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Thread: Dickson City Council meeting wrap-up

  1. #1
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    Folks - thanks so much for the 30+ folks who came last night and stood up for freedom and the Constitution - we did this on only about 36 hours of notice. Just think what kind of turn out we could do with 96 hours notice!

    The message I sent to national and PA gun rights leaders today is below, and summarizes what happenned and what needs to happen next - see talking points.

    --


    May 14, 2008


    MEMO FOR: National and PA gun rights POCs:


    SUBJECT: Update re Dickson City, PA Borough Council Meeting last night - Dickson City PA council obeys law, allows open carry, takes public comment


    1. About 30 OpenCarry.org and PAFOA.org members converged on Dickson City last night to testify against police state style roundups of gun owners peaceably eating dinner last Friday. The City Council was told in no uncertain terms that they had better take action to get their police procedures up to date.

    2. Gun owners open and concealed carry, based upon preference. No harassment by the City on this matter, despite veiled references to this by the police chief on radio/TV interviews during the day. At the meeting, the City solicitor confirmed that the Borough had no power to ban guns at Borough Hall, unless perhaps they bootstrapped its 'holding cell" as a lawful basis to do so - he did not look too confident on this.

    3. Afterwards, about 8 of us retired to a local restaurant (Charlie Brown's) without any problem, except for the free desert the manager made us eat. All but one person was openly carrying.

    4. Subsequent news coverage below.

    5. Key talking points:

    1. Police had no reasonable articulable suspicion to seize the gun owners, let alone demand IDs, search them, seize their guns, "run" their serial numbers, and in one case, refuse to return a gun to Rich Banks, a federal firearms dealer, because his gun's serial number was not found by police in any database. Again, this was a group of men, women, and small children eating dinner - all rousted by unlawful police action.

    2. There is no gun registration in PA.But the police in Dickson City remain in confusion/denial over this issue of checking guns' serial numbers and seems to still think this should be done with an eye toward seizing guns if things don't "match." Hence, Katrina style gun confiscations may continue where police take your gun 'till you can prove you own it. Therefore, the PSP handgun transfer database should be destroyed as it just causes problems for law abiding gun owners.

    3. Rich Banks still does not have his gun back. Rich is not just a federal gun dealer - he is also a right to carry permit holder and he did show his PA License to Carry Firearm permit to the police - but the police could not "verify" that he owned the gun thru their computer checks and demanded that Rich bring proof of ownership to the police before he could get his gun back.

    4. Bad police procedure is good for criminals! As the seizures of persons and guns violated the Fourth Amendment, the police bumbled the encounter because had any of the guns or people turned up to be "bad," the evidence would have been suppressed. See e.g., Florida, v. T.L.; Arizona v. Hicks; Commonwealth v. Hawkins (Pa.).

    5. Litigation possible. Litigation for violations for Fourth Amendment and other rights may be pending by folks who were seized by police and one gun owner's unarmed wife threatened with arrest if she did not stop filming. As I was not there, I am not a Plaintiff nor have any inside knowledge.

    Mike Stollenwerk
    OpenCarry.org
    --

    News coverage:

    1. http://pahomepage.com/content/fulltext/?cid=25398- video link embedded with me on the air yesterday.

    SNIP

    Organizations such as opencarry.org say these law abiding citizens were pulled from their dinner, asked for their "papers" and that personal property was confiscated.
    [NOTE: on the video, the police chief is very confused - like almost states, there is no gun registration and so seizing gun owners to run ID checks and gun serial number checks made no practical, and even less legal sense - I got in a cite to Arizona v. Hicks.]

    2. http://www.wnep.com/Global/story.asp?S=8320639

    3. http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site...0572&rfi=8w/video

    SNIP

    Contacted by The Times-Tribune, Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola declined to comment on this specific case, but said people have a right to openly carry a weapon without having to show identification or a permit.

    “Police can ask, but if they don’t want to give it, they don’t have to,” he said. “It’s going to be surprising to the public, but that’s the current state of law.”


    4. http://pahomepage.com/media_player.php?media_id=15731w/ 911 call played and ID refusal/arrest/gun seizure discussed.


    5. http://wilknetwork.com/Open-Carry-People-Make-Their-Point/2185688

    6. http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site...5898&rfi=6- PA state rep for Dickson City supports open carry rights! But Lacawanna refuses to release 911 tapes

    7. http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site...2269&rfi=6- Philadelphia lawyer mistates law on duty of oepn carriers to carry & show ID on demand

    8. http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum46/11028-2.html- Scranton Times-Tribune Editorial slams "Dickson Dozen" and your right to open carry

    9. http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site...0572&rfi=8 ("Gun owners protest
    A May 9 police incident spilled over into a Dickson City Borough Council meeting Tuesday, with gun-rights advocates alleging harassment by two police officers. The regular monthly meeting erupted into a full-blown debate on the Second Amendment, with more than 20 Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association members — many of whom were openly armed — arguing their right to carry a weapon in public. Police have yet to release a report of the incident in which a group of customers at Old Country Buffet were questioned about openly carrying handguns in public. At least one of those customers, Rich Banks, of Luzerne County, was detained for refusing to cooperate with police in regard to his concealed .38-caliber handgun.").

    10. http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site...0572&rfi=8- one of the Dickson Dozen's attonreys says: "It sounds like a bad episode of Hogan's Heroes"

    11. Police report: http://scrantontimestribune.com/proj...licereport.pdf


    12. Alex Jones show radio interview: http://www.lildobe.net/gallery2/v/Gu...20-08.mp3.html


    13. Audio recording of city council meeting:
    http://www.lildobe.net/gallery2/v/Gu..._5_08.mp3.html


    14. http://www.citizensvoice.com/site/ne...1464&rfi=6


    15. http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site...8218&rfi=6


    16. http://www.lildobe.net/gallery2/v/Gu...nCity.flv.html- WNEP 11 O-Clock report

    17. http://www.timesleader.com/pittstond...5-24-2008.html- pro-gun commentary on Dickson Dozen incident

    18. http://wilknetwork.com/Pack-More-Bra...epower/2186256- Steve Corbett attacks Dickson Dozen; says they would be shot on site in Philly!

    19. http://www.citizensvoice.com/site/in...5154&rfi=8- Rich Banks interview by Scranton Times-Tribune

    20. The New Gun Week, June 15, 2008: "Open Carry Incident Ignites Outrage, Possible Lawsuit" - link at http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum63/11690.html

    21. More video and audio files on the continuing coverage at http://www.lildobe.net/gallery2/v/PAFOA/DicksonCity

  2. #2
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    I just watched the news clip on the incident. I am continually amazed by people's comments on Open Carry. One guy wonders why he has to look at people walking around with guns while he's eating. Whatever happened to minding your own business.It makes as much sense as bitching about someone's long hair or peircings. People in this day and age make me sick. Unless these folks where doing something unsafe or illegal they should have been left alone.

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    :shock:I had an incident back last year. I am totally handicapped and a permit holder of a glock 26 & colt det 38. I was carrying my Glock, and was depositing a check at a bank, when i came out, i noticed two young spanish guys following me, at the point where I turned to get in my van, and there was an other van next to me, they pushed me down and demanded my money, i drew down on them, called 911 and was accosted my cops and was told that the 2 youths claimed I attacked them, the other 2 cops did not beleive them, and I thought it was over, only to find 1 month later there was my neibor upstairs found graffitti on her front door, i called the cops and when one came he said "Oh, you are the one who harrassed the 2 young spanish guys last month, I walked away !!!!!!

  4. #4
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    Nice write up, Mike.
    Thanks for all your work in this.

    Also, to everyone that came out last night, I got to personally thank some of you after the meeting but I would like to again publicly thank the others. And of course a big thank you as well to everyone who has shown support in the many other different ways they continue to do so in this matter.

  5. #5
    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    Nice job, folks.

    One guy wonders why he has to look at people walking around with guns while he's eating.
    I'm betting he didn't notice anything but the end of his fork until the armed folks were pointed out to him.

  6. #6
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    Mike wrote:
    3. Afterwards, about 8 of us retired to a local restaurant (Charlie Brown's) without any problem, except for the free desert the manager made us eat. All but one person was openly carrying. I am sure it took arm twisting. :P

    2. There is no gun registration in PA.But the police in Dickson City remain in confusion/denial over this issue of checking guns' serial numbers and seems to still think this should be done with an eye toward seizing guns if things don't "match." Hence, Katrina style gun confiscations may continue where police take your gun 'till you can prove you own it. Therefore, the PSP handgun transfer database should be destroyed as it just causes problems for law abiding gun owners.

    3. Rich Banks still does not have his gun back. Rich is not just a federal gun dealer - he is also a right to carry permit holder and he did show his PA License to Carry Firearm permit to the police - but the police could not "verify" that he owned the gun thru their computer checks and demanded that Rich bring proof of ownership to the police before he could get his gun back. As disturbing as the entire incident was, this bothers me the most. This is darn-right scary..Weapon confiscation requiring "proof" of ownershipthat isnot possible in a lot of casesand isquite obviouslynot required. How completely incompetent of everyone involved from the authorities.
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

  7. #7
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    Flintlock wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    3. Afterwards, about 8 of us retired to a local restaurant (Charlie Brown's) without any problem, except for the free desert the manager made us eat. All but one person was openly carrying. I am sure it took arm twisting. :P
    Well, it would have taken me a LTCF... :?

    Gonna look into those transport regs again, though.

  8. #8
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    massltca wrote
    Whatever happened to minding your own business.
    The same author that first wrote 'An armed society is a polite society' wrote also MYOB - Mind Your Own Business.

    And good point on the alternatively accoutemented. Just as a proper option to their presence is to shun and leave, so it is too to the presense of any offensive person.

    And Robert anson Heinlein wrote There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - TANSTAAFL Wanna shock with appearance? There is a social cost.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Flintlock wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    3. Afterwards, about 8 of us retired to a local restaurant (Charlie Brown's) without any problem, except for the free desert the manager made us eat. All but one person was openly carrying. I am sure it took arm twisting. :P
    Well, it would have taken me a LTCF... :?

    Gonna look into those transport regs again, though.
    I think he was talking about the cake, not the carrying there

  10. #10
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    The audio of the Dickson City council meeting on 5/13 is available here.
    (As well as a bunch of other media clips, etc)

    http://www.lildobe.net/gallery2/v/Gu...a/DicksonCity/


  11. #11
    Regular Member dougwg's Avatar
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    Was the video of the encounter released yet or posted on Youtube?

  12. #12
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    dougwg wrote:
    Was the video of the encounter released yet or posted on Youtube?
    Um, there might be a problem with that as somebody on PAFOA forum said the file got corrupted in all the excitement that night.

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