Folks, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Harry Thomas, and I'm a retired police lieutenant from the Cincinnati Police Department. I am a former member of the NRA Board of Directors and a former board member of the Ohio Gun Collectors Association. I was the founding vice-president of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, a national organization of peace officers dedicated to the preservation of gun ownership rights.
Although I now live in Carmel, Indiana I have been closely following CCW and OC issues in Ohio both here and at OhioCCW.org, and frankly I am getting highly PO'd at the number of incidents of decent citizens having their chains pulled by rogue cops over gun carry issues.
Let me make something perfectly clear: EVERY COP IN OHIO KNOWS THAT IT IS LEGAL TO CARRY OPENLY! The problem is that some of them don't AGREE with that right, and they choose to harass gun owners because they can get away with it. They fall back on lame excuses about panicked citizens "calling it in" or "inducing panic," as justification to commit civil rights violations. Unfortunately, it is unheard of for an officer to be disciplined for such unlawful conduct.
When a police officer stops and forcibly detains a citizen based solely on the fact that the citizen is openly carrying a firearm, that police officer is committing the crime of Kidnapping. When a police officer demands that a citizen surrender a legally carried firearm, ESPECIALLY when the demand is made at gunpoint, that police officer is committing the crime of Aggravated Robbery.
There is one thing and ONLY one thing that will put a stop to this, and that is to hit the cities who allow this by their police departments squarely in the pocketbook!
I wish to offer my services as an expert witness to any Ohio citizen who has been victimized in the manner I've described above. I am a veteran law enforcement command officer, and I can testify that law officers who engage in this type of behavior do it with the full knowledge that their conduct is unlawful. I've testified many times in many venues concerning gun rights, from Cincinnati City Council, to state legislatures, to the Congress of the United States, and I'm good at it.
I don't ask for and will not accept expert witness fees for my testimony. When I became a police officer I swore a solemn oath to defend the constitutions of the United States and the State of Ohio, and as far as I'm concerned that oath is still in effect, my retired status notwithstanding. I will accept an offer of a place to stay if it is made.
I will also intervene on the behalf of a plaintiff who wishes to seek financial assistance from the NRA Firearms Civil Rights Legal Defense Fund. Although I no longer serve on the NRA BOD, I am still known and respected in the organization, and although I can offer no guarantees of financial assistance I will do my utmost to help obtain it.
I give my blessing to repost this message in any venue where anyone thinks it will do any good.
Let's put a stop to this crap!