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Thread: Open Carry at the Polls

  1. #1
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    The lawful carrying of personal firearms at the election polls is not prohibited by state law, nor may political subdivisions restrict it, either.

    Today was Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania. Did you open carry at the polls while voting?

    Cherry Tree, Indiana County

    I did. No old ladies fainted or left puddles on the floor. No dirty looks or comments, either. Light slacks, light shirt, matching tie. Black holster on hip, not-so-compact Hi-Point Compact 9mm in holster.

    Felt empowered.

  2. #2
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    Nope. I even walked there (beautiful weather here), but the illegal "Gun-Free School Zones" act makes a prisoner on my own property in terms of unlicensed OC, as my property is very close to being within 1000 feet of one school, and the only two paths, both roads, connecting my development from the rest of the town both go within about 500 feet of another school. Hell, when I'm OCing I think I actually have less freedom of movement than convicted and released child rapists... Hmpf.

  3. #3
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    I couldn't vote today, because I'm not party affiliated, but I still found my way to be at or very near a polling place while armed three different times today.

    1. Took a quick swing through the parking lot of my own polling place right at 7:00 am to see if there were any obvious signs barring firearms (The former Sheriff that revoked my LTCF suggested doing this to prevent me from carrying in the future). I have already made it clear via newspaper articles and letters directly to the Franklin County Commissioners that they have no authority in this matter. Nothing visible from the car, and I didn't have time to spare, so off to work.

    2. Stopped by a rural post office that occupies part of a church fellowship/community building. Oh...it's a polling place too. Parked off of the property and left my firearm in the car while I made a quick trip inside the post office.

    3. After work, I had more time to investigate all of the miscellaneous postings on the wall of the little entry alcove at my polling place. I parked, and noticed the friendly constable at my 1:00, near the corner of the building (outside). I exited my vehicle and smiled at the two folks who were outside hoping to persuade me to choose their candidate. They were on my weak side, and I don't know if they saw my firearm or not. I gave them a polite 'no thanks' and entered the entry alcove, but remained outside the doors. I looked over all of the various postings and found everything to be what's typically expected. Nothing mentioning firearms. No 'Wanted' posters with my pic on them.

    I was just turning to leave when I caught a bit of the conversation the two folks outside were having:

    "Yeah, he made a pretty big scene and really scared the older people inside"...."The Sheriff said it wasn't illegal, like a courthouse, but he shouldn't have done it"....

    They were standing just a few feet from the doorway, but I was out of sight. I don't know if they had seen my firearm, and then assumed I was inside so it was safe to gossip, or if I my timing is just that good. I wanted soooooo badly to pop my head around the wall and say, "I'm just wondering if you actually witnessed the incident?". Also, (and I'm embarrassed to say it) I didn't have any of Pa. Patriot's flyers in my pocket. I had a dozen or so in the car, but I knew if they hadn't actually identified me on the way in, they certainly would on the way out, with my strong side toward them.

    I decided to not go to the car and come back with the flyers to engage them. I didn't want to be accused of creating a scene, so I just smiled as I left again and came home completely 'unharrassed'.

  4. #4
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    Wanted to say hello and yes I am a Pa State Constable, I worked my polling facility yesterday and did not see one oc'er. If I would of I would of gladly let the lady or gentlemen vote then be on there way because there is not a law against it.

    Yes I open carry myself even when not in uniform, I know I still have badge and id in wallet but I still like to oc. As far as at the polls there is no law against it so I do not have a problem with it. The only problem that I would of had is if a sheriff or police officer would of been around on or off duty oc'ing. The law states the constable is the only law enforcement officer allowed at a polling place at election within 100 feet. That can be enforced up to arresting the officer. They can come to vote but have to leave right after.

    It is also the constable's duty to keep the pathway clear from anything including citizens after they have voted so if someone would of came to my polling place to vote I would of asked them to leave right afterwards and that would of been my legal duty to do but as far as someone coming in oc'ing, the only conversation I may of had was as to what type of weapon it was if I liked it.

    Now all that said no I did notcarry yesterday even though I could of but the reason I did nothas nothing to do with right or wrong but merely as a State Constable I did not want any of my voters to feel intimidated by me at all, if a voter would of came like that then another voter shouldn't of felt that way but with me as a law enforcement officer there it can appear intimidating, but it was close by for my access if I needed it.

  5. #5
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    What part of the state are you in?

  6. #6
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    Carbon County, and yes I saw your case and was glad to see you prevail because what was done was wrong, and that is not how for the most part constables act so please dont judge all constables in that light.

    The only way I would of said anything at all to you is if you where done voting and just hanging around and or blocking the voters path, other than that I might of tried to get you to sell it to me if I liked it...

  7. #7
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    No sweat. I've got nothing against constables, or Sheriff's for that matter. I DO have a problem with people who think they are above the law, whether they wear a badge or not.

    I actually had one of the other Constables here show up (in uniform) in support of my position.

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