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Thread: SPD Encounter Today

  1. #1
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    This is going to be long, as I want to include as many details as possible, both for my future reference and for those who it may help to deal with police encounters. This was my first experience with very vocal anti-gunners while OCing, as well as my first police encounter.

    Today I went to a Starbucks in North Seattle, OCing. I ordered my drink and sat down, and nobody seemed to notice or at least make it obvious that they noticed. I was sitting fairly close to the entrance, with my strong side to the door.

    Round 1:
    I had been sitting for a while, reading an assigned paper when a guy came in and stopped in front of me. He asked "Are you carrying a handgun?" to which I responded "Yes." He told me that he was sure I was legal and had the proper permit, but that he just wanted to let me know that he "took issue" with it. I told him that was fine, and he went on his way. I'm not sure if he ordered a drink or not, but he left pretty quickly.

    Round 2:
    This of course got the attention of people around me, and a second later a woman behind me to my right facing the opposite way slid her chair back, looked at my gun and asked when if I had just graduated from "the academy," to which I responded "no." She then asked if I was with SPD, to which I also responded no. She said the usual thing that my gun should be concealed in public and asked if I had a license and asked me why I carried open. I told her there was no legal requirement to conceal and no license needed to OC and that I was OCing to raise awareness about firearms and to show that "normal" people carry guns for self defense.
    Thankfully I had printed the SPD "Legal Bulletin" just posted recently and was able to show her where it laid out the difference between an "unlawful display" violation and open carry. She told me that I was alarming people and I gave the usual response about the fact that I can't control how people feel but that I was not warranting alarm, again referencing the SPD bulletin.

    She then tried to tell me that I was making people think I was a police officer and her reasoning was that she looked for a badge on me so I must be impersonating an officer. I told her I was in no way giving that impression; I was not wearing a badge or police clothing or anything of the sort.

    There may have been some issues she brought up that I forgot, but those are the main ones. So she scooted her chair back in and I hear her friend say "I just looked it up and it is legal."

    Round 3:
    I went back to my reading and had no problems for about 20-30 minutes, when I see an SPD officer walking in. He walks up to me and asks "Are you the popo?" to which I again responded "no." He was standing at my strong side. A female officer walked in and stood in front of me. The male officer asked me if I had a CPL and where it was. I responded that he should know I don't need a CPL to OC but that I did have one and it was in my back right pocket. He then held my gun in the holster and told me I could get my wallet, which I did very slowly. I got out my CPL and gave it to the female officer. She looked at it and said something like "Oh, I don't know who you are, can I see your ID," which I gave her.

    She said that the CPL says "concealed" for a reason and I responded that is because it is used when you are concealing, but is not a requirement to conceal. She also asked why I was carrying openly, and I gave the same response as above. I referenced the SPD training bulletin in my pocket and told the male officer he could get it if he wanted. They didn't seem to want to see it. The female officer then said sorry they had to bug me, but someone had called and that was to be expected around here. I mentioned the fact that their training bulletin talks about the dispatcher's responsibility in getting information to distinguish between a crime and open carry.

    A little later, the female officer said "we are gun people too" and that they understand the want to educate people about firearms. After talking a little about not needing a CPL to OC they eventually looked at the training bulletin. The male officer said "Oh yeah, I have that" and the female officer said she must have been gone when it was issued. The male officer left and the female officer was leaving when the woman who talked to me called her back and asked how many calls had been made to 911. The officer responded she did not know, but she thought only one. The officer and the woman talked for a while and I could not hear the conversation, but I think the woman may have been involved in law enforcement somehow.

    So I stuck around for another 20-30 minutes after the officers left. When I left to walk back home I passed the male officer in his car and the female officer at his window. I waved and said "bye" as I passed and she said "good luck."

    Overall, I think it went fairly well. The major criticim I am anticipating is that I gave my CPL and ID to the officers. As I said above, this was my first police encounter, and I was pretty nervous. I was actually surprised at how vocal I was about the fact that I was not required to give my CPL, which the female officer seemed confused about but eventually said that maybe she was getting the laws confused. I told them that because they were trying not to hastle me I didn't want to hastle them (I know that will generate the usual "lie on your back while they scratch your tummy" responses, but like I said, I was pretty nervous). The other reason I wanted to cooperate was that I thought it would look better to the many people who were no doubt staring at me at this point if I cooperated.

    That's all I can think of now, but like I said above, I think it went well. The officers knew about OC, didn't disarm me (the male officer stopped holding my gun soon after I got my wallet and kept my hands clasped on the table), and said they are gun people and understand what I was doing. And, of course, a Starbuck's full of people got to see a law-abiding, gun-carrying citizen be contacted and then left alone by the police.





  2. #2
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    Not bad! I think the SPD's response was pretty good this time. It's great that they didn't try to disarm you or just give you a hard time, and I think you handled the situation extremely well.

    I'm definitely going to print out that bulletin and have it handy at all times now.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like you did just fine to me. Although it may be (past) time to get a voice recorder...

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    Excellent and well handled by all parties. This may be the first LEO encounter where they were called and didn't take someone's weapon. Perhaps things are getting better. At least the cops knew what is up. Good deal!

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    Sean, I imagine that it was a bit tense. I'm glad the SPD bulletin is already helping out. I don't know why they decided to provide it to me and not others that previously enquired, but at least it's out now. Carrying a copy of it seems like a pretty good idea. I find it curious that they weren't interested in reading it at first, then when you confidently stood your ground, they realized 'oh yeah, now I remember that' or 'I must have been gone'. Perhaps they were being entirely truthful, though I have my doubts. And the bit about the male officer 'holding' your pistol? I'll take that part as a good reason to keep the bulletin in a pocket as far from the holstered handgun as possible, thereby giving them as little opportunity as possible to make such a request/demand. Perhaps I'm ranting a bit, but they'd never let me hold their handgun while they provided me with proper ID were it pocketed. Sounds like it ended well, though. Nicely done.

    Abram

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    Sean, Good on you! sounds like the event was just about a non-event... other that being contacted by SPD.

    Anywho, I was just curious how many of you would have done like Sean an given your CPL to the officer/deputy. I guess it depends if they are treating you with respect, kind of like "hey, I don't want to be doing this any more that you want this to be done to you" attitude.

    Also, as to the officer placing his hand on Sean's gun, would it be appropriate to tell the officer something to the effect of "Officer, I would appreciate it if you kept your hand off of my gun just as I'm sure you would appreciate it if I kepy my hand off of yours". Just curious, as I'm sure there are many different feelings.

  7. #7
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    ATCer wrote:
    Anywho, I was just curious how many of you would have done like Sean an given your CPL to the officer/deputy.
    That seems to be the MO of the Tacoma PD also, as I’ve had them on two occasions recognize that open carry is legal and yet demand the concealed carry permit. I’ve started leaving mine up on the visor in the car since that’s the only place I really conceal anyhow. On my last visit from TPD, at the Museum of Glass, I refused to show it to the officer. I had asked, and he confirmed, that I wasn’t being detained, so there wasn’t really anything left to do. The officer tried to keep me engaged in conversation by asking for it over and over, but in the end we parted company without him seeing the permit he didn’t know I didn’t have with me.

    ”Am I being detained?”

    ”For suspicion of what crime are you detaining me?”

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    Don't worry. They were out of line in asking for your ID and CPL, you weren't out of line in providing it. I think you handled the situation very well. Not every encounter has to be a fight, and in this case it looks like you were able to educate the police officers and a starbucks full of people about gun rights. Well done!

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    WELL DONE!

    You handled it great.

    And, thank you for the thorough write-up.

    As the previous poster points out, now there is a cafe-full of people who know more about 2A rights!!
    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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    PavePusher wrote:
    Sounds like you did just fine to me. Although it may be (past) time to get a voice recorder...
    I think you did great too. A fine example of just how far knowing the law and being confidant about articulating it with people can get you. That is what I love most about going somewhere and feeling an eye from somebody, doing my business and leaving.

    I love knowing people saw somebody with a gun who actually did not use it during a random freak out type scenario.

    But.....it also could have gone VERY differently, so I would add a +1 for a voice recorder. These days you just never can be too cautious.

  11. #11
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    First I want to say thank you for everyone that has responded with feedback.

    Second, the main criticism I am hearing is that I should have had a voice recorder. I have one that I can't seem to find but I did have my phone, which has audio recording capabilities. I had actually taken it out of my phone holder on my belt and put it on the table in anticipation of the police coming and meant to start it recording, but forgot in the "heat of the moment"--just something else to try to remember next time.

  12. #12
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    Thats why I have a inexpensive recorder that has a lot of capacity. I turn it on in the morning, and turn it off at night. It records all day.

    See this thread halfway down the page:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/8271-2.html

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    surfj9009 wrote:
    Thats why I have a inexpensive recorder that has a lot of capacity. I turn it on in the morning, and turn it off at night. It records all day.

    See this thread halfway down the page:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/8271-2.html
    That's illegal.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    expvideo wrote:
    surfj9009 wrote:
    Thats why I have a inexpensive recorder that has a lot of capacity. I turn it on in the morning, and turn it off at night. It records all day.

    See this thread halfway down the page:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/8271-2.html
    That's illegal.
    Washington State is a two party consent state when dealing with recording electronically transmitted communications, i.e. telephone calls, cell phone calls, etc.

    Anyone can record audio of the public, while in public. They can record audio and video of the public, while in public.

    If this were not the case, then every person who uses a video camera on vacation in Washington State would be violating the law.

    http://washington.statelawyers.com/S...eID:47/ID:4057

    All of the references in Washington Statutes concern "private conversations".

    Any conversation between the Police and a Citizen while in public, is a public conversation, and thus not illegal to record.

  15. #15
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    Decoligny wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    surfj9009 wrote:
    Thats why I have a inexpensive recorder that has a lot of capacity. I turn it on in the morning, and turn it off at night. It records all day.

    See this thread halfway down the page:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/8271-2.html
    That's illegal.
    Washington State is a two party consent state when dealing with recording electronically transmitted communications, i.e. telephone calls, cell phone calls, etc.

    Anyone can record audio of the public, while in public. They can record audio and video of the public, while in public.

    If this were not the case, then every person who uses a video camera on vacation in Washington State would be violating the law.

    http://washington.statelawyers.com/S...eID:47/ID:4057

    All of the references in Washington Statutes concern "private conversations".

    Any conversation between the Police and a Citizen while in public, is a public conversation, and thus not illegal to record.
    You mean to tell me that at no time durring the day does surfj9009 ever have a private conversation? I know that in public you are fine, but leaving the recorder on all day is illegal if you have a single non-public conversation, which most people do. Did you have a non-public conversation today?

  16. #16
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    sean-1286 wrote:
    This is going to be long,

    Let me play devil's advocate here. I'm glad you feel the "encounter" went well and perhaps it is even an improvement over that of others. If you voluntarily gave your ID, that is your choice.

    However, as I read it, these pro-gun cops still seized "your person"byplacing his hand on your sidearm, preventing your free movement and demanded your permit and state IDwhile you were committing NO CRIME. As "nice" as they were I'd have no problem filing a complaint, for principle sake, over their conduct, which was unlawful IMO.

    The flip side to this is that their experience with you willmost likely beviewed as positive and over time may influence others as this sort of call will often be talked about at briefings.


    Good job!

  17. #17
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    expvideo wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    surfj9009 wrote:
    Thats why I have a inexpensive recorder that has a lot of capacity. I turn it on in the morning, and turn it off at night. It records all day.

    See this thread halfway down the page:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/8271-2.html
    That's illegal.
    Washington State is a two party consent state when dealing with recording electronically transmitted communications, i.e. telephone calls, cell phone calls, etc.

    Anyone can record audio of the public, while in public. They can record audio and video of the public, while in public.

    If this were not the case, then every person who uses a video camera on vacation in Washington State would be violating the law.

    http://washington.statelawyers.com/S...eID:47/ID:4057

    All of the references in Washington Statutes concern "private conversations".

    Any conversation between the Police and a Citizen while in public, is a public conversation, and thus not illegal to record.
    You mean to tell me that at no time durring the day does surfj9009 ever have a private conversation? I know that in public you are fine, but leaving the recorder on all day is illegal if you have a single non-public conversation, which most people do. Did you have a non-public conversation today?
    Yes, today I did.

    However, when I am open carrying, I don't normally engage in any conversations that aren't held in areas where there is absolutely no expectation of privacy. If I should have to talk about something confidential, then I will go someplace that is actually private and then the recorder will be turned off.

    Here are the instructions:Apply finger,pushbutton, whenprivate conversation ends, repeat.



  18. #18
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    cato wrote:
    sean-1286 wrote:
    This is going to be long,

    Let me play devil's advocate here. I'm glad you feel the "encounter" went well and perhaps it is even an improvement over that of others. If you voluntarily gave your ID, that is your choice.

    However, as I read it, these pro-gun cops still seized "your person"byplacing his hand on your sidearm, preventing your free movement and demanded your permit and state IDwhile you were committing NO CRIME. As "nice" as they were I'd have no problem filing a complaint, for principle sake, over their conduct, which was unlawful IMO.

    The flip side to this is that their experience with you willmost likely beviewed as positive and over time may influence others as this sort of call will often be talked about at briefings.


    Good job!
    I agree.

  19. #19
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    That encounter seems to have went well. It was good that you brought to their attention that their department sent out a training bulletin on OC, and that the dispatcher should have gotten more details in the call about a man carrying a gun in public.

    When you told the LEO that you did not have to provide a permit because you did not have your gun concealed was good, and even better that you did give it to them. It's always good to cooperate with the LEO's.

    The people that talked to you. It sounds like they tried their best to be respectful. But the lady seemed that she just wanted to find some reason to get you in trouble with the law.

    But because you were legal and had proof to back you up, there was nothing they could do to you.

    good job

    NO need to fear if you are in the right.



  20. #20
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    sean-1286 wrote:
    I think it went well. The officers knew about OC, didn't disarm me (the male officer stopped holding my gun soon after I got my wallet and kept my hands clasped on the table), and said they are gun people and understand what I was doing. And, of course, a Starbuck's full of people got to see a law-abiding, gun-carrying citizen be contacted and then left alone by the police.
    OK so as some said you allowed SPD to cross some boundaries that they should not have. However, letting those pass for what they were small details helped you have a friendly encounter with the police in a public place. You could have stood on your rights let the situation become confrontative, creating another tense hostile feeling scene for everyone there to associate with guns and gun owners. Confirming the stereo type of the right wing fanatic gun owner. As much as I dislike the worn out clique about each of us representing all other gun owners, there is obviously a great deal of truth in it. Every single positive public interaction one of us has with popo & the public is a major plus. Today, a decent size group of likely liberals (considering your location) were shown a polite man quietly going about his business be confronted by police for no good cause. They saw you interact with them in a polite respectful way and they saw the police treat you in what they perceived as a polite respectful way. You also helped dispel the myth that gun owners are threatening and intimidating. Instead of being intimidated people felt secure enough to confront you without fear, though they may not agree or support our rights, they dealt with a non threatening man who was considerate and courteous. Plus they all left with paperwork validating your position. Good work I think you did very well. Thank you.

  21. #21
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    Good job Sean for all of the reasons mentioned above and for being a visible supporter of the second amendment.

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    LongRider wrote:
    sean-1286 wrote:
    I think it went well. The officers knew about OC, didn't disarm me (the male officer stopped holding my gun soon after I got my wallet and kept my hands clasped on the table), and said they are gun people and understand what I was doing. And, of course, a Starbuck's full of people got to see a law-abiding, gun-carrying citizen be contacted and then left alone by the police.
    OK so as some said you allowed SPD to cross some boundaries that they should not have. However, letting those pass for what they were small details helped you have a friendly encounter with the police in a public place. You could have stood on your rights let the situation become confrontative, creating another tense hostile feeling scene for everyone there to associate with guns and gun owners. Confirming the stereo type of the right wing fanatic gun owner. As much as I dislike the worn out clique about each of us representing all other gun owners, there is obviously a great deal of truth in it. Every single positive public interaction one of us has with popo & the public is a major plus. Today, a decent size group of likely liberals (considering your location) were shown a polite man quietly going about his business be confronted by police for no good cause. They saw you interact with them in a polite respectful way and they saw the police treat you in what they perceived as a polite respectful way. You also helped dispel the myth that gun owners are threatening and intimidating. Instead of being intimidated people felt secure enough to confront you without fear, though they may not agree or support our rights, they dealt with a non threatening man who was considerate and courteous. Plus they all left with paperwork validating your position. Good work I think you did very well. Thank you.
    +1000

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    I hope this is the right area to post. Can anyone tell me if you can carry in the airport. I thought I read that you can carry as long as you are not in the controlled area. Help please.

  24. #24
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    dlnwoody wrote:
    I hope this is the right area to post. Can anyone tell me if you can carry in the airport. I thought I read that you can carry as long as you are not in the controlled area. Help please.
    RCW 9.41.300
    Section (e)
    The restricted access areas of a commercial service airport designated in the airport security plan approved by the federal transportation security administration, including passenger screening checkpoints at or beyond the point at which a passenger initiates the screening process. These areas do not include airport drives, general parking areas and walkways, and shops and areas of the terminal that are outside the screening checkpoints and that are normally open to unscreened passengers or visitors to the airport. Any restricted access area shall be clearly indicated by prominent signs indicating that firearms and other weapons are prohibited in the area.

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    Thanks for the info. That is what I thought but was not sure.

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