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Thread: Open Carry - Displaying Badge

  1. #1
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    I was recently at the Kroger Store in downtown by VCU. While I was there I noticed another person exercising his right to Open Carry. But what caught me off guard, he was wearing a Gold in color Badge on this belt. Of course anyone, and almost me, would auto consider this person to be a Police Officer, or someone in law enforcement. However, the individuals appearance prompted me to get a second look at the bade he was wearing. As I got closer to the person, supermarkets are great place for incidental contact, I saw the wording. The badge read as follows:

    Shape: Very similar to Richmond PD
    Top Band 1: Concealed
    Top Band 2: Weapon
    Center: State of VA Seal
    Bottom Band: Permit

    Pictured at this link (probably many others sites as well)::what:
    http://www.popguns.com/badge/virginia.htm

    So, my question is this, "Is it permissible to where a badge, like this (See link), on your belt, in plain site, while you're in Open Carry mode?

    Gunny


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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Well Gunny,

    1. There is no such thing as a concealed weapon permit in Virginia, so this DS has a meaningless badge. (Virginia has concealed handgun permits.)

    2. There is no need to identify oneself as having a concealed handgun permit when open carrying a handgun.

    3. I think that the wearing of a permit badge is considered a major fashion party foul on this site.

    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Thundar wrote:
    Well Gunny,

    1. There is no such thing as a concealed weapon permit in Virginia, so this DS has a meaningless badge. (Virginia has concealed handgun permits.)

    2. There is no need to identify oneself as having a concealed handgun permit when open carrying a handgun.

    3. I think that the wearing of a permit badge is considered a major fashion party foul on this site.
    Thank You for the quick response. But you didn't, well you kinda did, answere my question, which was:

    "Is it permissible (Meaning Lawful/Legal) to where a badge, like this (See link), on your belt, in plain site, while you're in Open Carry mode?

    Follow up to your 1-3:
    1. Yes, I am aware as I have a "Permit to Carry a Concealed Handgun" for VA.
    2. Agree
    3. Agree

    So the question is still open....

    Gunny



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    Gunny -

    I am not aware of any law in Virginia that expressly forbids these types of badges. However, displaying that badge while carrying is dancing awfully close to that line of impersonating a police officer.

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    That is my exact thought as well! Like I said in my 1st post, if not for his appearance I would have thought he was one!

    Definately not an appropriate action nor a responsible one!

    Gunny

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    The last time I looked into this, I could not find any Virginia statute or AG Opinion specifically forbidding the wearing of "CCW badges". Depending on what else one is doing while wearing such badges, I suppose they could contribute to the crime of impersonating an officer, but IANAL and do not feel qualified to speak to that.

    Though it isn't really part of the question, I will point out that most opinion, and especially LEO opinion, is negative on "CCW badges". See, for example, here. Here is a post regarding Virginia. These two links are just examples, and not necessarily legal advice nor a comprehensive review.

    There was (is?) a recent thread regarding "CCW Badges" over in the Open Carry Questions section of the forum. Here is an old thread from THR on the same subject. Google around, you'll find others.

    Permissible? I believe it is (though IANAL, etc., etc., and according to the Virginia link above there seem to be some restrictions on the use of the Commonwealth seal).

    Good idea? Maybe not so much.

    regards,

    GR

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    The problem with this is that it borders on the adolescent.

    If THAT'S your mindset, then you are not representig the 'community' very well.

    Also, if you're O/Cing, then folks can see your gun, no need for a 'badge,' too.

    If you're CCing, then why in the heck are you drawing attention to yourself.

    What you think you are:





    What others see:



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    I believe it is legal, but is on the line of impersonation. If the individual was to do something that people would view as a law enforcement act, such as holding someone at gun-point, he could possibly be charged with impersonation. It depends on the situation and how the LEO's felt at the time. I would not suggest wearing any kind of badge (CCW, FD, security) unless you are a LEO.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    It's legal absent anything else that would identify him as a police officer.

    Some people buy them as a security blanket. They just don't get as many "Are you LEO" questions from the unwashed masses.

    The second type wants to play dress up. It's like the people that wear leg holsters to go shopping.

    Both types are harmless and if it makes them feel better, more power to them!:shock:

    As to what LEO's look like.....One Henrico Deputy has been dressing like Superfly for years.

    A Hanover Deputy looks like the Pillsbury Dough boy

    The list is long

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    jt1562000 wrote:
    I believe it is legal, but is on the line of impersonation. If the individual was to do something that people would view as a law enforcement act, such as holding someone at gun-point, he could possibly be charged with impersonation. It depends on the situation and how the LEO's felt at the time. I would not suggest wearing any kind of badge (CCW, FD, security) unless you are a LEO.
    Agree 100%

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    peter nap wrote:
    The list is long
    Look at what they do when they go undercover.

    A friend went undercover as part of a drug investigation for a year or so. When he surfaced we had a great time guffawing at his stereotyping of druggie citizens that he tried to match. "Long haired, maggot infested, dope smoking FM types" doesn't begin to cover it.

    And I think he may have been a bit embarrassed - but he survived. It would be a good thing if I could find him and have him play here. I learned a lot from Stan G. that was once a USN BT.

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    Glock27Bill wrote:
    The problem with this is that it borders on the adolescent.

    If THAT'S your mindset, then you are not representig the 'community' very well.

    Also, if you're O/Cing, then folks can see your gun, no need for a 'badge,' too.

    If you're CCing, then why in the heck are you drawing attention to yourself.

    What you think you are:

    {Snipped}

    What others see:

    {Snipped}
    OMG that was perfect!!!Exactly what most people see.

    I too see no logic in wearing a CC badge while you OC unless you want others to believe you have some "authority" to carry openly.

    Your coolness factor drops so low when you wear that CC badge.

    The police wear it because it is required to be displayed when they exercise their authority. The badge really has no purpose but to quickly identify to someone that "This guy is supposed to be a cop" and we all know how easy it is to get a badge.

    There is no law that prevents you from displaying a badge on your hip.

    It is not viewed as impersonating a police officer unless you actually dress in a uniform to look like one or you do something to obtain something that only an officer would be entitled to. (Access to someplace, information, stopping people)


    § 15.2-1612. Wearing of same or similar uniforms by unauthorized persons.

    Any unauthorized person who wears a uniform identical to or substantially similar to a standard uniform used by an office of sheriff in accordance with § 15.2-1610 with the intent to deceive a casual observer or with the intent to impersonate the office of sheriff, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. For purposes of this section, "substantially similar" means so similar in appearance as to be likely to deceive the casual observer.

    § 18.2-174. Impersonating officer.

    Any person who shall falsely assume or exercise the functions, powers, duties and privileges incident to the office of sheriff, police officer, marshal, or other peace officer, or who shall falsely assume or pretend to be any such officer, shall be deemed guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    LEO: "I too see no logic in wearing a CC badge while you OC unless you want others to believe you have some "authority" to carry openly. "


    On the money, LEO. Dumb idea.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Where do rent-a-cop's fall in this? Building I worked at this summer had a "head of security" guy who wore a "Security" badge 100% of the time. His people had uniforms that look like a cop to a "casual" observer (or a security guard...depends on how casually you observe )

    His badge always made me laugh. Just made me think that I should get a badge that says "Citizen" real big on it...

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Glock27Bill wrote:
    {Snipped}
    There is no law that prevents you from displaying a badge on your hip.

    It is not viewed as impersonating a police officer unless you actually dress in a uniform to look like one or you do something to obtain something that only an officer would be entitled to. (Access to someplace, information, stopping people)


    § 15.2-1612. Wearing of same or similar uniforms by unauthorized persons.

    Any unauthorized person who wears a uniform identical to or substantially similar to a standard uniform used by an office of sheriff in accordance with § 15.2-1610 with the intent to deceive a casual observer or with the intent to impersonate the office of sheriff, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. For purposes of this section, "substantially similar" means so similar in appearance as to be likely to deceive the casual observer.

    § 18.2-174. Impersonating officer.

    Any person who shall falsely assume or exercise the functions, powers, duties and privileges incident to the office of sheriff, police officer, marshal, or other peace officer, or who shall falsely assume or pretend to be any such officer, shall be deemed guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    OK this may be off topic but Leo I have a question concerning something close to this.

    This has been posted before about Lynnhaven Mall and no weapons allowed, but, on the weekends they have VBPD officers that are hired as security. They are off duty officers. Since they are employed as security, and they are not in the official capacity as a law enforcement officer how is it possible thet they may wear their uniforms and act as authorityfor the city?

    I know about the 24/7 arresting powers , bit IMHO if they are employed as a security guard for that period of time, and accepting monies from another employer, other than the city, then why shoud they be given special treatment (for lack of a better word) than a normal citizen like myself.

    I'm not trying to bash cops, and I dont want anybody else to bash cops over this but i am curious.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    It is self defeating to the idea of open carry to have a tin badge. We are trying to assert our right as normal thing for a citizen to do, pretending to be an authority figure so you can exercise your rights is just pathetic.

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    ccloud43 wrote:
    OK this may be off topic but Leo I have a question concerning something close to this.

    This has been posted before about Lynnhaven Mall and no weapons allowed, but, on the weekends they have VBPD officers that are hired as security. They are off duty officers. Since they are employed as security, and they are not in the official capacity as a law enforcement officer how is it possible thet they may wear their uniforms and act as authorityfor the city?

    I know about the 24/7 arresting powers , bit IMHO if they are employed as a security guard for that period of time, and accepting monies from another employer, other than the city, then why shoud they be given special treatment (for lack of a better word) than a normal citizen like myself.

    I'm not trying to bash cops, and I dont want anybody else to bash cops over this but i am curious.
    Kinda OT but still deals in badges....

    Many departments have contracts with outside companies that hire officers to work for them as security guards. As long as certain criteria is met the officers are allowed to work the assignment.

    The outside company pays to salary just like any other employee. The officers are allowed to wear their uniform while on the assignment.

    It may seem strange that this is allowed but this is the philosophy behind it.

    He is in uniform and this means there is another visible officer out in public that would normally not be. He can respond to any call in the area even if it is off his job site. So what you have is many additional officers out in the public that would not be and at no cost to the town, city, or county!!

    This is a huge plus to the citizens that live in the area.



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    longwatch wrote:
    It is self defeating to the idea of open carry to have a tin badge. We are trying to assert our right as normal thing for a citizen to do, pretending to be an authority figure so you can exercise your rights is just pathetic.
    Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges.



    Sorry. Couldn't resist.

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    not be and at no cost to the town, city, or county!!

    This is a huge plus to the citizens that live in the area.

    The plus is debatable ....but a subject for another time

    There is another benefit to the officer.

    In Virginia assaulting a police officer is a felony. However, the assailant has to have some idea the man is a Police officer to be a felony. The uniform saves a lot of fighting.

    Assaulting a Security Guard is a misdemeanor and therefore happens a lot more often.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    doug23838 wrote:
    longwatch wrote:
    It is self defeating to the idea of open carry to have a tin badge. We are trying to assert our right as normal thing for a citizen to do, pretending to be an authority figure so you can exercise your rights is just pathetic.
    Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges.



    Sorry. Couldn't resist.
    :P Someone had to say it sooner or later

  21. #21
    ccloud43
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    ccloud43 wrote:
    OK this may be off topic but Leo I have a question concerning something close to this.

    This has been posted before about Lynnhaven Mall and no weapons allowed, but, on the weekends they have VBPD officers that are hired as security. They are off duty officers. Since they are employed as security, and they are not in the official capacity as a law enforcement officer how is it possible thet they may wear their uniforms and act as authorityfor the city?

    I know about the 24/7 arresting powers , bit IMHO if they are employed as a security guard for that period of time, and accepting monies from another employer, other than the city, then why shoud they be given special treatment (for lack of a better word) than a normal citizen like myself.

    I'm not trying to bash cops, and I dont want anybody else to bash cops over this but i am curious.
    Kinda OT but still deals in badges....

    Many departments have contracts with outside companies that hire officers to work for them as security guards. As long as certain criteria is met the officers are allowed to work the assignment.

    The outside company pays to salary just like any other employee. The officers are allowed to wear their uniform while on the assignment.

    It may seem strange that this is allowed but this is the philosophy behind it.

    He is in uniform and this means there is another visible officer out in public that would normally not be. He can respond to any call in the area even if it is off his job site. So what you have is many additional officers out in the public that would not be and at no cost to the town, city, or county!!

    This is a huge plus to the citizens that live in the area.

    Thank you for your answer, i still dont agree but i thank you anyway. I guess I will take this up with city councel, not that it will get me anywhere.

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    peter nap wrote:
    doug23838 wrote:

    Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges.



    Sorry. Couldn't resist.
    :P Someone had to say it sooner or later

  23. #23
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    jt1562000 wrote:
    I believe it is legal, but is on the line of impersonation. If the individual was to do something that people would view as a law enforcement act, such as holding someone at gun-point, he could possibly be charged with impersonation. It depends on the situation and how the LEO's felt at the time. I would not suggest wearing any kind of badge (CCW, FD, security) unless you are a LEO.
    A lot of private security agencies have badges. It makes people "feel safe" and makes you look official to clients. I can't tell you how many people have looked at my MD security license and said, "Is this real?". Not a badge, mind you, the actual plastic license card the Maryland State Police prints for you.

    However, in VA they're very strict about this kinda stuff (Possible LEO impersonation). The following isn't criminal, just violation of a Virginia Administrative Code, which will likely result in revocation of your private security license.

    In regards to the security agency:
    6 VAC 20-171-230. Business standards of conduct.
    A licenssee shall:
    ...
    19. Not use or display the state seal of Virginia or the seal of the Department of Criminal Justice Services, or any portion thereof, or the seal of any political subdivision, or any portion thereof, as a part of any logo, stationary, letter, training document, business card, badge, patch, insignia or other form of identification or advertisement.

    In regards to the individual themself:
    6 VAC 20-171-320. Registered personnel standards of conduct
    A registered individual shall:
    ...
    14. Engage in no conduct which through word, deed, or appearance suggests that a registrant is a law-enforcement officer, or other government official.
    ...
    17. If a uniform is required, wear the uniform required by his employer. If wearing a uniform while employed as an armed security officer, unarmed security officer, alarm respondent or armored car personnel, that uniform must:

    a. Include at least one insignia clearly identifying the name of the licensed firm employing the individual and, except armored car personnel, a name plate or tape bearing, as a minimum, the individual's last name attached on the outermost garment, except rainwear worn only to protect from inclement weather; and

    b. Include no patch or other writing (i) containing the word "police" or any other word suggesting a law-enforcement officer; (ii) containing the word "officer" unless used in conjunction with the word "security"; or (iii) resembling any uniform patch or insignia of any duly constituted law-enforcement agency of this Commonwealth, its political subdivisions or of the federal government. This restriction shall not apply to individuals who are also duly sworn special police officers, to the extent that they may display words that accurately represent that distinction.



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    Cross-post from the other thread:

    I’m driving a 2000 Police Interceptor that still looks very much like a police car. When I’m driving it I have to be very careful not to do anything that actively makes it look like I’m trying to impersonate the police. I cannot stop and help someone on the side of the road. If I’m driving behind someone I cannot flash my lights to pass. In fact, if I’m driving behind someone and my lights are off I don’t turn them on, or on I don’t turn them off.

    You have to be VERY careful if you’re silly enough to wear a badge, especially with a gun openly carried on your belt. You need to weigh every word you say to anyone with consideration to whether they might think you’re a police officer. Is someone letting you go ahead of them in the check-out line at the market because they’re being nice or because they think you’re a cop? If you tell the cashier at the 7-11 you think he’s overcharged you for a hotdog, does he agree because you were right or because he thinks you’re a cop? If anyone who was fooled by your badge sees you get into a car that’s not a police car and calls the cops, you can be arrested. The cops don’t mess around when it comes to police impersonation, and neither will a judge.


    The badge has no authority and serves absolutely no lawful purpose.
    [/quote][/quote]

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    Mainsail wrote:
    Snipped.... The badge has no authority and serves absolutely no lawful purpose.
    [/quote][/quote]
    [/quote]So true....

    You could have bought a real nice accessory for your gun with the money spent on the badge.

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