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Thread: Accosted by Wal-Mart Manager...

  1. #1
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    All this time I have been reading about others, and touting how it is here in Montana. Well I guess anything can happen given enough time. I don't carry a recorder, or even a pad/paper as I have not had an issue anywhere here to date. I have also been in this particular Wal-Mart (Helena) many, many times, and so has my wife.

    I was back in the dairy section, having been in the store about 10 minutes. Woman walks up to me and asked if I was LEO. I replied that I was not, and then she asked me if I needed a license to carry open like I was. What followed was her asking questions, and me providing information about Montana law, and what I had read here regarding Wal-Mart corporate policy. I did ask her several times if we needed to contact the district manager, or if there was an issue and she was asking me to leave. Each time she affirmed that she was just getting some information. In the end, she thanked me, and I finished my shopping. I was also there with my 9yo son, who had just finished a defensive pistol competition both of us had gone to.

    -MontanaCZ

  2. #2
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    This seems funny for a Montana Wal-Mart manager to do. Back when Merl Ashford was the manager of the Kalispell store I asked him back in 2003 about Wal-Marts policy on open carry. He stated that Montana is an open carry state, and it is perfectly legal. Since then, of course he transfered to Butte.

    To bad you did not have someone set up with a covert cam to document the whole encounter.

  3. #3
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    MontanaCZ wrote:
    All this time I have been reading about others, and touting how it is here in Montana. Well I guess anything can happen given enough time. I don't carry a recorder, or even a pad/paper as I have not had an issue anywhere here to date. I have also been in this particular Wal-Mart (Helena) many, many times, and so has my wife.

    I was back in the dairy section, having been in the store about 10 minutes. Woman walks up to me and asked if I was LEO. I replied that I was not, and then she asked me if I needed a license to carry open like I was. What followed was her asking questions, and me providing information about Montana law, and what I had read here regarding Wal-Mart corporate policy. I did ask her several times if we needed to contact the district manager, or if there was an issue and she was asking me to leave. Each time she affirmed that she was just getting some information. In the end, she thanked me, and I finished my shopping. I was also there with my 9yo son, who had just finished a defensive pistol competition both of us had gone to.

    -MontanaCZ
    Just change a couple of words and you have the anti-gun thinking " I don't carry a Gun, or pepper spray as I have not had an issue anywhere here to date."

    Given all the incidents that have happened to other OCers, I would think that allOCers would have gotten the message by now.

    BUY A DIGITAL RECORDER

    CARRY IT EVERYWHERE YOU OC

    HAVE IT RECORDING AT ALL TIMES (where legal to do so)




  4. #4
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    Montana is a both party notification state for recordings, so you can't carry it around with it running. If I would have pulled one out, I would have had to inform her before turning it on. Unlike what I have seen in California, and elsewhere, we have not had these issues here in this state.

    I did not say it was a bad encounter, but it was my first in 20+ years here. She appeared to be looking for information on the legalities. Why she would believe me, and not look it up is beyond me. I have seen other OC'ers in that store besides me and my wife. I just chalk it up to her being new, but I really have no idea.

    -MTCZ

  5. #5
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    MontanaCZ wrote:

    I did not say it was a bad encounter, but it was my first in 20+ years here. She appeared to be looking for information on the legalities. Why she would believe me, and not look it up is beyond me. I have seen other OC'ers in that store besides me and my wife. I just chalk it up to her being new, but I really have no idea.

    -MTCZ
    But your post states that you were Accosted which you were not as you indicate in your last post. To be accosted one must be approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive way. But yet you say it was not a bad encounter, and to be looking for information on the legalities.

    So the manager then was just asking questions?

    And as far as I know, no Montana is not a shall notice state for letting someone else know they are being recorded with tape recordings or digital camera's. When using a telephonic device such as a telephone, then yes you must notify of said recordings.

    Please cite the MCA section that indicates this please so we can clear this up.



  6. #6
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    45-8-213. Privacy in communications. (1) Except as provided in 69-6-104, a person commits the offense of violating privacy in communications if the person knowingly or purposely:
    (a) with the purpose to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend, communicates with a person by electronic communication and uses obscene, lewd, or profane language, suggests a lewd or lascivious act, or threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of the person. The use of obscene, lewd, or profane language or the making of a threat or lewd or lascivious suggestions is prima facie evidence of an intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend.
    (b) uses an electronic communication to attempt to extort money or any other thing of value from a person or to disturb by repeated communications the peace, quiet, or right of privacy of a person at the place where the communications are received;
    (c) records or causes to be recorded a conversation by use of a hidden electronic or mechanical device that reproduces a human conversation without the knowledge of all parties to the conversation. This subsection (1)(c) does not apply to:
    (i) elected or appointed public officials or to public employees when the transcription or recording is done in the performance of official duty;
    (ii) persons speaking at public meetings;
    (iii) persons given warning of the transcription or recording, and if one person provides the warning, either party may record; or
    (iv) a health care facility, as defined in 50-5-101, or a government agency that deals with health care if the recording is of a health care emergency telephone communication made to the facility or agency.

    Note that it does not say electronic communications (such as a phone, which it does above in section (a)). Now if I pulled out a recorder and turned it on, so it was not hidden, but then not inform, I believe would be a gray area. Also note that we can record public officials and a few other items.


    You would also be correct, I did say accosted. That is certainly the way that it felt at the time the conversation started. I certainly have zero experience in this area, which I am sure contributed to that feeling. In the end, while I still felt that way, in retrospect I believed, and still do, she was just looking for information.

    All these years and zip, nada, nothing here in Montana. I am certainly no activist regarding OC. We OC around the ranch here since we have to protect the critters from other critters, and ourselves from some said critters (grizzly and lion being the biggest offenders). So I go to town and I am still carrying. Never been a problem here for us, and I have not heard of it being a problem for anyone else that I know that OC's either.

    -MTCZ

  7. #7
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    45-8-213. Privacy in communications warning is located on the inside cover or within a few pages there in, in most telephone books. It is a warning for those that would go down to Radio Shack and purchase a line tap to put on their house line and record others, yes this is a violation of the law. If I am working on an insurance case, and I call you and need to record your statement, then I would ask your permission and you would say yes or no that I have your permission.

    Privacy in communications violations is only for telephone conversations, not body recorders such as little digital recorders and or cam corders. Hence bugging ones telephone when you are calling someone is a violation unless you are working on a criminal case. If you walk into the Sheriff's dept, and want to speak with a deputy and go into a little side room, you will be recorded both audio and visual without your knowing it or permission.

    If I walk up to you on the street, and record your voice while talking or interviewing you there is no violation as I don't need your okay. If I am outdoors with my family or by myself, and am recording people with my cam corder there is no violation period.

    The reason I made comment about the "Accosted" part is because you did say in your second post that you did not say it was a bad encounter. If I were accosted it would be a bad encounter vs someone just asking questions. I sometimes feel when people are asking questions that yes, it can feel funny at the time because it catches us off guard. It would be nice if there was a booklet or something put out to educate the unknowing.

    I'm an ex-leo, and I would just advisethem nicelythat I am not breaking the law and am legally conducting my shopping.

    Just be nice about it, as you are under no obligation to explain yourself to them. That store manager has a set of guidelines in her office that deals with MontanaState law,and if they do not want anyone carrying a firearm while in thestore they must post a required sign out side of the store or business that is legable for All to read with a picture of a firearm with a red circle with a redslash thru it. You will find those signs at the enterances of your Justice Centers, Sheriff's Deptartment enterance doors, and Police Dept enterances. If I think of it I will go by and take a picture of the enterance to the Flathead County Justice Center where the Flathead County Sheriff's Office also shares the same building.

    It is common knowledge for conceal carry owners that buildings owned by County, State, Federal and banks are off limits to CC, but for banning OC they must post these signs.

  8. #8
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    Mr44, we certainly have two differing views on what that statute states. Since the overall statute does not state that it applies to telephone conversations only, and the references to phone, and non-phone communications (yes I am simplifying as it does pertain to email as well), I would then gather that I cannot record a conversation such as what I had without making the device visible at a minimum, and getting their consent as well. I will just leave it at that as I am not a lawyer, and I certainly don't know one to question on it.

    I now believe that the encounter was more than casual, but accosted would appear to be too strong of a word. My mistake, and one that I deeply regret now. My apologies for the alarm, I won't do it again.

    -MTCZ

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