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Thread: LEO ignorance

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    i went into a convenient store at around 1 a.m.after getting off of work from my second job. i was open carrying my 1911 commanderas i do every night. there were 3 police officers sitting at a booth in the store talking as i came in. i thought nothing of it and proceded to the opposite end of the store to get a 6 pack for when i got home. i got to the cooler, got my beverages out and as i was turning around there were 3 officers with their hands on their weapons, forcefully asking me if i had a permit for my firearm. i informed them that i did indeed have a permit and that i would be a fool to carry a gun into a store with them there if i did not. one of them asked to see my permit which i graciously handed over. he studied it for a moment and then proceeded to tell me that he was pretty sure the permit was for concealed carry only. i informed him that he was incorrect and that if that were the case it would say concealed carryinstead ofhandgun carryon the permit. next he told me that i wasnt permitted to buy alcohol while carrying my firearm. again, i informed him that he was incorrect and that i could buy all that i wanted i just couldnt consume it while carrying. of course he thought that he was right and had one of the other officers call the department to get conformation on the laws. after about 5 minutes of him telling me how i was wrong and running my license and writing down my name and address the other officer came back and said that the system was down and they couldnt check the law. the officer still insisted that i couldnt buy alcohol while carrying informed me that he thought the best thing to do was for me to go put my gun in my CONVERTABLE car and come back in and buy my beer. i was totally against this, but being tired, and annoyed i did as he wished and went to my car, unloaded my gun, locked it in the glove box, put the magazine in my pocket, and went back in and bought my beer. i personally find it hard tofathom that LAW INFORCEMENT OFFICERS dont know the laws that they are supposed to inforce. sorry for the novel, but i had to vent. has anyone else been hassled like this? thanks for taking the time to read this. ian

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    I would have poitely asked for his name and his supervisors name, and then followed up later to make damn sure he and his buddies got educated as to what the law says.

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    dubaholic2 wrote:
    Ipersonally find it hard tofathom that LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS dont know the laws that they are supposed to enforce. sorry for the novel, but i had to vent. has anyone else been hassled like this? thanks for taking the time to read this. ian
    Corrected some spelling for you; it's "enforce", not "inforce".

    Back on topic, there are MANY such stories here. You were lucky not to be handcuffed; a few of our members here have been "felony stopped" ("place your hands behind your head and interlock your fingers")forjust walking down the streetOCing. Doesn't mean the questioning of your rights is any less wrong, or that it shouldn't get the attention it deserves.

    I agree with Crotalus; if and when this happens again, ask for their cards (everyLEO in the U.S. is required to have a supply of business cards with the officer's name, department and badge number) and their supervisor's name and badge number. They MUST provide this information according to virtually all State laws and departmental policies. If they will not, dial 911 and tell them you are being detained by officers that refuse to identify themselves and would like a supervisor on scene to sort it out. THAT will get their attention.

    Once you've got the cards and the supervisor's name, call the supervisor the next day (if he didn't have to come down in person) and express your extreme displeasure with the way his officers handled the situation. Suggest that a training bulletin or meeting may be necessary to ensure that future deprivations of rights due to lack of expertise by the officers are avoided, and as this would be their second strike, state that if it happens again you will be filing official complaints all the way up the chain of command. In truth, if this were to happen to you three times it's harassment under color of law and you should be pursuing a civil suit, but that makes you come off as a litigious person, and most if not all calls to or from police officers are recorded which may work against you in such a suit.

    MAKE A STINK;in cases like these, officers usethe color of law to intimidate, in hopes that you'll roll over and do what they want. it's not entirely their fault; they are in facttrained to be authoritative because if they start second-guessing themselves they look incompetent or weak, and that can kill. However, you only have tosubmit toabuses of color of lawif you don't know any better or don't care. THEY DO NOT MAKE THE RULES.

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    I agree with the above. You should contact the administration regarding this incident. While verifying your permit was valid, they were incorrect about the laws.

    1. Open carry is lawful. The word "concealed" does not appear in T.C.A. 39-17-1351. Also, the legality of open carry was clarified in AG Opinion 05-154 which can be accssed via this site. These officers may be ignorant of the law, or they are getting their dept. policy confused with state law. (I do know of at least 1 dept. which requires its officers to conceal their weapons if they are not in uniform.)

    2. Regarding the alcohol, it is unlawful to carry a firearm into establishments which sell alcohol for on-site consumption. See 39-17-1305. (Obviously, this statute would not apply to a convenience store.) Prior to 2001, the state did not distinguish between on-site and off-site consumption. Perhaps these officers need to be reminded of this change. :quirky

    I hope it works out for you,

    ProguninTN.


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    What department was this? I'll fax them copies of the relevant info myself.

    Progun beat me to the info I was going to post (been a long day), but appears his links aren't working so here they are again.

    TN AG Opinion 05-154

    T.C.A. 39-17-1305

    The LEOs may not like you buying alcohol while armed, but no law against it and that can't make you disarm to do so. But I do understand why you did.

    Also I used to tell people to print AG OP 05-154 to keep with them, but thought by now most LEOs where aware that it was legal, but I guess not.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    the leo's were with blount county. i knew i was well within my rights, but i didnt want a controversy in the middle of a convenient store at 1 a.m.

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    As I said, I understand why you didn't argue at the time.

    I am out of town and won't be back home till Tuesday evening, but if nobody post they have before then, I'm going to fax a copy of the law and AG opinion I posted to them.

    Blount County Sheriff Fax # (865) 273-5134

    http://www.bcso.com/
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Here is the letter I just faxed to the Blount County Sheriff's Departmet.
    Sheriff Berrong,

    Apparently there was a situation approximately a week ago around 1:00 am at convenience store in your jurisdiction. It is my understanding there were some questions about the legality of HCP (Handgun Carry Permit) holders openly carrying their handgun and also about purchasing alcohol while armed.

    T.C.A. 39-17-1351(n)(1) says…
    “Except as provided in subdivision (n)(2), a permit issued pursuant to this section shall be good for four (4) years and shall entitle the permit holder to carry any handgun or handguns that the permit holder legally owns or possesses. The permit holder shall have the permit in the holder's immediate possession at all times when carrying a handgun and shall display the permit on demand of a law enforcement officer.”

    Nothing in this language requires the handgun to be concealed. Also see Tennessee Attorney General Opinion 05-154, which says it is legal for HCP holders to openly carry their handgun.

    Under Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 of the T.C.A. there are two statutes that deal with alcohol and firearms.

    T.C.A. 39-17-1305 says….
    (a) It is an offense for a person to possess a firearm within the confines of a building open to the public where liquor, wine or other alcoholic beverages, as defined in § 57-3-101(a)(1)(A), or beer, as defined in § 57-6-102(1), are served for on premises consumption.”

    T.C.A. 39-17-1321 says….
    (a) Notwithstanding whether a person has a permit issued pursuant to § 39-17-1315 or § 39-17-1351, it is an offense for a person to possess a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.”

    Neither of which prohibit the purchase of package alcohol from a convenience store while armed.It was my understanding the deputies where unable to verify any of this information at the time because the computer system was down, I hope these references help.
    I also sent a copy of Ag Opinion 05-154 http://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/op/2005/OP/OP154.pdf

    Don't know if I'll hear anything back or not, but they should have the information the need now.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    dubaholic2 wrote:
    SNIP but i had to vent. has anyone else been hassled like this? thanks for taking the time to read this. ian
    I hate to complain; but this isn't really a personal therapy forum.

    It looks like the OP has made two comments; but neither of them seem to be in the direction of actually doing anything about it. Or even asking advice on what he could do.

    His posts were several days apart. A sort of, "Here's my bellyache." Then days later, "Oh, I guess I'll check in to see if anybody..."

    The only action seems to be from other members. <criticism off>



    Dubaholic,

    You can do something about it. The best protector of your rights is you. Take the actions of others here as advices on things you could try as possible corrections on the police. Follow up on what they've done and see it through to completion.
    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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    look buddy, i dont know about you, but i cant spend every waking moment on the computer. i have 2 jobs to work and im lucky if i get to get online 2 or 3 times a week. so dont start criticizing me be cause i didnt respond to my post the second someone else replied. also, this forum is for the discussion of open carry and i do believe i started a discussion! i have also mailed a letter to the blount county police department advising them of the situation and suggesting that theyreview the hcp laws with their officers.so get off my back and unless you have something positive to add, please dont chime in on my posts. ian

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    dubaholic2 wrote:
    SNIP i have also mailed a letter to the blount county police department advising them of the situation and suggesting that theyreview the hcp laws with their officers.
    Well done!

    Let us know what response you get.
    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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    It's important to document that this information was sent to the sheriff. Anyone who has faxed this info or mailed a letter should retain some proof of the correspondence.

    In the future, if the sheriff's department hassles any other citizens in the same way, proving he had actual knowledge of the law (as opposed to merely constructive knowledge) can make him personally liable for civil rights violations (as opposed to only "official" liability by the department).

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    Liko81--There is no uniform requirement that all officers in all states carry and giveout business cards on request.

    Here in Louisiana you would likely get nasty stares by requesting such.I was a reserve for 16 years and with two diff depts and never carried business cards or anything resembling them.We would of course give our name and rank,supervisors name and rank and departmental phone numbers relative to the complaint but we did not and still don't have badge numbers per se.

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