So I had quite the encounter with the Boise Police today. Here's how it transpired.
At approximately 3:15 PM I drove to the Boise Public Library to get a couple books and CDs. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, blue jeans with a Blackhawk belt. I was carrying my Glock 19 in a Serpa CQC holster strong side with an extra 17 round mag on weak side. I had a backpack on that contained my laptop and school books.
I browsed for about 15 mins during which time I picked up two books and two CDs. I was looking at some other CDs when I was approached by a library employee (First name was Tom, approx. 55-65 years old, white hair and beard. I later ascertained that he was one of the guys in charge of the library. I am unsure as to his exact position) He looked at my Glock and told me that I was not allowed to carry in the library. I informed him that I was perfectly legal and would continue to carry. He then said it was against the policy and he didn't care what the law said but that I was not allowed to carry in there. I responded that BPL is a subsidiary of the state of Idaho and as such it falls under state pre-emption statutes and that as such, he had no authority to ask me to disarm. He then pulled out his cell phone and said that he was calling the cops.
He walked off and started talking to the police while i pulled out my phone and called Patriot. I double checked that I was within the law and Patriot told me that he was 10 mins away and was on his way over.
I continued browsing (no sense in wasting my time) and waited to see what would happen. Patriot arrived, called me to let me know he was there but refrained from making contact. He informed me there was a BPD officer outside but that the officer had not entered the building.
About 3 mins later (Approximately 3:35) four uniformed officers entered the building and approached me. The initiating officer instructed me to place my hands on my head and interlace my fingers. He then informed me that he was going to disarm me and search my person for additional weapons. I asked him on what grounds and he informed me that Boise Municipal code prohibited firearms in public buildings, and that because I had refused to leave I was suspected of trespassing. As such, he was removing my weapon for officer safety so he could talk to me. I acknowledged his concern and allowed him to finish the search.
At this point he allowed me to lower my hands and we started talking. He explained that he had be called because an armed man was refusing to leave the library. He told me that the library has a policy against firearms and that I was in violation of that. I responded and told him that while I understood that policy, it was not enforceable as it was in violation of state law. I quoted parts of section 18.33 of Idaho state firearms code and article II of the state constitution. We continued going back and forth for a few mins until about 3:45. At this point officer Orton (the contact officer) asked if we could go outside or into a differant room so that we didn't create a disturbance to the other patrons of the library. I told him I was fine with that as my intention was not to create a problem in the first place.
We walked outside where I continued to discuss the law and the pre-emption statutes with the officers. Patriot also walked out and stood at a little distance away observing. After a few mins of talking another guy who Patriot and I know showed up and handed Patriot a recorder. The rest of the conversation is on record but I have not listened to it so I can't transcribe it.
At about 3:55 I asked Officer Orton to call his supervising officer so I could talk to him. He responded in affirmative and they called the lieutenant on duty and asked him to come down. As we were waiting, Patriot approached the officers and held out a cell phone to them. He informed them that Senator Kurt Mackenzie was on the phone and wanted to speak with the officer in charge. Officer Orton took the phone and began a lengthy conversation with the senator. During this time he was mostly out of ear shot and I ended discussing law and firearm carry with another officer. (Unfortunately I don't recall his name) This officer was very nice and professional. We discussed campus carry and the VT shootings and the officer expressed his support for the right of students to carry on campus.
At some point the Lieutenant showed up and began talking with Officer Orton who was still on the phone with Senator Mackenzie. Soon after they called the city attorney and were all four attempting to decipher the law. Officer Orton pulled out his copy of the Boise City Municpal Code and showed me the section he was referencing which did indeed state that the carry of firearms in Boise Public Buildings was prohibited. I simply pointed out that regardless of that fact it was in conflict with state law and thus was un-enforceable.
At about 4:20 Senator Mackenzie asked to speak with me. He informed me that as far as they understood I was completely legal in my carry and they were simply trying to ascertain whether the library had any authority to ask me to leave the property. After talking with him for a few more mins I handed the phone back to the officers and let them continue their discussion.
About 5 mins later Officer Orton returned and told me that while he knew it was legal for me to do so, he was still talking with the City Attorney to find out if I was trespassing or not. He then asked if I would be willing to not re-enter the library for about an hour so that they could have some time to figure the law out. I told him that due simply to his professional attitude and the fact that he had acted decently I would comply with his request under the condition that he took down my contact information and called me the moment he knew anything. I then gave him my cell phone number, my home number and my full name (note that he never asked me to identify myself. I gave the information to him voluntarily)
He then handed me his business card and said he would call me as soon as he heard back from the city. The lieutenant approached me about a min later and Patriot and I began a discussion with him. He was very polite and respectful and seemed genuinely interested in clearing things up. After talking with him for about 10 mins Patriot and I walked over to talk to our other friend.
A few mins later (approx. 4:40) I started to walk to my car only to have Officer Orton call out to me. He explained that he had just received confirmation from the city attorney that I was completely correct and that the city code was indeed in violation of the law. He thanked me for my cooperation and the education oppurtunity that it had offerd the BPD. He then told me that they would be having an emergency briefing the next morning to let all of the Boise Police Department know the OC in public buildings in Boise is perfectly legal regardless of the policies. He then told me that if I had any more probblems to call him immediately and that he would make sure that the library was informed of the correct law. I thanked him again for his proffesionalism, shook his hand and told him that if he needed my assistance in anything else or needed to talk to me at any point to feel free to call me. We both wished each other a good day and I departed to my car (I had somewhere to be at 5 PM)
The entire encounter was over at about 4:45 PM and we got 52 mins of it on the voice recorder. I'll try and see about uploading the audio at some point.
All in all I consider this a very positive encounter. The LEO's were proffesional and interested in making sure they had the correct law. They were friendly, personable, and generally supported the rights of citizens to carry. And they were quick to acknowledge that they were in the wrong and were thankful for the legal educational experience. Hopefully this will not be a probblem anymore in the city of Boise now that BPD is going to be issuing a training bulletin and will be informing the department of the correct laws.
~The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"~ -- George Washington