In Willowick, OH I was walking down the street and was approached from behind by a police cruiser. I was told to put my hands on my head and to get on my knees, for officer safety I would assume. The officer told me that he was stopping me for carrying a weapon. He stated that a local resident called them to say that I was carrying a firearm. Within a few seconds there were 4 other officers on the scene each with their own vehicle. 1 vehicle was unmarked but it was driven by a uniformed officer. I explained to them that I was not doing anything illegal. The sergeant that showed up stated that I was doing something illegal and that I was infact inducing a panic. I have heard before that this is what officers would say about an openly carried weapon in public. I explained to them that this right is guaranteed to me by the Constitution of the United States of America and that the state of Ohio has even greater protections for the right to bear arms and that I am not here to cause a problem. I was just going to get lunch, and would like to do so in peace. They were notified that I have an CCW permit in the state of Ohio. He told me that I have the permit and that I have to carry concealed. One of the officers said, "what do you think people are going to think when they see you carrying that gun on your hip down the street? With all of the things that have been happening in the media. You know how people are." I stated that he was carrying a gun and that didn't seem to alarm people and that most people who encounter me are very friendly and ask questions about OC'ing. To which he responded that he has a badge and a uniform. The conversation ended with basically I am not allowed to OC in Willowick. The sergeant stated that he was not a gun grabber, but that this was just not acceptable to be OC'ing around here.
I have to hand it to most of the officers for being kind of friendly. The sergeant that I was dealing with was the one driving the situation and was very stern throughout the confrontation. I was not disarmed and was carrying two pistols (Sig P229 OC, Glock 27 CC undershirt). I really respect them for not disarming me.
On a lighter note:
One of the officers told me I would be better off carrying another mag for the Sig instead of the Glock, but I was carrying another mag for the Sig already. He got a laugh out of it as did I. Another officer said that I was more well armed than any of them..and another chimed in "not quite". I didn't see what he was carrying because he was behind me, but I'll take his word for it.
I have the confrontation recorded and converted to mp3. The recording ended at 9:59 seconds, but there was not much of interest after that. The officer basically made me aware that I was not to OC anymore because I would be charged with inducing a panic. I know I did not cover the entire conversation in this post there was a good amount more to it, but I just wanted to get this out there.
I really have to say that I am more than a little intimidated to OC around here anymore. I do have my CCW, but I like to open carry for the comfort (no IWB) and I enjoy educating the lay person of their rights. I don't want to be a test case. Any thoughts, Ideas?