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Thread: Email to Tri-Met to clarify their policy

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    An email I just sent to Tri-Met to clarify their open carry policy. I'll post any replies I receive.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Question about carrying a pistol on Tri-Met

    Dear Tri-Met,

    I hold an Oregon Concealed Handgun License, which means I have the right to openly carry a handgun in any city or county in Oregon, including public places, and including public transportation.

    I recently came across your policy banning weapons on Tri-Met, which contains this exception:
    "Where
    possession of such weapons cannot be prohibited by law, a person in possession of a weapon
    may not display or carry the weapon in a manner which is likely to result in fear or alarm by
    other persons or District employees."

    Clearly I cannot legally be prohibited from openly carrying a pistol, including on public transportation, regardless of how fearful or alarmed it may make other people, so my question is this:

    Is it reasonable to assume carrying a pistol in the same manner one would ordinarily see a police officer doing so, that being stowed in a standard belt holster, to the left or right side, be in compliance with this policy? If not, can you please describe for me an acceptable open carry position that would be in compliance, such that it is not to likely cause fear or alarm?

    Sincerely,

    XXXX XXXXXXX

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    Welcome to the boards. That was a good message that you sent.

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    Nice.

    I eagerly await the reply.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    I already fought this battle with TriMet before. Their perspective was that this prohibited quick draw displays, not general open carry. One of their associate counsel said otherwise, but he was overruled by Brian Playfair (legal counsel for TriMet) when I pointed out to them that such regulations banning open carry would result in an immediate lawsuit if it was enforced. They kept the regs, though, saying that since no one was banned from their property for open carry at all, there's no concern.

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    Lonnie Wilson wrote:
    I already fought this battle with TriMet before. Their perspective was that this prohibited quick draw displays, not general open carry. One of their associate counsel said otherwise, but he was overruled by Brian Playfair (legal counsel for TriMet) when I pointed out to them that such regulations banning open carry would result in an immediate lawsuit if it was enforced. They kept the regs, though, saying that since no one was banned from their property for open carry at all, there's no concern.
    Do you think there would be a way to get this on something with TriMet letter head incase it was a problem with their transit police?

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    Lonnie Wilson wrote:
    I already fought this battle with TriMet before.* Their perspective was that this prohibited quick draw displays, not general open carry.* One of their associate counsel said otherwise, but he was overruled by Brian Playfair (legal counsel for TriMet) when I pointed out to them that such regulations banning open carry would result in an immediate lawsuit if it was enforced.* They kept the regs, though, saying that since no one was banned from their property for open carry at all, there's no concern.
    battle? i'm just another confused citizen in search of clarification of what seems to be a purposely vague (not to mention plainly illegal) policy.

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    I got the official word. Open carry is not allowed on Tri-Met. Shocking :quirky

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Mr. XXXXXXX,

    In brief if you have a concealed weapons permit then you can legally carry a weapon that is not visible to others and thus would not be displayed in a manner that would cause fear or alarm for others;the weapon must be concealed.


    Carrying a weapon in a holster worn with the gun visible, is not in keeping with the concealed weapons permit and would not be permitted on TriMet (except for officers of the law).


    Please let me know if this does not answer your question fully.


    Regards,


    <Contact Information Withheld>
    TriMet

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    They can certainly keep their policy, but they know that they can't enforce it against open carriers. In fact, the last time Transit Police even thought about doing so (with grishnav and Pssstpok I think his name is spelled), they knew they couldn't charge them with violation of this TriMet provision for their open carry, nor could they exclude them, so they charged them with the oral communication interception statute instead (because they didn't state that they were recording the conversation). If they had stated that they had been recording at the beginning, they would have had absolutely bupkiss and they wouldn't have done a damned thing.

    Btw, Port of Portland recently rescinded their rule against carry in the non-secure areas of airports, so open carry with CHL (PDX is located within Portland and therefor requires CHL) should no longer result in exclusion. What's funny if that they kept huffing and puffing and threatening CHL holders for over a decade and they never actually enforced the rule.

    I will be hammering TriMet again after the Nordyke case decides for incorporation of the 2nd amendment against the states (this is the California case about gun shows, read more here) to get this rule completely removed and allow state law to prevail. After the 2nd amendment is incorporated against the states here in the 9th Circuit (the judges on the case are very strong individual liberty incorporationists), 42USC§1983 will be a very powerful hammer against those that violate civil liberties. I will be causing Mr. Playfair or his successor some heartburn.

    Go figure I post this before the last posting that stated that TriMet is saying concealed only. Machron, please send me an email exactly as forwarded, I will be contacting Mr. Playfair again.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Machron,

    Forward the email to me please. lonnie.wilson @ comcast . net

    machron1 wrote:
    I got the official word. Open carry is not allowed on Tri-Met. Shocking :quirky

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Mr. XXXXXXX,

    In brief if you have a concealed weapons permit then you can legally carry a weapon that is not visible to others and thus would not be displayed in a manner that would cause fear or alarm for others;the weapon must be concealed.


    Carrying a weapon in a holster worn with the gun visible, is not in keeping with the concealed weapons permit and would not be permitted on TriMet (except for officers of the law).


    Please let me know if this does not answer your question fully.


    Regards,


    <Contact Information Withheld>
    TriMet

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    Lonnie Wilson wrote:
    Btw, Port of Portland recently rescinded their rule against carry in the non-secure areas of airports, so open carry with CHL (PDX is located within Portland and therefor requires CHL) should no longer result in exclusion.
    Point of order: OC without a CHL is still legal even in P-town, so long as not only the pistol(s), but also the magazine(s) is/are unloaded.

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    So... you could just CC and wear this:
    http://shop.cafepress.com/design/14409244



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    That or open carry while wearing a Burger King uniform and a plastic badge from the toy store...because uniforms seem to make people feel at ease...because they trust the establishment more than their fellow citizen.

    It's amazing how completely we the people have been brainwashed...

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    I'm new to Oregon and the Portland area. I followed this thread and am a bit confused as to the mention of CHL along with OC. Does this all mean you can openly carry in Portland if you have a CHL? The terminology is throwing me off a bit: concealed => open.

    Thx!

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    tylerdurden wrote:
    I'm new to Oregon and the Portland area. I followed this thread and am a bit confused as to the mention of CHL along with OC. Does this all mean you can openly carry in Portland if you have a CHL? The terminology is throwing me off a bit: concealed => open.

    Thx!
    Oregon is an Open carry state, HOWEVER, state law allows counties, cities and other municipalities to enact ordinances against openly carrying LOADED firearms. CHL holders are exempt from these restrictions by the same law.

    If you wish to carry in Portland and a few other cities, then you must either:
    1) Possess a CHL
    -or-
    2) Ensure that not only is the firearm openly carried and unloaded, but that there are no rounds in your magazine, and the magazine MUST be removed from the firearm.

    I OC in downtown Portland all the time in this un-loaded state and have yet to encounter any issues.

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    open carry while wearing a Burger King uniform and a plastic badge
    That may get you flagged on NICS next time you try to buy a firearm. Some provision about mental health or whatever...

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    Thanks Phssthpok, that clears things up nicely!

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    open carry while wearing a Burger King uniform and a plastic badge from the toy store
    Ding! Fries are done.....(44 seconds of your life you'll never get back)
    http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...ideoID=6172326

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. I'll go back across the border now....


    So what happens if you "print" your weapon while riding Tri-Met? Will they give you the boot as well?


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    M1Gunr wrote:
    open carry while wearing a Burger King uniform and a plastic badge from the toy store
    Ding! Fries are done.....(44 seconds of your life you'll never get back)
    http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...ideoID=6172326

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. I'll go back across the border now....


    So what happens if you "print" your weapon while riding Tri-Met? Will they give you the boot as well?
    That's a good question. I would think printing is fine if you have a CHL since you aren't required to conceal it, but if I'm going to CC I'll make sure I don't print. I don't find it too difficult even with my small frame and using a HK .45 USP Tactical with a 5.11 shoot-me-first vest, so I don't think any one else should have a problem.

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    So, anyone hear anything about tri-met changing or re-clarifying their views on this? seems to me if they have a de facto policy against open carry in general, they should just state that, instead of making people attempt to surmise what is likely to scare people. i'm no lawyer, but as far as i can tell, that would require a sixth sense, and since i have no spidey senses, or clairvoyance of any kind, i would be at a disadvantage in the reading of the thoughts and beliefs of my fellow passengers (not to mention that is probably against the wiretapping laws). it seems they worded it just in an attempt to have their cake, and eat it too. on one hand, if someone asks if they ban open carry in spite of the law, they have plausible deniability because it doesn't say that in their policy. however, if they want to arrest or harass someone while carrying openly, they just say you look alarming, and off you go to the gulag. Also, if they want to disseminate false or misleading information from their security office, they can, and they if someone challenges it, they can just say "oops, my mistake, that's just what i was told." that's the beauty of intentionally vague policy. you can make it mean whatever you want whenever you want, and you always have plausible deniability as to the meaning, since in effect it HAS no specific meaning. I would like to OC on tri-met, but not if they enforce this policy willy nilly, however they see fit, at any given time. like the cops say, "you might beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride."

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    I have learned Metro is a very tough place to figure out. They run the zoo and there are no weapons allowed. It is public but when I called they said if you were made while CC'ing they would either charge you with disorderly conduct and or trespassing. I don't have the money to prove them there wrong.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Ms. [name redacted],

    I was forwarded this email by [name redacted], and I wanted to bring forth your attention to ORS 166.170:

    Oregon Revised Statute 166.170 State preemption.

    (1) Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate in any matter whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.

    (2) Except as expressly authorized by state statute, no county, city or other municipal corporation or district may enact civil or criminal ordinances, including but not limited to zoning ordinances, to regulate, restrict or prohibit the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition. Ordinances that are contrary to this subsection are void. [1995 s.s. c.1 §1]

    As TriMet as a district under state law, your agency has absolutely NO authority in any way to regulate firearms. Open carry is unregulated by state law per ORS166.250(3):

    (3) Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed within the meaning of this section.

    The only regulation of open carry of firearms are that is allowed by state law is the banning of loaded firearms in public places by cities and counties. Districts are not given this authority.

    166.173 Authority of city or county to regulate possession of loaded firearms in public places. (1) A city or county may adopt ordinances to regulate, restrict or prohibit the possession of loaded firearms in public places as defined in ORS 161.015.

    (2) Ordinances adopted under subsection (1) of this section do not apply to or affect:

    (a) A law enforcement officer in the performance of official duty.

    (b) A member of the military in the performance of official duty.

    (c) A person licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

    (d) A person authorized to possess a loaded firearm while in or on a public building or court facility under ORS 166.370. [1995 s.s. c.1 §4; 1999 c.782 §8]

    Both the Cities of Portland and Beaverton (two cities that have exercised their power under ORS 166.173) have acknowledged the legality of open carry by CHL holders as the exemption deals with an exemption of person, not carry method.

    Insofar as TriMet is concerned, the existence of a lawfully carried handgun must be treated no differently than a person wearing a shirt with a religious symbol on it and someone being "alarmed" by it. You may not eject persons for wearing such a shirt due
    to both US and Oregon constitutional protections because that encompasses a fundamental constitutional and statutorily protected civil right, similar to carrying a firearm under state law.

    Recently, the Port of Portland repealed their illegal ordinance banning carry of firearms throughout airport property.

    http://oregonfirearms.org/portofportland/

    Given the recent Heller decision, the strength of Oregon's constitutional provision on the right to keep and bear arms (Article 1, Section 27), the strength of Oregon's preemption statute, and the existence of Title 42, US Code, Section 1983 (deprivation of civil rights under color of law), a legal minefield awaits TriMet if they attempt to enforce this ordinance to ban lawfully carried firearms that happen to be carried in an open belt holster, given the state's lack of regulation on the subject.

    Open carriers are among the most visible and active members of the gun rights movement. Every illegal action against open carriers usually results in both complaints and litigation against the agency or officers responsible for the action, as well as a massive amount of rallying online for fundraisers for such litigation, picketing of the agency, and generally bad press for the agency clearly violating the law. Open carriers as a general rule practice the NATO doctrine: "An attack against one of us is an attack against us all". Here are some examples:

    http://www.gnbrotz.com/revocation/

    http://www.pafoa.org/forum/news-123/...s-dc-cops.html

    I do hope that you will recognize the void nature of this regulation against open carry, and pass on that recognition to the rest of the security department in the form of a bulletin. Spare TriMet, and it's employees the embarrassment of a court battle that it cannot possibly hope to win, wasting taxpayer money in the process when your agency's in desperate need of service improvement in many areas.


    Regards,

    Lonnie Wilson

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    Wow, that sure is a compelling argument!

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    machron1 wrote:
    Wow, that sure is a compelling argument!
    I've tangled with these jackasses before. After Port of Portland finally relenting, the amount of districts violating the law are slowly fading away.

    -Lonnie

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Big Del wrote:
    I have learned Metro is a very tough place to figure out. They run the zoo and there are no weapons allowed. It is public but when I called they said if you were made CC they would either cahrge you with disorderly conduct and or trespassing. I don't have the money to prove them there wrong.
    Oh, Metro. They're next. :celebrate

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    Very impressive I might add, that is a gift I wish I had to sound so professional. Thanks Lonnie were right behind you.

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