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Thread: I seem to be getting a reputation for my lawFUL behavior.

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    Yesterday evening I went to Provo Towne Center with a couple of friends. The 15 year old exchange student from Germany needed some new shoes so I thought I would buy him some. We went to the mall, and started looking for shoes in Famous Footwear. While we were there, I noticed that mall security was hovering at the entrance of the store. The security guard, (unarmed as per mall policy for their security personnel) was on his cell phone and his radio. I knew that I was the reason he was there, as I was OCing with my Glock 19C in my Fobus GL2SH retention paddle holster.

    After about 20 minutes of shopping, we went and spoke with an acquaintance of one of the kids I was with who worked in the mall. The security guard continued to follow us. After we went to a cell phone shop, the police finally arrived. It had been nearly 45 minutes since the security guard started following me.

    The officer entered the store and asked me to come over and talk to him. He also asked me to keep my hand away from my gun. I complied, asked him how his evening was and shook his hand. He asked me what the deal was with my gun. I was a little unsure as to what I should say, since in my mind there was no deal, I was simply carrying openly, in accordance with law. I informed him that I was a CFP holder, and he asked me why my weapon wasn’t concealed. I replied that it was not concealed because it was not required to be concealed. I mentioned common law theory that if something is not prohibited by statute, it is allowed. I also mentioned that since the Supreme Court has not yet ruled that the right has to be tied to militia service (which I doubt they will) I am allowed to carry a firearm openly.

    The officer asked if my gun was loaded, to which I replied, “Statutorily, yes.” I just wanted to make sure there was no confusion in terms. A second officer arrived about this time, and began asking questions similar to those of the first. I retrieved my permit and ID for the officers, and they began looking into things. One of them asked if I was subject to any protective orders. I informed him that I wasn’t, and that being subject to such an order would have prohibited me from having a CFP. He countered that it would not have been the first time. I conceded the point. People could get the permit and then have a protective order taken out against them.

    The officers asked that I accompany them outside, which is understandable. We were inside a store. I can imagine it being unnerving to a store owner to have an OCer, a security guard and two police in their store. We went to the front entrance of the mall and talked on the sidewalk. I was asked why I didn’t conceal my weapon, and I told them that the two reasons were speed of draw in a situation in which I hope to never find myself, and that I want people to get used to the idea that it is ok for civilians to carry guns.

    The officers asked if I was “the guy from the restaurant.” I said that I most likely was, as I had been in a similar conversation with an officer in a restaurant several months ago. Apparently, after that encounter, the police had a briefing on the situation, but neglected to mention that OC is indeed legal.

    The officer told me that with all of the things that have happened lately they ahd to be extra careful. He mentioned Trolley Square as an example. I cut him off and reminded him that Trolley Square has posted signs prohibiting firearms, but Provo Towne Center has no such postings. I told him that if there were such postings I would of course comply, as the mall is within their rights as private property owners to restrict the carry of firearms on their premises. He informed me that they had the right to ask me to leave. I acknowledged this, and pointed out that no such request had ever been made to me.

    The officers eventually verified my permit (important only because I had a round in the chamber). I was informed that I was within the law, but they still suggested that I conceal my weapon and practice drawing from concealment so that I would not need to OC. They also mentioned that they always carry concealed when they are off duty. I was polite and didn’t mention that their preferred method of carry was irrelevant to me. They also mentioned that if I were to continue carrying openly in a public place like the mall, they would continue to receive calls, and that I would very quickly begin to hate the police.

    I thanked the officers for doing their jobs, shook hands with both officers and the security guard.


    I am thinking that the next time this happens, I am going to ask the officers a couple of questions. One is, “given that this is the fourth time we have had an encounter like this, and this will be the fourth time you will conclude that I am perfectly within the law, when should I start considering this to be harassment and a violation of my fourth amendment rights, particulary the prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure?” The other question will be, “would it be possible to set up a seminar with the police force so that I can come explain the firearms laws in Utah to the entire group all at once? It would save me a lot of time over doing this individually with every officer.”

    Anyway, I just thought you all might enjoy reading this little story about my trip to the mall last night.

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    Sheesh, what's with the attitude of these officers? Why are they giving you suggestions? So they don't have to be called? That sure is what it sounds like. "We don't want to be constantly called out here just to find out that no one is in fact breaking any laws, so could you please just carry concealed?" Sorry, but it's a free country, and unless I am breaking a law - which I am very careful not to do, you got nothin'.

    I would file a complaint with the department and let Clark Aposhian and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff know about the experience. TJ (UTOC-44-45) can help you get in contact with them if you would like.

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    The amazing thing is that after I spoke with the officer in the restaurant several months ago, I went to the station and spoke with a sergant with whom I looked through the provo city Municipal code. We found three weapons related ordinances. they concerned posession by minors, and discharge within city limits.

    Not too suprising that there was nothing more, what with UT 76-10-500 pre-empting any further regulation....

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    GeneticsDave wrote:
    Sheesh, what's with the attitude of these officers? Why are they giving you suggestions? So they don't have to be called? That sure is what it sounds like. "We don't want to be constantly called out here just to find out that no one is in fact breaking any laws, so could you please just carry concealed?" Sorry, but it's a free country, and unless I am breaking a law - which I am very careful not to do, you got nothin'.

    I would file a complaint with the department and let Clark Aposhian and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff know about the experience. TJ (UTOC-44-45) can help you get in contact with them if you would like.
    I think this is a little harsh. The officers were professional, polite, courteous, and once they determined everything was fine, if they had simply left, you wouldn't have much to say. What they said was simply "it's not illegal, but it's department policy to respond to this kind of call every time, and it will probably be a hassle for both you and us which would be avoided if you hid the gun". Totally true statement, and it's totally within their rights as citizens and as officers to give that sort of advice. They didn't try to force OP to carry concealed, they just stated their professional opinion that it would have a better overall result. OP has no responsibility or obligation to follow that advice, and the department has the option to either maintain the current state of affairs, or to modify their practices, possibly by training dispatchers to weed out MWAG reports that are lawful carry.

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    Great job Strict! I have carried many times in the Provo Mall, without incident. There was even a security guy there that did a double take when he saw my Glock.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    Liko81 wrote
    I think this is a little harsh. The officers were professional, polite, courteous, and once they determined everything was fine, if they had simply left, you wouldn't have much to say. What they said was simply "it's not illegal, but it's department policy to respond to this kind of call every time, and it will probably be a hassle for both you and us which would be avoided if you hid the gun". Totally true statement, and it's totally within their rights as citizens and as officers to give that sort of advice. They didn't try to force OP to carry concealed, they just stated their professional opinion that it would have a better overall result. OP has no responsibility or obligation to follow that advice, and the department has the option to either maintain the current state of affairs, or to modify their practices, possibly by training dispatchers to weed out MWAG reports that are lawful carry.
    They were generally polite, but not entirely courteous. Either way, they did detain me for more than a half an hour. There was no reasonable, articulable suspicion of wrongdoing, as the activity was legal. They had no reason to suspect that the weapon was loaded, and as such there was no justification to assume that any law was being broken.

    I'm not sure who OP is, but I would really prefer if I did not have my person seized like this. I would prefer the police understand the law rather than constantly intimate that I am required to have my firearm concealed, even when there is no such statute.

    I would like to have the police enforce law as written, not as imagined.

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    Strict Constructionist wrote:
    I'm not sure who OP is,
    He was referring to you.

    OP = Original Poster
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    SGT Jensen wrote:
    Strict Constructionist wrote:
    I'm not sure who OP is,
    He was referring to you.

    OP = Original Poster
    Gotcha, thanks

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    I have listed some things from the OP that led me to feel that these officers had the wrong attitude:

    • He asked me what the deal was with my gun.
    • ...he asked me why my weapon wasn’t concealed.
    • ...asked if my gun was loaded
    • One of them asked if I was subject to any protective orders.
    • I was asked why I didn’t conceal my weapon
    • He informed me that they had the right to ask me to leave.
    • ...was informed that I was within the law, but they still suggested that I conceal my weapon and practice drawing from concealment so that I would not need to OC.

    These kinds of statements show ignorance of the law and a general distrust of the citizenry.

    There is no "deal" with openly carrying, despite the fact that it's less common than concealed carry.

    You shouldn't have to explain why you don't conceal your firearm. "Because I don't want to" is perfectly sufficient. It's like asking why someone isn't wearing socks with their shoes - who cares? Are they breaking a law or something?

    Why are they asking him about protective orders? Sure, they can ask that, but it's not exactly polite - it assumes that you can't be carrying because you're a criminal - why not just run his information and find out yourself - poor tact in my opinion.

    Of course the mall has the right to ask you to leave, so does any private business, but as a police officer you don't need to say that. Just say, "If the mall asks you to leave, you need to do so or you could be charged with tresspassing." That's a "looking after your best interest" comment.

    "So that I would not need to OC?" What the hell? Ok, perhaps they are saying that because of his reponse; faster draw, etc, but it's his option to OC and what he needs to do is be left alone and have the officers learn more about the laws they are supposed to enforce. Concealed carry is not somehow better than OC, so saying that if he practiced more he could CC instead of having to OC is just plain ignorance and arrogance, especially when they OC all day and then say that they can CC off-duty (implying that they are somehow better trained or more capable).

    Granted, there was no outward hostility and the event went relatively smooth, but there was a lot of insinuated arrogance and ignorance on the officers parts. And the statement about "we are going to keep responding and pretty soon you will come to hate the police" is just more proof that these guys would rather hassle you than learn the law and enforce it correctly.

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    I am still waiting for my chance to use the most often repeated LEO advice there is:

    "Am I being detained?"

    If no, "Thank you for your service, have a nice day," and walk away.

    If yes, "Under suspicion of what crime are you detaining me?"




    I am glad to hear that they did not disarm you, but I don't think I would let them question me for such a long time.


    Sounds like you are doing good down there in Happy Valley, keep it up!

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    Double tap...


    I was just thinking about the little LEO "loophole" where they can detain (question and disarm) you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit...

    What would you guys do if a cop used this approach?

    It kind of makes me want to carry "UT unloaded" in places where I am more likely to encounter cops (like malls, but I never go to the mall...), so that I can refuse to provide anything but verbal identification.

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    ScottyT wrote:
    Double tap...


    I was just thinking about the little LEO "loophole" where they can detain (question and disarm) you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit...

    What would you guys do if a cop used this approach?

    It kind of makes me want to carry "UT unloaded" in places where I am more likely to encounter cops (like malls, but I never go to the mall...), so that I can refuse to provide anything but verbal identification.
    If like the OP, you have a permit, then they can't detain you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit.

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    Decoligny wrote:
    If like the OP, you have a permit, then they can't detain you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit.
    Yeah, but you still have to show it to them, which means them stopping you and you having to present your permit. I would prefer it if these situations could be handled in a matter of seconds.

    I want to be polite and civil at all times, but they should know by know, especially in the case of the OP. I think we really need to convey that these stops constitute harassment and they must stop.

    I just get the feeling that some LEOs are waiting to find someone OCing that can't recite the law as well as most of us can so they can intimidate him into stopping.

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    Strict Constructionist wrote:
    Yesterday evening I went to Provo Towne Center with a couple of friends. The 15 year old exchange student from Germany needed some new shoes so I thought I would buy him some. We went to the mall, and started looking for shoes in Famous Footwear. While we were there, I noticed that mall security was hovering at the entrance of the store. The security guard, (unarmed as per mall policy for their security personnel) was on his cell phone and his radio. I knew that I was the reason he was there, as I was OCing with my Glock 19C in my Fobus GL2SH retention paddle holster.

    After about 20 minutes of shopping, we went and spoke with an acquaintance of one of the kids I was with who worked in the mall. The security guard continued to follow us. After we went to a cell phone shop, the police finally arrived. It had been nearly 45 minutes since the security guard started following me.

    The officer entered the store and asked me to come over and talk to him. He also asked me to keep my hand away from my gun. I complied, asked him how his evening was and shook his hand. He asked me what the deal was with my gun. I was a little unsure as to what I should say, since in my mind there was no deal, I was simply carrying openly, in accordance with law. I informed him that I was a CFP holder, and he asked me why my weapon wasn’t concealed. I replied that it was not concealed because it was not required to be concealed. I mentioned common law theory that if something is not prohibited by statute, it is allowed. I also mentioned that since the Supreme Court has not yet ruled that the right has to be tied to militia service (which I doubt they will) I am allowed to carry a firearm openly.

    The officer asked if my gun was loaded, to which I replied, “Statutorily, yes.” I just wanted to make sure there was no confusion in terms. A second officer arrived about this time, and began asking questions similar to those of the first. I retrieved my permit and ID for the officers, and they began looking into things. One of them asked if I was subject to any protective orders. I informed him that I wasn’t, and that being subject to such an order would have prohibited me from having a CFP. He countered that it would not have been the first time. I conceded the point. People could get the permit and then have a protective order taken out against them.

    The officers asked that I accompany them outside, which is understandable. We were inside a store. I can imagine it being unnerving to a store owner to have an OCer, a security guard and two police in their store. We went to the front entrance of the mall and talked on the sidewalk. I was asked why I didn’t conceal my weapon, and I told them that the two reasons were speed of draw in a situation in which I hope to never find myself, and that I want people to get used to the idea that it is ok for civilians to carry guns.

    The officers asked if I was “the guy from the restaurant.” I said that I most likely was, as I had been in a similar conversation with an officer in a restaurant several months ago. Apparently, after that encounter, the police had a briefing on the situation, but neglected to mention that OC is indeed legal.

    The officer told me that with all of the things that have happened lately they ahd to be extra careful. He mentioned Trolley Square as an example. I cut him off and reminded him that Trolley Square has posted signs prohibiting firearms, but Provo Towne Center has no such postings. I told him that if there were such postings I would of course comply, as the mall is within their rights as private property owners to restrict the carry of firearms on their premises. He informed me that they had the right to ask me to leave. I acknowledged this, and pointed out that no such request had ever been made to me.

    The officers eventually verified my permit (important only because I had a round in the chamber). I was informed that I was within the law, but they still suggested that I conceal my weapon and practice drawing from concealment so that I would not need to OC. They also mentioned that they always carry concealed when they are off duty. I was polite and didn’t mention that their preferred method of carry was irrelevant to me. They also mentioned that if I were to continue carrying openly in a public place like the mall, they would continue to receive calls, and that I would very quickly begin to hate the police.

    I thanked the officers for doing their jobs, shook hands with both officers and the security guard.


    I am thinking that the next time this happens, I am going to ask the officers a couple of questions. One is, “given that this is the fourth time we have had an encounter like this, and this will be the fourth time you will conclude that I am perfectly within the law, when should I start considering this to be harassment and a violation of my fourth amendment rights, particulary the prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure?” The other question will be, “would it be possible to set up a seminar with the police force so that I can come explain the firearms laws in Utah to the entire group all at once? It would save me a lot of time over doing this individually with every officer.”

    Anyway, I just thought you all might enjoy reading this little story about my trip to the mall last night.
    Wow, remember...this was our first OC Meet Mall. We had an OC Meet at the Red Robin with about 10 people or so OCing. SGTJensen and I walked the mall prior to it, matter offact his little girl went for one of those rides upstairs. Wealso spoke with a security officer (he was an off-duty LEO), he just asked us how many we were gonna be for the dinner

    I walked the mall after the Meet OCing by myself.

    TJ

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    UTOC-45-44 wrote
    Wow, remember...this was our first OC Meet Mall. We had an OC Meet at the Red Robin with about 10 people or so OCing. SGTJensen and I walked the mall prior to it, matter offact his little girl went for one of those rides upstairs. Wealso spoke with a security officer (he was an off-duty LEO), he just asked us how many we were gonna be for the dinner

    I walked the mall after the Meet OCing by myself.

    TJ
    Yeah, this is about the 30th time I've OC'd at that mall, all of it since trolley square, never a problem. Interestingly, only LEOs and Security seem to have a problem with it. No one else has ever said a word to me.

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    ScottyT wrote:
    I just get the feeling that some LEOs are waiting to find someone OCing that can't recite the law as well as most of us can so they can intimidate him into stopping.
    I agree. That is why I would like to offer my services training the LEOs on the firearms laws. Then they would not have ignorance as an excuse.

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    Strict Constructionist wrote:
    [snip]

    I am thinking that the next time this happens, I am going to ask the officers a couple of questions. One is, “given that this is the fourth time we have had an encounter like this, and this will be the fourth time you will conclude that I am perfectly within the law, when should I start considering this to be harassment and a violation of my fourth amendment rights, particulary the prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure?” The other question will be, “would it be possible to set up a seminar with the police force so that I can come explain the firearms laws in Utah to the entire group all at once? It would save me a lot of time over doing this individually with every officer.”

    Anyway, I just thought you all might enjoy reading this little story about my trip to the mall last night.
    I would definitely advise them they are bordering on harassment, I would actually consider filing a complaint with the PD over the incident.

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    ScottyT wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    If like the OP, you have a permit, then they can't detain you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit.
    Yeah, but you still have to show it to them, which means them stopping you and you having to present your permit. I would prefer it if these situations could be handled in a matter of seconds.

    I want to be polite and civil at all times, but they should know by know, especially in the case of the OP. I think we really need to convey that these stops constitute harassment and they must stop.

    I just get the feeling that some LEOs are waiting to find someone OCing that can't recite the law as well as most of us can so they can intimidate him into stopping.
    IANAL but I think the rule says that if you are carrying concealed, you have to show the permit... Thoughts?

    I know that one in the chamber is a benefit of the permit, but one in the chamber isn't concealed, and the rule only mentions notification requirements while carrying concealed... Correct me if I'm way off base, or if this has been covered before.

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    ScottyT wrote:
    Double tap...


    I was just thinking about the little LEO "loophole" where they can detain (question and disarm) you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit...

    What would you guys do if a cop used this approach?

    It kind of makes me want to carry "UT unloaded" in places where I am more likely to encounter cops (like malls, but I never go to the mall...), so that I can refuse to provide anything but verbal identification.
    That is like a cop pulling people over for no other reason than suspicion of driving without a license. They would have to articulate the reason they thought the person didn't have a license. I believe it's the same thing, the need to articulate why they believe you are carrying loaded without a permit before the stop would be justified. IMO

    Edit: Sorry about three posts in a row, I got on a roll! :celebrate

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    jaredbelch wrote:
    IANAL but I think the rule says that if you are carrying concealed, you have to show the permit... Thoughts?

    I know that one in the chamber is a benefit of the permit, but one in the chamber isn't concealed, and the rule only mentions notification requirements while carrying concealed... Correct me if I'm way off base, or if this has been covered before.
    I am also not an attorney. Once I had informed the officer that the weadpon was statutorily loaded, he had a legitimate interest in seing the permit. Had my answer been no, then he would have to have a reasonable and articulable suspicion that I was lying. Given that my glock 19 was the Gen 3, which had the less visible chamber indicator, he would have to feel the side of my gun to have a reasonable and articulable suspicion.

    Either way, the general sense I get is that the officers don't know the law, and subscribe to the creedo of only cops should be seen carrying openly. This is what is offensive to me, as this is the attitude that leads to the idea that only "trained professionals" should carry weapons. We all know how well certain professionals, (an infamous DEA agent or the police chief in riverdale....) handle their weapons.

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    jaredbelch wrote:
    ScottyT wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    If like the OP, you have a permit, then they can't detain you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit.
    Yeah, but you still have to show it to them, which means them stopping you and you having to present your permit. I would prefer it if these situations could be handled in a matter of seconds.

    I want to be polite and civil at all times, but they should know by know, especially in the case of the OP. I think we really need to convey that these stops constitute harassment and they must stop.

    I just get the feeling that some LEOs are waiting to find someone OCing that can't recite the law as well as most of us can so they can intimidate him into stopping.
    IANAL but I think the rule says that if you are carrying concealed, you have to show the permit... Thoughts?

    I know that one in the chamber is a benefit of the permit, but one in the chamber isn't concealed, and the rule only mentions notification requirements while carrying concealed... Correct me if I'm way off base, or if this has been covered before.
    ScottyT wrote:
    Double tap...


    I was just thinking about the little LEO "loophole" where they can detain (question and disarm) you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit...

    What would you guys do if a cop used this approach?

    It kind of makes me want to carry "UT unloaded" in places where I am more likely to encounter cops (like malls, but I never go to the mall...), so that I can refuse to provide anything but verbal identification.
    Back to the original concern, the cop could momentarily detain you by asking "Do you have a CHP?" If you answer yes, and show him the CHP, then the legal detainment would be over quickly without disarming, as showing the CHP would eliminate the reasonable articulable suspicion that you were commiting the crime of carrying a fully loaded (one in the pipe) firearm without a CHP. If the same cop, on the next day stopped you for the same RAS, then I would consider it harrassment.

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    Decoligny wrote:
    jaredbelch wrote:
    ScottyT wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    If like the OP, you have a permit, then they can't detain you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit.
    Yeah, but you still have to show it to them, which means them stopping you and you having to present your permit. I would prefer it if these situations could be handled in a matter of seconds.

    I want to be polite and civil at all times, but they should know by know, especially in the case of the OP. I think we really need to convey that these stops constitute harassment and they must stop.

    I just get the feeling that some LEOs are waiting to find someone OCing that can't recite the law as well as most of us can so they can intimidate him into stopping.
    IANAL but I think the rule says that if you are carrying concealed, you have to show the permit... Thoughts?

    I know that one in the chamber is a benefit of the permit, but one in the chamber isn't concealed, and the rule only mentions notification requirements while carrying concealed... Correct me if I'm way off base, or if this has been covered before.
    ScottyT wrote:
    Double tap...


    I was just thinking about the little LEO "loophole" where they can detain (question and disarm) you for suspicion of carrying loaded without a permit...

    What would you guys do if a cop used this approach?

    It kind of makes me want to carry "UT unloaded" in places where I am more likely to encounter cops (like malls, but I never go to the mall...), so that I can refuse to provide anything but verbal identification.
    Back to the original concern, the cop could momentarily detain you by asking "Do you have a CHP?" If you answer yes, and show him the CHP, then the legal detainment would be over quickly without disarming, as showing the CHP would eliminate the reasonable articulable suspicion that you were commiting the crime of carrying a fully loaded (one in the pipe) firearm without a CHP. If the same cop, on the next day stopped you for the same RAS, then I would consider it harrassment.
    Agree 100%

    TJ

  23. #23
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    Decoligny,

    What do you consider to be momentarily? It took them about 25 minutes to verify my permit. At first they claimed it wasn't in the system. Complete BS, since it had been verified by another officer during a previous encounter (took about 2 minutes.)

  24. #24
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    Decoligny wrote:
    Back to the original concern, the cop could momentarily detain you by asking "Do you have a CHP?" If you answer yes, and show him the CHP, then the legal detainment would be over quickly without disarming, as showing the CHP would eliminate the reasonable articulable suspicion that you were commiting the crime of carrying a fully loaded (one in the pipe) firearm without a CHP. If the same cop, on the next day stopped you for the same RAS, then I would consider it harrassment.
    I guess you could not answer that first question? We don't have to answer him. Maybe just assure him you know the law very well and are carrying in compliance with it? I really like the "pulling you over for suspicion of driving without a license" analogy, I think it fits really well.

  25. #25
    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    jaredbelch wrote:
    IANAL but I think the rule says that if you are carrying concealed, you have to show the permit... Thoughts?

    I know that one in the chamber is a benefit of the permit, but one in the chamber isn't concealed, and the rule only mentions notification requirements while carrying concealed... Correct me if I'm way off base, or if this has been covered before

    R722-300-12. Requirement to Notify Peace Officer When Stopped.


    When a concealed firearm permit holder or certificate of qualification holder is stopped for questioning by a peace officer based on reasonable suspicion in accordance with Section 77-7-15 and the holder has a concealed firearm in his/her possession, the holder shall immediately advise the peace officer that he/she is a lawful holder and has a concealed firearm in his/her possession.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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