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Thread: Growing Movement to Carry Guns Openly is Playing Out in San Diego, CA

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    http://www.kpbs.org/news/local;id=14243

    Growing Movement to Carry Guns Openly is Playing Out in SD
    Mar 31, 2009
    Amita Sharma

    The battle over the right to own guns is turning into a movement to wear them -- openly. And the local campaign is playing out at San Diego beaches, malls and restaurants. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma has more.

    "Wow look there's three guys with guns and they're not shooting anyone,"

    That's the voice of a guy videotaping his friends as they enter Nordstrom at the UTC shopping center near La Jolla. All four college-age people in the video are wearing holsters packed with guns. And it's legal.

    "The law is pretty clear on this," says Paul Cooper, attorney for the San Diego Police Department.

    "You cannot carry a loaded firearm, either concealed or unconcealed. But you can in fact openly carry an unloaded firearm," Cooper says.

    But what's the point of wearing a gun in plain sight if it's only legal to do so when the weapon is unloaded? The question as it turns out, is the answer says John Pierce, co-founder of Open Carry dot org.

    "I think the reason is that in many parts of the state, law abiding citizens are completely denied the right to protect themselves and the only option they have is unloaded open carry if they want to exercise the God given right of self-defense," says Pierce.

    To drive that point home, up to 60 open carry advocates gathered at Mission Beach last month. San Diego Police Captain Shelley Zimmerman says there were also about 90,000 people on the sand, in the water or on the boardwalk that Saturday.

    "They had come to the beach that day because it was a beautiful day and it was. It was very warm," she says. "And they're in their bathing suits and jogging outfits. They were very intimidated. They were shocked. They were concerned. They were angry. Many of them said they had brought their families…their young children here. They never thought they would see individuals carrying guns up and down the boardwalk,," says Zimmerman.

    Captain Zimmerman says she told some of the open carry people that day that many, especially children, were frightened by their display.

    "The ones that I spoke to said that what they were doing was legal and actually they would see it a lot more because they expect to come back to the beach and they should expect to see it because it's not against the law and maybe they'll be desensitized to it if they see more guns."

    For now though, the public isn't used to seeing people walk down the street bearing guns. Critics says there's always a chance that an onlooker - not knowing the weapons are unloaded -- could feel threatened and act against the person carrying the gun putting everyone in danger. It's an argument Open Carry dot org's John Pierce says he doesn't understand.

    "Are you then saying that it's also a danger to the public if an African-American person walks through a predominantly white neighborhood and someone is intimidated. That's not a danger it's bigotry. If what the person is doing is legal behavior, the intimidation that another person feels to that person…is not a danger it's a misunderstanding. And that's part of the misunderstanding that we feel open carry helps to dispel," says Pierce.

    But Captain Zimmerman says police can't tell whether a gun openly carried is loaded or not.

    "No officer is going to assume that that gun is unloaded. Anytime you would get a person with a gun call, man or woman with a gun. It is going to tie up resources. That is not a one-officer call so it is going to tie up multiple police officers," says Zimmerman.

    That is exactly what at least one open carry blogger proposed recently. He wrote, "If we are going to get the reform we want, the police have to have their resources continually diverted and the dispatchers slammed."

    And there is little police can do about it says lawyer Paul Cooper.

    "These are gun activists who have found this provision in the law that allows them to openly carry an unloaded firearm and that seems to be what they're doing," he says.

    Mission Beach resident Kat Ohlmann wants the law changed to prohibit gatherings of people openly wearing unloaded guns. She says parents with children are starting to return to the beach now that alcohol has been banned.

    "It's great. It's good for our businesses. It's good to have families back on the beach. If you have people in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach carrying guns, they're not going to come back," she says.

    Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

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    So, what? Six people were alarmed? What about the other 89,994?
    The first time I saw two men kissing in public, I was alarmed, but I didn't call the police.
    The point the author misses is that the police do not have to respond to a MWaG call if there is no law being broken. They just need to ask the 911 caller what the MWaG is doing. If he has a shopping bag in one hand, an ice cream cone in the other and he's looking in the window of Victoria Secret, the response should be "move along, nothing to see".

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    The law is pretty clear on this," says Paul Cooper, attorney for the San Diego Police Department.

    "You cannot carry a loaded firearm, either concealed or unconcealed. But you can in fact openly carry an unloaded firearm," Cooper says.



    Mr. Cooper is not wholly correct in this statement. It is not illegal to carry a loaded and exposed firearm in unincorporated territory where discharge is not prohibited. It is also not illegal to carry a concealed firearm under numerous ( but specific)circumstances without a license. And I disgree with Mr Cooper's assesment of the 'clarity' of California law- while it is specific, the labyrinth of restrictions make individuals question whether or not possession or an activity is legal. The conduct of law enforcement has been evidence of this lack of clarity when the limits of the forth amendment search and seizure have been crossed, and repeated false arrests are conducted.



    Mr Cooper continues...


    "These are gun activists who have found this provision in the law that allows them to openly carry an unloaded firearm and that seems to be what they're doing," he says.


    There is no provision in the law 'allowing' open carry. That which is not prohibited, is allowed. This isnt a loophole or some kind of legal oversight that activists are exploiting... it is the excersize of the second amendment, the human right of armed self defense. It is not the law that allows open carry advocates, it is their own self-detemination.


    "They had come to the beach that day because it was a beautiful day and it was. It was very warm," she says. "And they're in their bathing suits and jogging outfits. They were very intimidated. They were shocked. They were concerned. They were angry. Many of them said they had brought their families…their young children here. They never thought they would see individuals carrying guns up and down the boardwalk,," says Zimmerman.

    Captain Zimmerman says she told some of the open carry people that day that many, especially children, were frightened by their display.



    Yes, very warm. And you know, when it is warm, it difficult to conceal a handgun comfortably isnt it? This is one of the reasons I stepped into the arena, because where I live it isnt uncommon for temperatures to exceed 110 degrees farenheit.



    Now if this display was so frightening and so intimidating- why did hundreds of people continue to enjoy the beach and boardwalk? If this was so scary, where is the story of the beachgoers self-evacuating to a safe venue? I will tell you- aside from a few hand wringers most people really didnt notice, didnt care, or simply minded their own business.


    Mission Beach resident Kat Ohlmann wants the law changed to prohibit gatherings of people openly wearing unloaded guns. She says parents with children are starting to return to the beach now that alcohol has been banned.

    "It's great. It's good for our businesses. It's good to have families back on the beach. If you have people in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach carrying guns, they're not going to come back," she says.



    Itis those same families that would benefit from the enviroment created by the presence of lawfully armed individuals. They are repelling criminality just by walking down the street. On the other hand, if Kat got what she wanted, a prohibition of open carry would make the only armed response 10-15 minutes away... in short, she is promoting crime by allowing perpetrators enough time to do their deed and flee.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


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    Sending an email now to Amita, she keeps getting stuff wrong.

    Freaking reporters.

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    Mike wrote:
    ...Critics says there's always a chance that an onlooker - not knowing the weapons are unloaded -- could feel threatened and act against the person carrying the gun putting everyone in danger. It's an argument Open Carry dot org's John Pierce says he doesn't understand.

    "Are you then saying that it's also a danger to the public if an African-American person walks through a predominantly white neighborhood and someone is intimidated. That's not a danger it's bigotry. If what the person is doing is legal behavior, the intimidation that another person feels to that person…is not a danger it's a misunderstanding. And that's part of the misunderstanding that we feel open carry helps to dispel," says Pierce.
    Excellent analogy.

    Stop the bigotry written in our laws. End the bigotry ingrained in California's culture.
    Participant in the Free State Project - "Liberty in Our Lifetime" - www.freestateproject.org
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    I just don't understand how she could write not one but TWO crappy articles on the same topic! I have given her every opportunity to write a good article but alas!

    Hopefully things will get a little better when my brother goes and has a beer with the editor... geeeez.

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    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    Sending an email now to Amita, she keeps getting stuff wrong.

    Freaking reporters.
    I don;t think she got anything wrong.

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    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    I just don't understand how she could write not one but TWO crappy articles on the same topic! I have given her every opportunity to write a good article but alas!

    Hopefully things will get a little better when my brother goes and has a beer with the editor... geeeez.
    These stories were good - illuminating the issue, take it easy - encourage these reporters, give them more material - I suggest family friendly venues like picnics with kids - always a great backgdrop!

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    Mike wrote:
    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    Sending an email now to Amita, she keeps getting stuff wrong.

    Freaking reporters.
    I don;t think she got anything wrong.
    Aside from the whole incorporated vs. unincorporated issue, calling us gun activists and quoting me without giving proper background information... yeah, it is an OK article.

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    Mike wrote:
    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    I just don't understand how she could write not one but TWO crappy articles on the same topic! I have given her every opportunity to write a good article but alas!

    Hopefully things will get a little better when my brother goes and has a beer with the editor... geeeez.
    These stories were good - illuminating the issue, take it easy - encourage these reporters, give them more material - I suggest family friendly venues like picnics with kids - always a great backgdrop!
    I would encourage KPBS but they are insistent on making hack jobs of articles when I have given them all the opportunities to make a good one.

    Instead of interviewing me, she used my YouTube videos and one Calguns.net post to write her article... lame!

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    We had an event here which I and an associate orchstrated promoting open carry.Local Safeway donated food,catered by a local resturant at no cost,Starbucks suppied the coffee.We had the kids there that won prizes.So on.It is a God given right to which we should not answer to anyone for.In WA.It is legal to carry a loaded ready to fire sidearm. You don't have to give a reason when applying for a CPL ,you don,t have to register handguns,or transfers Etc.I even carry it into the bank.Really no one says much.It is a constitutional right and someone complains that is infringment on our rights.Check out the news video.We are trying to make folks aware all over the country.I even had the support of the local PD.
    Here is the news artical.Note how are local sheriff was quoted as saying it is legal.We need to grow this thing in a big way.I used to live in Palm Desert so I know how restrictive the laws are there.
    That was awsome what they did in San diego.



    http://www.king5.com/localnews/stori...d.html?rss?npc

    SeaTac apartment residents meet to discuss gun laws


    04:51 PM PDT on Saturday, March 28, 2009



    By CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News



    SEATAC, Wash. - Some SeaTac apartment residents have a hard time forgetting the shooting which injured two people last month.

    "It was a little unnerving," says James Beal, "I heard six shots."

    Beal was home when a 17-year-old opened fire on a group of people. He's now trying to rally his neighbors together, while making a pitch about how he protects himself.

    "I carry a weapon for personal protection as most people here do, and we feel it our option under the Second Amendment,” he said.

    Beal helped sponsor a gathering Saturday at the Willow Lake Apartments, which he says was designed as a way to bring people together, to organize neighborhood "block watches” and talk about gun laws.

    "I'm not advising it,” Beal said. “I'm just making sure people are aware they have the option.”

    Roughly 40 people were there about mid-day, and a vast majority of them were carrying weapons.

    Kristen Comer, of Operation Ceasefire, approves of Beal's effort to bring together the community to discuss the issues. But she says neighbors should ask themselves how comfortable they'd be with several apartment dwellers carrying guns.

    "For the vast majority of residents in this area, is that what they want?” she said. “Do they want their neighbors walking around with the sidearms on their persons at all times?"

    She believes organizers should be more focused on curbing access to guns on the secondary market.

    King County Sheriff's Department Sergeant John Urquhart says anyone buying a gun should think long and hard about it.

    "It's legal under state and federal law," Urquhart said. "But if you use your gun to scare or intimidate, that's violating another law, so be very careful."


    Here is Video Link

    http://www.king5.com/video/news-index.html?nvid=346642

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    pull of course she is getting it wrong she is trying to stir up the antis face it. I almost bet she is taking the police attorney's statements out of context too.

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    She did.

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    "These are gun activists who have found this provision in the law that allows them to openly carry an unloaded firearm and that seems to be what they're doing," he says."

    No, you Nazi. We start out with full gun freedom, and this is part of our freedom you haven't yet removed.

    We don't start out with no freedom and find permissions in the law.

    Some people are born fascists.

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    flintlock tom wrote:
    So, what? Six people were alarmed? What about the other 89,994?
    The first time I saw two men kissing in public, I was alarmed, but I didn't call the police.
    The point the author misses is that the police do not have to respond to a MWaG call if there is no law being broken. They just need to ask the 911 caller what the MWaG is doing. If he has a shopping bag in one hand, an ice cream cone in the other and he's looking in the window of Victoria Secret, the response should be "move along, nothing to see".
    +1

    If I call 9-1-1 and report "Um yes, there are two men kissing in public at the corner of 1st and Main, please send the police... quick!". I'm going to get a tongue lashing from dispatch about the line being used for emergencies only. They only need to dispatch an officer if a crime is committed, this is fear mongering, trying to convince readers that the group is forcing the hand of LE and wasting their time. Ridiculous.

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    I went this very day 4/2/09, to the Lakewood California Sheriff Station to ask about "Open Carry" as I seen it on the open carry website, and an article from the Los Angeles Times posted on the site. I asked to verify that the law ( 2nd Amd. Right ) to open carry a weapon in a holster, in LA County was legal because I will buy a .45 WWII model pistol. I was told that I needed to apply for a license? After I told the female at the counter she was wrong, and I DIDN'T need [Permission] from the sheriff to exercise my 2nd Amd. Right, she vanished into the back offices. She came back out about 5 minutes later, and said her boss said I was correct, and that is IS legal to "Open Carry" anywhere in LA County, BUT! I would be treated as if the weapon was loaded. I asked where the exact location of the Open Carry law was in the CA Penal Code or other California Code section, and was told I had to look it up on the internet. Well now I know that the sheriff is well aware of this Open Carry law. Thank You Open Carry website, and in case no one has said THANX to all the people who have taken their time to inform others including myself, I say THANK YOU ALL also.

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    I have an uneducated"out-of-state" question; is it legal to carry an unloaded firearm in San Diego but have ammo in your pocket or on your person?

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    Words Of Art wrote:
    I went this very day 4/2/09, to the Lakewood California Sheriff Station to ask about "Open Carry"
    Again, don't ask police about your gun rights or for legal advice - generally you will get incorrect information as either they do not know the law or the incentives are such that they will just tell you the wrong information on purpose to protect themselves or express their eprsonal opinions.

    You can research the law your self on the Internet and pay for a real attorney to give you an opinion if you need one. In this case, multiple CA DAs have issued opinions saying OC is legal, though they sometimes get other parts of the law wrong.

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    Arkyhog wrote:
    I have an uneducated"out-of-state" question; is it legal to carry an unloaded firearm in San Diego but have ammo in your pocket or on your person?
    Yes, generally.

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    I have an uneducated"out-of-state" question; is it legal to carry an unloaded firearm in San Diego but have ammo in your pocket or on your person?

    It has been a while since I lived in California and had to deal with the nuances of the law regarding a loaded firearm. It was my understanding at that time that a "loaded" firearm was one where the cartridge was physically connected or touching the firearm even if the ammo was not chamberable. For example, an shotgun which had no shells in the magazine but had a loaded shell carrier attached to its stock was considered to be a loaded firearm. The way to give open carry some meaning is to carry a loaded magazine or revolver speedloader in another pocket so that the firearm can be quickly loaded in circumstances that the police or district attorney would find to be reasonable. I think that a holstered unloaded semi-auto pistol plus two loaded magazines in mag carriers would satisfy the requirement of the law and still keep you ready to deal with an emergency.

    I knew a couple in Northern California who openly carried a 45 caliber or a 9mm caliber pistol and carried the magazine for the other firearm on their person. No one could make the arguement that they carried loaded firearms. When push came to shove they would pass their magazine to their partner who would insert it into his or his handgun.



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    Krinkovliu wrote:
    I have an uneducated"out-of-state" question; is it legal to carry an unloaded firearm in San Diego but have ammo in your pocket or on your person?

    It has been a while since I lived in California and had to deal with the nuances of the law regarding a loaded firearm. It was my understanding at that time that a "loaded" firearm was one where the cartridge was physically connected or touching the firearm even if the ammo was not chamberable. For example, an shotgun which had no shells in the magazine but had a loaded shell carrier attached to its stock was considered to be a loaded firearm. The way to give open carry some meaning is to carry a loaded magazine or revolver speedloader in another pocket so that the firearm can be quickly loaded in circumstances that the police or district attorney would find to be reasonable. I think that a holstered unloaded semi-auto pistol plus two loaded magazines in mag carriers would satisfy the requirement of the law and still keep you ready to deal with an emergency.

    I knew a couple in Northern California who openly carried a 45 caliber or a 9mm caliber pistol and carried the magazine for the other firearm on their person. No one could make the arguement that they carried loaded firearms. When push came to shove they would pass their magazine to their partner who would insert it into his or his handgun.

    did you see my reply above? - yes. it's legal.People v. Clark.

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