enough bubble wrap on it yet...

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    Oh! this would result in an interesting court case. The Merriam-Webater dictionary defines facsimile as 1. An exact copy. An airsoft firearm or a Red Ryder BB gun are not exact copies of anything. If they were exact copies of any firearm they would have to be capable of firing a bullet by the force of gun powder.They are look-a-likes. Obviously the authors of the statutes didn't confer with Merriam-Webster when they wrote the laws. Another case of stupid Wisconsin firearm laws.

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    By Merriam-Webster definition. Air-Soft guns and Red Ryder BB guns are imitations.
    Defined by Merriam Webster as --To be or appear like. BY Merriam-Webster definition they are not facsimile, copy, reproductions or replicas.

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    Be careful not to mix apples and oranges. Except for the age limitation in 948.60 the statutes quoted by Pointman only apply to imitation (look-a-like) firearms. They do not apply to firearms that propel a projectile with the force of gun powder. There is a significant legal distinction and application of laws between the two.

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    No person may carry or display a facsimile firearm in a manner that could reasonably be expected to alarm...another person.



    What is "reasonably be expected to alarm"? It would seem unreasonable to define this as mere posession. Alarm at that would seem 'unreasonable'. So I would think thisshould mean pointing or brandishing the gun at someone in a manner that makes them think it is real and they are in danger of being shot.

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    Sourced from: http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=Q1RGLzIwMDgvMDQvMDcjQXIwMDMwNQ==&Mo de=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

    SEE THE LINK FOR PHOTOS OF POLICE WITH ASSAULT RIFLES

    Officers used standard police tactics when responding to the call involving a gun, which included officers responding with their weapons drawn and ballistic shields. The teens were told to come out of the house, which they did without incident.

    “Our citizens should know that Waukesha police officers occasionally respond to calls involving the report of someone possibly armed with a deadly weapon,” Waukesha Police Capt. Mark Stigler said. “Our officers use standard defense police tactics to keep officers and citizens safe when approaching these calls or people involved in them.” "Those procedures include the use of rifles, handguns, Tasers and other weapons, along with protective gear."

    “Any citizen, whether adult or juvenile, who chooses to walk down a city street or run through yards in the city of Waukesha with a toy or air gun that looks like a real gun, may be reported to have a real gun. Police will investigate the call as it is reported to us."

    “We encourage our citizens to use common sense…in a city setting as they may be reported to police as real firearms…. officers must be extremely cautious and proactive when responding to gun-related calls."

    "Observers might think police overreacted, but the officers had no choice." --from http://www.wisn.com/news/15808843/detail.html?rss=mil&psp=newsand http://www.wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=8126366
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Pointman quoted:
    SNIP “Any citizen, whether adult or juvenile, who chooses to walk down a city street or run through yards in the city of Waukesha with a toy or air gun that looks like a real gun, may be reported to have a real gun. Police will investigate the call as it is reported to us."

    “We encourage our citizens to use common sense…in a city setting as they may be reported to police as real firearms…. officers must be extremely cautious and proactive when responding to gun-related calls."
    Well, it looks like common sense hasn't worked.

    I wonder if plain old derision will:



    Ooooooo. What big, bad, policemen. Oooooo. I wonder what their father's and grandfather's did with kids in the 50's, 60's, and 70's?

    Investigate it as reported? Hahahahahahahahahaha. He can't even get his dispatchers and officers toconsider that a 911 report might be exaggerated or inaccurate. Hahahahahahaha. (Bet they do it with lots of other calls, though.)

    Doug is right.Nobody can be against safety. Especially governmentagents who can't differentiate or apply common sense. Hahahahahahahaha.

    Ooooooo. Big, bad, dangerous kids and their air-soft guns. "Lets order them out of the house, since maybe we can't go in without a search-warrant.And then we can play tough guy with them, or maybe get our name up in lights as heroes for preventing the 'next Columbine.' "

    Oooooooo.

    I wonder what they use for brains overthat way.


    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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    Citizen wrote:
    I wonder what they use for brains overthat way.
    Uh-bout 1/2 of us just listen to the Liberal evening news, 1/3 read the Liberal paper, and the other 1/3 actually have brains worth using.

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    I clicked on Pointmans link. Here is what it said

    "A Waukesha Police Department officer responds Saturday to the area of College and Grand avenues for a report of two teenagers seen in the area carrying guns. The two boys were detained, but not arrested, after it was determined they were carrying Airsoft toy guns and did not pose a high-level threat. "

    So what if they were open carrying a real shotgun? Would they have been arrested? Honestly....what could they have been arrested for? Notice that the police didn't arrest for DC even though people were calling. But OC of a real shotgun (legal!) would likely have resulted in the same calls...and I bet they would try to arrest for DC if it was a real shotgun. Non-uniform standards, anyone?

    This incident makes me even more apprehensive about OC in Waukesha...police showing up in near RIOT gear and AR15s! I think we still have some work to do here in Wisconsin. Regular OC by many will condition LEOs and the masses to accept citizens carrying guns in everyday circumstances.

    Mark Twain said "
    In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." This is how it is for the first of us who OC. Not everybody is ready to be a patriot. But you can bet those patriots are some of the best-studied on their issues!


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    On April Fools' Day I was elected to my Town Board of Supervisors.

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    I'm not going to touch that one Doug.

    What my real subject is; The more I read and see of the "crap" the Waukeshaw police and other law enforcement officers pull the more astounded I am about how little many of them understand about the law. Too many seem to have the attitude that when in doubt throw them in the car and take them downtown. Let someone else straighten it out. It's too bad they braqnd everyone with a gun as a obvious criminal. They lose sight of the fact that 90% of society means no harm. Haven't the Waukeshaw police ever heard of the 'Terry Law'. Under the Terry law police have the right to momentarily stop you and ask questions. They can even do a "pat down" for weapons. Beyond that they must have probable cause that you are involved in a criminal act to throw you down on the ground and handcuff you as a conmmon criminal. The Waukesha cops are very lucky one of the youths were not injured in the incident. Under 'Terry' the youths are only required to give a correct name and address. They have rights under the fifth amendment to not say anything else. Who is going to protect us from the ones that are supposed to protect us? What in hell is the world coming to? When I was young we spent most of our weekend decked out in our double rig cap pistol sets and ran all over the neighborhood playing "cowboys and indians". I suppose if kids did that today they would be called racists and arrested for racial discrimination. Has the whole of society gone brain dead?

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