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Thread: why don't the police understand gun laws ?

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    I recently started carrying my firearm openly on the encouragement of a friend that open carrys 100% of the time. I recently moved here and have met more than a few local cops that are clueless on gun laws. I don't have a permit to concealbut have signed up for the class. During the last few months I have been approached by the police and found that the either really don't know the law on open carry or are just trying to convince people that it's illegal.

    Anyway maybe it's just because I'm on the road 12-14 hours per day and eat 100% of my meals in restaurants (while open carrying, if no ABC licence to serve) but I seem to attract a lot of attention from the cops here in NC over open carry.Is open carry a hassle in North Carolina ? I can't imagine concealing comfortably when it's95 degrees outside. This winter I willprobably concealmore often butI looked at a few options for bellybands etc. for summer carry and prefer my uncle mike's holster.

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    I open carry most of the time, and I get very little harassment from LEO, maybe it is just luck of the draw. What area are you in when you usually get confronted?

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    no carry permit ? wrote:
    During the last few months I have been approached by the police and found that the either really don't know the law on open carry or are just trying to convince people that it's illegal.
    We've learned its not so much a matter of not understanding the gun laws, its a matter of LEOs being willing to act without knowing for certain that there is a law against it.

    This is otherwise known as exceeding their authority.
    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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    You would think one of the most common tools that attract the attention of Law Enforcement, would be in-depth, heavily covered in the Basic Law Enforcement Training class required of all cadets seeking Criminal Justice & Training Standards certification in the state of North Carolina. However, it isnt.
    Subsisto tutus. Subsisto secundus emendatio.

    Tyrants come in all shapes and sizes, as do those who do their bidding. Anyone who tells you that the threat of tyranny is long over, is either a fool, an enemy, or BOTH.

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    Cops get at best a few hundred hours of training in the law. The laws of most states go to tens of thousands of pages. Even experienced lawyers and judges don't agree on what the laws are. How do you expect some poor cop to understand them all?

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    re: volumes of laws on the books

    a good friend of mine is in the Charlotte PD academy right now and will attest to this.



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    ilbob wrote:
    SNIP How do you expect some poor cop to understand them all?
    I don't expect some, or any, poor cop to understand them all.

    I do expect that absent exigent circumstances of genuinedanger the poor cop look up the law and confirm that a violation is occurring before he takes action.
    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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    Please correct me if I have my terminology wrong, but I believe it's due to the fact that it's "common law" and not a statute.

    Basically, since it's not explicitly defined in a specific statute, they don't know what to think. If I were in an LEO's shoes, I would do the same thing -- but I'd probably call (most of them have issued cell phones, Nextel in my area) a higher ranking, more experienced officer and ask -- if not just call a magistrate.

    Usually what seems to happen if you're arrested, you will stand before the magistrate and he will personally scrutinize the arresting officer's actions.

    Though You should stand up for yourself, keep it respectful and professional. If they insist on arresting you, that's fine and dandy -- just go with it. But resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer will get you in **** so deep you'll need a boat to get yourself out.

    Police Officers are not required to know all of the laws, they know about as much as a well educated citizen. The magistrate--on the other hand--will know. Just be considerate, these guys put on a badge and gun every morning to do what they can to help society and don't ask for the hero tag when they sometimes deserve it.

    If it bothers you that much, you can always sue the city or county.

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    From a retired LEO, I'd have to say that since most laws are written in the context of "thou shalt not" it's easy to understand those laws and act accordingly - basically if the guy is doing what the law prohibits, it's a violation. However, with open carry, the officer must read between the lines so to speak to unravel what a person CAN DO. Furthermore, LEO's have many laws to remember and their elements must be met for a specific crime to be commited. While on a "call" to respond to something the officer simply is not afforded the luxury of time in order to comb through law books to determine if a crime has been commited and their elements have been met.

    Data-overload.

    A simple example is: What are the elements of Manslaughter versus the elements of Negligent Homicide.

    "Elements" in this context means, what conditions must be met for these crimes to have been commited.



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    Black Wolf wrote:
    From a retired LEO, I'd have to say that since most laws are written in the context of "thou shalt not" it's easy to understand those laws and act accordingly - basically if the guy is doing what the law prohibits, it's a violation. However, with open carry, the officer must read between the lines so to speak to unravel what a person CAN DO. Furthermore, LEO's have many laws to remember and their elements must be met for a specific crime to be commited. While on a "call" to respond to something the officer simply is not afforded the luxury of time in order to comb through law books to determine if a crime has been commited and their elements have been met.

    Data-overload.

    A simple example is: What are the elements of Manslaughter versus the elements of Negligent Homicide.

    "Elements" in this context means, what conditions must be met for these crimes to have been commited.
    I appreciate your experience Black Wolf. I must respectfully disagree.

    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law.

    Terry vs Ohio quoting Union Pacific R. Co. vs Botsford.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/htm...2_0001_ZO.html



    I've contended for a while now that the problem is not one of police not knowing the law. It is a problem of police being willing to act without knowing the law. "Clear and unquestionable" authority of law it says.
    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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    no carry permit ? wrote:
    .....During the last few months I have been approached by the police and found that the either really don't know the law on open carry...
    Ya bro: thats how it is out here in Utah too. Its actually a 'Hot Topic' right now in our forums. basically, i have resigned myself in the fact that the LEO training is just not cutting it. I suggest some sort of continued education for LE types. But hey, I'm preaching to the choir, I'm sure.

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    Citizen wrote:
    Black Wolf wrote:
    From a retired LEO, I'd have to say that since most laws are written in the context of "thou shalt not" it's easy to understand those laws and act accordingly - basically if the guy is doing what the law prohibits, it's a violation. However, with open carry, the officer must read between the lines so to speak to unravel what a person CAN DO. Furthermore, LEO's have many laws to remember and their elements must be met for a specific crime to be commited. While on a "call" to respond to something the officer simply is not afforded the luxury of time in order to comb through law books to determine if a crime has been commited and their elements have been met.

    Data-overload.

    A simple example is: What are the elements of Manslaughter versus the elements of Negligent Homicide.

    "Elements" in this context means, what conditions must be met for these crimes to have been commited.
    I appreciate your experience Black Wolf. I must respectfully disagree.

    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law.

    Terry vs Ohio quoting Union Pacific R. Co. vs Botsford.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/htm...2_0001_ZO.html



    I've contended for a while now that the problem is not one of police not knowing the law. It is a problem of police being willing to act without knowing the law. "Clear and unquestionable" authority of law it says.
    I don't disagree with your quote (Terry vs Ohio). However, I interpret what you wrote as being under the assumption that cops are diversely trained in "common law" - and which they are not. Do you really expect LEO's to be able to know case law like a US Supreme Court Judge? They are trained in criminal law, traffic law, penal code, etc..., but not common law and thus cannot reasonably be expected to enforce a law that is not derived from statutory authority for which they specifically are trained to enforce. Case and/or common law is not derived from statutory authority. Case Law and/or Common Law derives its authority solely from usage and customs of immemorial antiquity or from the judgments and decrees of courts. LEO's are not attorneys or judges and it is not reasonable to assume they are as well trained and diversed in various case laws as attorneys and judges.

    Back to my earlier point - LEO's must interpret the law from the statute - determining if a violation occured based upon the elements needed to fit the crime and the events at immediate time. They usually cannot, nor are afforded, the luxury of having a crew of assistant attorneys at hand to research case / common laws as lawyers do to wash over the thousands of non-statutory court decisions.

    I don't consider LEO's (as a rule of thumb) to be "willingly ignornant" to case / common law; but rather they simply not trained in that area of expertise. Nevertheless, LEO's still must interpret statutory laws from the perspective of - did the elements of the crime occur based upon the statute (...not by case / common law). It sure would be nice if LEO's were as diversely trained as USSC Judges - but s what do you expect for $30k a year.



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    Black Wolf wrote:
    SNIP Do you really expect LEO's to be able to know case law like a US Supreme Court Judge?
    No, sir. Nor even all the statutory law.

    My point is that if they don't know, they darn well better not be taking enforcement action.

    Said another way. If an officer does not know to a dead moral certainty that OC is illegal, as in, "I have read the statute and know that is not legal" he had better not be taking enforcement action until he looks it up and finds out one way or the other what the law actually is.

    My reference to Terry was to highlight how important 4A against seizures of the person really is. "No right is held more sacred." I quoted it to show that I'm not alone in thinking it inappropriate for a police officer to detain an OCer for OC alone where it is legal. Not only did it go against my grain. It went against a lot of other people's grain, too. And has done so for long enough that the Supreme Court could write that no right is held more sacred--not the 2nd, not the 1st, not the 5th. No right is more sacred.

    This wouldn't apply just to OC. It applies to anything an officer may care to stop a person for. It even applies to those idiot locales that try to twist disorderly conduct statutes to apply to OC--clear and unquestionable authority of law.

    Again, its not that police don't know the law. There are lots of laws police don't know. They however have no business whatsoever detaining someone until they know for certain, even if they have to check first, that there is an offense involved.

    Anything else is just making it up as they go along.
    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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    +1

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    Citizen wrote:

    Said another way. If an officer does not know to a dead moral certainty that OC is illegal, as in, "I have read the statute and know that is not legal" he had better not be taking enforcement action until he looks it up and finds out one way or the other what the law actually is.

    My reference to Terry was to highlight how important 4A against seizures of the person really is. " No right is held more sacred." I quoted it to show that I'm not alone in thinking it inappropriate for a police officer to detain an OCer for OC alone where it is legal. Not only did it go against my grain. It went against a lot of other people's grain, too. And has done so for long enough that the Supreme Court could write that no right is held more sacred--not the 2nd, not the 1st, not the 5th. No right is more sacred.

    This wouldn't apply just to OC. It applies to anything an officer may care to stop a person for. It even applies to those idiot locales that try to twist disorderly conduct statutes to apply to OC--clear and unquestionable

    Again, its not that police don't know the law. There are lots of laws police don't know. They however have no business whatsoever detaining someone until they know for certain, even if they have to check first, that there is an offense involved.

    authority of law.
    I agree the officer should not take enforcement action until he checks to make sure that a violation of the law has occured - if he is not certain.

    However, you must expect the officer responding to a 911 call of a "man with gun" to conduct an investigation of the situation and that investigatory stop may require him to speak with you to determine if you are in violation of any law (ie., OCing in a location that may be prohibited by law, carrying an UZI - bla bla bla).

    USSC supports investigatory stops of persons or vehicles based upon reasonable suspicion that crime "may be afoot". UNITED STATES V. ARVIZU (00-1519) 534 U.S. 266 (2002) 232 F.3d 1241, stating: "Because the “balance between the public interest and the individual’s right to personal security,” United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 878, tilts in favor of a standard less than probable cause in brief investigatory stops of persons or vehicles, the Fourth Amendment is satisfied if the officer’s action is supported by reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity “may be afoot,United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 7.

    I personally don't like to have to explain my actions to any LEO if I know I'm legal - particularly if the LEO is some newby with shiney-badge syndrome itching to make an arrest.

    Not sure why this went to bold print :?



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    My concern is this. I amas a private citizen required to know all the laws and statutes. If I break the law and go in front of a judge and say "I didn't know that was illegal." The judge will say"Ignorance is no excuse", but for LEOs it is.

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    Add emphasis after all text has been written.

    Requiring LEO to speak to citizen is the root of the problem and can only hint at mens rea intent properly left to the trier of fact. The LEO must should judge only actions and divine, if he must and at his peril, intent.

    "Am I free to go, officer?"

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    swoolard wrote:
    Please correct me if I have my terminology wrong, but I believe it's due to the fact that it's "common law" and not a statute.

    Basically, since it's not explicitly defined in a specific statute, they don't know what to think. If I were in an LEO's shoes, I would do the same thing -- but I'd probably call (most of them have issued cell phones, Nextel in my area) a higher ranking, more experienced officer and ask -- if not just call a magistrate.

    Usually what seems to happen if you're arrested, you will stand before the magistrate and he will personally scrutinize the arresting officer's actions.

    Though You should stand up for yourself, keep it respectful and professional. If they insist on arresting you, that's fine and dandy -- just go with it. But resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer will get you in @#$% so deep you'll need a boat to get yourself out.

    Police Officers are not required to know all of the laws, they know about as much as a well educated citizen. The magistrate--on the other hand--will know. Just be considerate, these guys put on a badge and gun every morning to do what they can to help society and don't ask for the hero tag when they sometimes deserve it.

    If it bothers you that much, you can always sue the city or county.
    "Common law?" Try your RIGHT. Rights guaranteed come before laws, edicts, and those other types of infringements.

    http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Legislat.../article1.html

    Article 1, Section 30.


    Subsisto tutus. Subsisto secundus emendatio.

    Tyrants come in all shapes and sizes, as do those who do their bidding. Anyone who tells you that the threat of tyranny is long over, is either a fool, an enemy, or BOTH.

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