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Thread: I met the Kennewick PD Today (Tri-Cities)

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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    I'm new to open carry. I open carried one day last week to the Richland Fred Meyer and a local store named Ranch & Home in Kennewick. No problems in either location... people greeted me nicely, if anything employees seemed especially helpful & no comments were made.

    Today was my second day open carrying. I went to our local mall & entered through the Macy's door that was devoid of any sign indicating that guns were prohibited on the premises. I spent about 30 minutes traversing hallways and popping in and out of a couple of stores before I noticed a couple of security guards clustered together. They made no reference to me, so I went about my business. Five minutes later down the hall a security guard made eye contact with me, so I greeted him with a smile and a "hello." He made no comment and then began to follow me from a distance. A few moments later, after exiting another store the same guard approached me and asked why I carried, to which I replied, "for protection and because its within my right to do so." He informed me that it was illegal on private property, to which I replied that I was quite familiar with the law and believed it was legal. He said, "Well I'm not gonna argue with you since you have a gun... there are signs posted at each door saying it." I told him there was no such sign at the door I entered through. I then followed him at his request down the hallway to where we met several other security guards (5 in total, I believe) and 2 or 3 police officers from the Kennewick PD. We spoke for another 15 minutes or so in the mall entrance to Macy's directly in front of the cosmetics counter (strangely, the most central mall location possible).

    Right off the bat, the officer told me he was going to take my gun. Somewhat shocked, and incredibly nervous, I said, "Ok. It's loaded." He handed it to his partner who unloaded the gun and slid it into his pants (My Kimber CDP is fine... had he scratched it things may have ended much differently). The officers took my ID, I offered them my concealed carry permit as well, which they took and then later asked me if I had one... go figure. They asked how long I'd lived in the area, where I'd moved from, and what I liked about the Tri-Cities. They told me that carrying was perfectly within my right, but that it was unnecessary and ridiculous to do so. One officer went on to say, "We're not in the wild west... carrying a .45 cocked & locked in the mall is way too much firepower." Perhaps they wouldn't have responded had I been carrying my Beretta 85 (.380). lol. They continued to question me while they ran my name and insisted that they had the right to stop me since I was causing a "public disturbance" I believe is how he phrased it. Eventually he gave me my gun back & magazine & previously chambered round and told me to conceal it on my way out. The security guards told me not to return to the mall with any firearm, open or concealed, because all guns were completely banned. I politely suggested that they post that at all mall entrances. The police asked security if they wanted me trespassed, and they declined because I was "cooperative."

    All in all, things went fine. I was very nervous, but did manage to articulate myself well & communicate clearly. The cops understood open carry, and treated me [mostly] respectfully.

    I do have one problem, however. They seized my gun. They gave it back, but unless I'm mistaken, the 4th amendment prohibits them from seizing my sidearm without a writ/warrant. I'm not going to make a big fuss about it, but I do want to be clear on the law. If I am correct, they do not have the right to do so. And if this is accurate, next time I may refuse to let them take it and instead suggest that I calmly & quickly leave the premises to discuss the matter elsewhere.

    That's most of the story. I'll share more details if people are interested. I'd appreciate feedback on the 4th amendment question as well as any suggestions for how it may be handled better in the future.

    Caleb

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    Let the firestorm begin.

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    First off it's a pretty safe bet that any mall has policies prohibiting carry in the mall. They do a REAL PISS POOR job of advertising it though.

    That said you got treated poorly. First off it isn't the place of the cops to lecture you or impose their personal views. I've had that conversation with administrative cops and any reasonable one will agree that personal views and lectures have no place in a stop. They are there to enforce law and not opinion.

    Lesse, I've had about 5 encounters with LEO either over OC or a cased longarm on transit. In three cases my gun was taken from me and returned unloaded, and in two cases the cops were very cool about the whole thing and didn't take it.

    I have gone round and round with PD's about that as well and the stock answer is "officer safety" but the legal answer as far as I know is that if you are not breaking any law, there is no standing right to take it from you. I give a 50/50 chance of winning that in court depending on the quality of the judge.

    I have not been able to win that battle but have circumvented it by working with PD admin and getting the services of an attorney. Reasonable cops and reasonable, well informed admin will make your next task of complaining and working to make sure this doesn't happen again easier.

    Your errors. Giving verbal permission to take the gun. Words like "I do not consent" "Am I being detained" "What laws have I broken" and "Please call your supervisor" are key here. That said, do what you think is best and will create the smoothest encounter. You WILL NOT win a battle with a cop on the street. You can win a battle with the admin. Sooner or later the cop on the street will simply do what they want, and sometimes they do it with a gun drawn on you. That is not a fun thing.

    Their errors. Lecturing you about your mode of carry and choice of sidearm, as well as the condition you chose to carry it in. Attempting to disuade you from OC is also wrong.

    Your next task. A complaint. Address the legality of OC, the fact the Mall did not have a posted no guns policy where you entered, and then address the errors the officers made. Attempt to get a training bulletin issued that addresses the legality of carry, as well as procedures for proper encounter with an OC'r.

    I have actually won complaints about getting lectured for OC and any professional agency will agree it is not the job of an LEO to interject their personal views in attempting to enforce the law. Opinions on what kind of gun you "need" and how you should carrry it falls outside of the job of law enforcement. Those need to be addressed.

    Good luck with all of this!


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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    sv_libertarian,

    Thanks for your input. It just so happens that my father is a commissioner in the adjoining county where I reside & one of the prosecuting attorneys in Kennewick is a good friend of ours. I may discuss this matter in detail with both of them to consider my options. I don't want to be a ***** about the matter, but I also don't want this to happen every time some moron dials 911 because I'm peacefully OCing nearby.

    Caleb

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    There are several points that would need clarified for me to be able to help more than just superficially. I don't have time this evening. For the moment, here is what I can give you.

    The police are allowed to warrantlessly seize a firearm from a detainee under certain circumstances. See Terry vs Ohio. Traffic stops seem to have different rules, so use this only for foot encounters until you learn more. Whether the police have authority to detain an individual is also covered under in Terry. For the opinion, click here:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/htm...2_0001_ZO.html

    It looks to me as though you might have beeninvoluntarily detained. Its one of the points that would need a question or two clarified. For the moment, lets focus on you saying "OK" when the cop said he was removing your gun. When you consent to a search or seizure, it automatically becomes legal. You will find it useful to watch the video linked below. It will tell you more about that, and give you some of your legal options and defenses during a police encounter:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

    Also, watch this video about talking to police:

    http://www.regent.edu/admin/media/schlaw/LawPreview/

    To find out more about dealing with security guards from the point of view of the 4th Amendment, check here: www.flexyourrights.com





    Here is a question: When the officer said he wanted to remove your gun, was it done in an authoritative or commanding tone of voice?




    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    cbpeck wrote:
    sv_libertarian,

    Thanks for your input. It just so happens that my father is a commissioner in the adjoining county where I reside & one of the prosecuting attorneys in Kennewick is a good friend of ours. I may discuss this matter in detail with both of them to consider my options. I don't want to be a ***** about the matter, but I also don't want this to happen every time some moron dials 911 because I'm peacefully OCing nearby.

    Caleb
    Heheh I know the feeling as that is how three of my stops have happened. One thing to look into is how your local 911 dispatch handles MWAG calls. I saw the calls from Olympia and all they passed on to the cops was "Man with a gun in Percival Landing Park" or such like that. The cops had no idea what they were getting into when they arrived. Same thing when a Community Transit operator in Bothell tried to get me thrown off his bus for a cased longarm. The deputies who responded (very professional cops BTW, and they didn't take my sidearm even though they knew about it) told me the ONLY info they had was that there was a person with a gun on the bus.

    I understand local dispatch for Thurston County has gotten better about how they handle OC calls.

    Ask for a copy of the call log and dispatch logs that were sent out when the cops were called. At best, the KPD will be reasonable and show them to you on the spot (OPD was very good about doing that for me) at worst you'll have to put in a written request. You may get some good treatment as you are somewhat "connected" in the area.

    So if the ONLY thing that comes across to the responding officers is that there was a "man with a gun in the mall" they will come in a lot different than they would if they knew you were simply shopping for clothes. It will help when the local PD is trained in the matter of OC and understands it properly. They WILL be approaching you expecting the worst, and when they see how you are acting hopefully will start winding down. Understand that when you are approached they probably are thinking the worst and deal with them accordingly. KEEP YOUR HANDS VISIBLE and make no sudden moves, especially near your gun. If you take your wallet out to get ID or CPL tell them where the wallet is before you go for it. I always keep mine in my left front pants pocket or in another location on the opposite side and well away from my gun. THEY WILL appreciate that level of communication. Once they have made mention of your gun or indicate they may take it you might as well mention the location of any back up gun, knife, mace, etc... There is a halfway decent chance you'll get frisked if your gun is taken, so again you might as well mention it ahead of time. Sometimes being reasonable and open will make your life a lot easier, and they may not care to take anything from you. If they are inclined to take stuff from you, they will anyway and that includes a frisk. So at this point you have nothing to lose by being open.

    Some will argue that and claim you are giving up all your rights and you don't have to volunteer information. That is true, but my opinion is at the point the cops have detained you, you have nothing to lose by being above board. I know that twice doing so has saved me a lot of trouble and ended an encounter with a handshake and simply going about my business.

    Find out what you can from your father and friend, but start working on a complaint. Prefereably tomorrow if you can. Show them all the available training bulletins as well. King County is probably the best IMHO. In fact when I have had to waive training bulletins around that was the one I picked.

    The end result of this should be a better relationship between KPD and local OC'rs but you will end up pioneering that. Good luck!

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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. The officer told me authoritatively that he would be taking my gun. I believe I said ok as he reached for it. I was surprised that they did that... I didn't expect such a thing to happen outside of California. I don't know how far I want to take this, but I do appreciate all of the suggestions, and will seriously consider each opinion.

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    Appears to be an unlawful nonconsensual seizure of you and your property - but following the security guards to their office may have made your conduct seem consensual - might have best to ignore the guards unless they said they told you to leave and indicated they had authority to do so on behalf of the mall's owner. Then just leave.

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    cbpeck wrote:
    Thanks for the info. The officer told me authoritatively that he would be taking my gun. I believe I said ok as he reached for it. I was surprised that they did that... I didn't expect such a thing to happen outside of California. I don't know how far I want to take this, but I do appreciate all of the suggestions, and will seriously consider each opinion.
    Oh the seizure of weapons happens here. That is one thing that must be worked on is working to change the mindset and attitude that such things are acceptable.

    Regardless of how far you choose to take this, at the very least you need to file a complaint and try to work with KPD on training their officers regarding OC.

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    Kennewick PD motto "To Annoy and Harass"



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    "The only thing necessary for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing."

    Please don't let situations like this go away quietly. That just gives credence to these officers, the security guards, etc. And it makes it that much more difficult for the rest of the law abiding public. Firmly but politely call them on it and push until it is properly resolved. Please.

    -adamsesq

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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    Heheh I know the feeling as that is how three of my stops have happened.
    One would do well to listen to SV's take on this as he has become something of an expert on the topic, and has come to someintelligent conclusions.

    He is right in that the Police usually have limited info on the call, at least initially. I cannot comment on whether that mall allows guns, but it is private property, and subject to the policy of the owners.

    Here is the part where everyone gets their feathers ruffled. If during a contact with Police a person acts hostile and uncooperative, an Officer may take the person's firearm for Officer safety IF he has a concern regarding the safety of himself, the public, or the person being contacted. This is fact, and any Dept. Attorney, Chief, or Judge will confirm this. The courts uphold this as well.

    You will not find an Officer safety RCW stating the perameters as it is based on Officer discretion, which means that any given Officer may decide at any time to take action based on Officer safety, and these actions are not limited to guns only.

    This is why being civil/cooperative can pay off, as it will place the Officer more at ease, and lessen the chance that he will decide to secure your weapon during the contact. The attitude of the person being contacted will have a huge influence on the overtone of the contact. People can choose to act like a ******* during a contact, but don't be too surprised when things don't go the way you would like.
    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    Tekman,

    Thanks for posting. I'd like to hear about some of your OC experiences around town. Ihave the impression thatyou've carried longer than I have, so any insight you'd be willing to share on our local PD's or other considerations would be much appreciated.

    Caleb

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    Johnny Law wrote:
    Here is the part where everyone gets their feathers ruffled. If during a contact with Police a person acts hostile and uncooperative, an Officer may take the person's firearm for Officer safety IF he has a concern regarding the safety of himself, the public, or the person being contacted. This is fact, and any Dept. Attorney, Chief, or Judge will confirm this. The courts uphold this as well.
    It's when I'm sitting on a park bench reading a book and eating cookies, or in a shop conducting business with the owners who have no problem with my visible sidearm, or when I'm walking down a street drinking tea and given an ultimatum to conceal my weapon or it will be taken from me that I have problems. Lots and lots of problems. Were I acting in a hostile manner I would not object so badly but when I am ENGAGED IN PEACEABLE BEHAVIOR and CONDUCTING MYSELF IN A REASONABLE MANNER then I get really pissed off.

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    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    And I'll chime in on my area of expertise...

    Sometimes the reason responding officers only have "MWAG" is because that is all the info 911 can get from the caller.

    There are some people out there so stricken with fear at the mere sight of a weapon, that they can't even answer simple questions such as "What is he doing?" "He's walking around with a GUN!!!" Their entire focus is on the gun and how "wrong" it is for them to have one.

    I can speak for my agency in that we certainly do train our people to try and ascertain what besides the gun is going on. Is it out or holstered? Is the person behaving normally or causing a disturbance? Are they minding their own business or yelling at someone? etc. You would be surprised how difficult it can sometimes be to get what should be simple questions answered from some people when they are worked up and freaking out.

    I wish there was a button on our phones we could push that would cause a hand to come out of their phones and slap them sometimes...

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    I've actually not had any KPD encounters while OC'ing. But then again I've only done it twice. However since I was a teen I've been harassed by the KPD because of my older brother. It tapered off after a certain officer retired but once in a while I'll run across an older officer who because of that retired officer thinks I'm fricken Jesse James.

    Next time I go to the mall I'll check Macey's and see if there are any signs posted at the entrances.

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    What happens if you say No I will not hand over my firearm I am not a threat and I am breaking now law. If the store or mall asks me to leave it is there right to do so. I don't know believe they can take forcible action if you remain calm state make that statement but I haven't had the cops called on me yet. I respect the police because they have a tough job and I am about to start taking courses for a law enforcement degree soon, so I am in no way saying disrespect the police but don't let them take advantage of you because they do wear a badge there are good cops and bad cops just like every other profession out there.

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    Going to Everett Community College Sea Chicken?

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    Hey partner - read up on your posts and the responses. My suggestion is this: some people are encouraging you to make a more significant deal out of the "seizures" than you did. I would suggest not making any post-incident commotion. That would only be hastle for you and cause negative impressions for the PO's or security folk who may then think that all OC'ers are out to make a point and force their opinions on others via pamphlets/etcetera even if that would truly be helpful for training. What I would do is try to clarify for yourself the suggestions given regarding how to respond when seizure is "forced" upon you as it sounds it was (though during the process you complied). I would suggest you very clearly yet meekly identify your rights to OC and that you were acting reasonably and not handling or touching your gun. Washington RCW's give you the right to carry so long as your behavior is within a certain code and you comply with property restrictions. If you are asked to leave or conceal we’re just going to have to deal with that from time to time.

    As per the entrance you utilized not being posted, you had every right to carry until told otherwise. Were they to formally detain you, this would not bode well for them in court. As per this informal detaining, I would be hesitant to let a PO take my firearm without legal precedence. It sounds like the officer removed the gun from your hip? This is where I would suggest you were open to concealing if they so required or that you would be prompt in leaving if they preferred but relinquishing my sidearm as a result of someone else’s unjustified fear or ignorance is not a place I want to go. Were they to request you hand it to them I would be more incline to (slowly and gently) comply – not because they asked differently but because it would indicate their acknowledgement that you were previously acting reasonable and without any aggression; this act of handing them your gun would reveal a relationship wherein the PO has instilled some level off trust based on behavior and responding in like kind would likely foster positive discussion. Do I expect an officer would want you to handle your gun while passing it to them… not really, but if you have made no disingenuous actions they should have no right to take it from you. Positive discussion and developing an open relationship with local law enforcement should be the ultimate goal once this situation is thrust upon you. Such a conversation will not only help the officers to see the responsibility that many OC’ers attribute to OC (hopefully influencing their attitude the next time they are called out) but also show the community that the police can have that serious talk with you and then send you on your way with a handshake.

    This is my viewpoint and many may disagree but I feel that the interaction which takes place anytime you are approached by security/law enforcement is much more impacting on those individuals personally and on the community than trying to make a point by stepping back into that situation after the fact and making a complaint. We want them to look back and say yeah I remember last time we stopped a guy for OC it was a calm and professional conversation verses great another person carrying a gun who’s gonna hassle us for having a talk with him. Now were your rights more clearly violated while carrying I’d be much more adamant about causing a fuss.

    <-- agree with Sea_Chicken

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    I personally will never hand my gun to a cop. Too much room for error. If they want it, then they can remove it from the holster themselves. I will not stop them.

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    Lions, welcome to the forum. I just have to say, "meek" isn't in my dictionary. To each their own, but I will NOT bend over just because some thug with a badge tells me to. If an LEO wants to talk with me, fine, I have no issue with that. But if I start feeling like there'sa fishing expedition going on, it's straight to "Am I being detained? What crime do you suspect me of committing? I'm not going to answer any more of your questions without legal representation." Then the ball is in their court, and they can decide if they want to risk repercussions from violating my civil rights.

    Honestly, I've only had a couple LEO encounters while OCing, and both went actually fairly well. I walked away without having any issues, and I felt the officers involved in both situations were more educated about OC by the time the encounter was done. That's the best outcome one could ask for. But you can't assume that's how it will go when you are talking to the police.....you really do have to assume they are looking for something to pin on you until you know otherwise, and act accordingly. Your rights and freedom DO depend on it.

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    As I used to be a mall ninja, heres something to check.

    A large percentage of the malls in the US are owned by the GGP corporation. You can simply ask a security guard or CSA and they should know. If so, GGP bans firearms for EVERYBODY at all of its locations. Even security. Police are the only exception.

    That said, if I know that the business is anti-gun, I refuse to shop there. Period.

    Or I carry anyway. I just keep it hidden. :P



    Oh, I should add: Most of these mall shootings we've had? GGP property. Gee, I wonder why the shooters choose GGP...


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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    I personally will never hand my gun to a cop. Too much room for error. If they want it, then they can remove it from the holster themselves. I will not stop them.
    Could always ask them to remove it with the holster... That could be fun to watch, especially if you have a serpa on.

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    David.Car wrote:
    sv_libertarian wrote:
    I personally will never hand my gun to a cop. Too much room for error. If they want it, then they can remove it from the holster themselves. I will not stop them.
    Could always ask them to remove it with the holster... That could be fun to watch, especially if you have a serpa on.
    I've had to tell an officer to do just that, the officer couldn't figure out how to get it out of my serpa and just kept yanking on it. I was afraid he was going to put a hole through my leg.

    ETA: Also, you never want to take out your gun to hand it to an officer. Too many bad things can happen.
    DISCLAIMER: This post may contain libertarian ideas and language that are consistent with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, including a belief in liberty, rule of law, and natural rights. It may also contain opinions critical of government and the tyrannies being committed by such. If you are an authoritarian, statist, or other freedom hater, side effects of reading this post may include high blood pressure, loose stool, severe genital itching, and diarrhea of the mouth.

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