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Thread: Harrased for OC'n a knife in GB

  1. #1
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    Well earlier today I was at my local Wal-mart. I was wearing my 6" Bootknife, and had my 3 inch Folder on my waist as I always do (In plain sight mind you). Upon exiting the Wal-mart, I was approached by an officer who says and I quote, "Sir,Sir...SIR!, If you could take a step over here with me please,I'm going to need to have a word with you."I asked him why this was happening and he continued to bark orders about how I need to keep my hands where he could see them, place your hands on your head, and the old standbye "Do you have any weapons on you" LOL. I'm on the squadcar at this point, Disarmed, and put into the backseat with cuffs on. sat there for around 10 minutes after my record came back clear with no warrants. The officer said that I was being detained as a precaution. And that me OC'n my knives, was making people "Nervous". I believe his Chief or something showed up and sent me on my way, he returned my knives and told me that I was "Just Asking" for trouble walking around armed. So I guess all in all I did get my knives back, but was any of that legal? I mean I was keeping to myself, had a cartfull of groceries, and was clearly not being a threat to anyone, but I still get treated like a criminal. idk, feel free to comment on this fiasco guys...thanks!
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    In my opinion, unless he had reason to believe your knives were illegal he went too far. Making people nervous is not a crime. He was just fishing for something by running your ID. As far as the "asking for trouble" comment I would translate that as "you're going to get hassled by the police." You weren't asking for trouble, clearly you're asking people to leave you alone.

    Interestingly, Wal Mart probably sells the very knives, or similar knives to what you carry.

    I have a 6" folding Cold Steel Ti Lite that I've grown very fond of lately. In my pocket one can't tell if it's a 2 inch folder. Eyes go :what: when I open it, because it's a full 13" in length.

    Unfortunately Wisconsin has a patchwork of knife ordinances, so you need to know what's on the books in each municipality. Don't forget that "the right to bear arms" does not specifically limit itself to only firearms. I would like to see these knife ordinances eventually fall due to unconstitutionality.
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    he returned my knives and told me that I was "Just Asking" for trouble walking around armed.
    Did you ask him why he does it?

    (I'm kidding, I wouldn't waste my breath 'debating' with a cop.)

    He's wrong.And likeShotgun said. The only "trouble" will be from po-po's

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    Yea, I had figured the officer meant as much by what he said. It's okay tho, fear mongering is not going to stop me from carrying my knives,not by a long shot. I may even test the waters and try OC'n my Handgun...But that's a big maybe. I honestly can see the cops swooping into action after the first call they get about a bad man running around with a gun. GB is such a prude city...I really hope more people around here wise up to their constitutional rights.
    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

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    I honestly can see the cops swooping into action after the first call they get about a bad man running around with a gun. GB is such a prude city
    Perhaps. But the "real" law is on your side. (vs. cops who think they ARE the law)

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    hugh jarmis wrote:
    I honestly can see the cops swooping into action after the first call they get about a bad man running around with a gun. GB is such a prude city
    Perhaps. But the "real" law is on your side. (vs. cops who think they ARE the law)
    You know hugh, I can't agree with you more. I think I may just OC my HG for the 1st time today...Kind of nervous tho, any Major Do's and Don't while OC'n? I mean besides that god forsaken no OC in a car law...
    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

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    MAJOR DO; voice recorder ON. Minor do, buddy hangin' back with a video recorder discreet...

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    and be aware of the 1000' school zone ordinance...

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    You know hugh, I can't agree with you more. I think I may just OC my HG for the 1st time today...Kind of nervous tho, any Major Do's and Don't while OC'n? I mean besides that god forsaken no OC in a car law...
    I was very nervous the first time I OC'd. But there was no way I wasn't going to "do it". If I would have chickened out from fear of the police, I would have gone home that night and regretted it every second. I just can't live with myself if I cave in to fear.

    My advice. Pick a big box store that way you know you are on private property. Transport unloaded and cased, load up discretely by your vehicle. Grab a shopping cart on your way into the store (gives your hands something to do and appears very domestic)

    If you are nervous I highly recommend the shopping cart. Its like a security blanket. Grab one in the parking lot so you have it right away. As you are walking to the store take a few deep breaths relax and do what you would normally do.

    Smile and say hi to people if they make eye contact with you.

    Don't try to hide your "gun side" from view. Walk like you normally would. Even if you feel nervous, you can still exhibit confidence. If you do that, no one will have any reason to question what you are doing.

    Everything else will fall into place.

    Oh, and don't forget to smile!


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    Landose_theghost wrote:
    Well earlier today I was at my local Wal-mart. I was wearing my 6" Bootknife, and had my 3 inch Folder on my waist as I always do (In plain sight mind you). Upon exiting the Wal-mart, I was approached by an officer who says and I quote, "Sir,Sir...SIR!, If you could take a step over here with me please,I'm going to need to have a word with you."I asked him why this was happening and he continued to bark orders about how I need to keep my hands where he could see them, place your hands on your head, and the old standbye "Do you have any weapons on you" LOL. I'm on the squadcar at this point, Disarmed, and put into the backseat with cuffs on. sat there for around 10 minutes after my record came back clear with no warrants. The officer said that I was being detained as a precaution. And that me OC'n my knives, was making people "Nervous". I believe his Chief or something showed up and sent me on my way, he returned my knives and told me that I was "Just Asking" for trouble walking around armed. So I guess all in all I did get my knives back, but was any of that legal? I mean I was keeping to myself, had a cartfull of groceries, and was clearly not being a threat to anyone, but I still get treated like a criminal. idk, feel free to comment on this fiasco guys...thanks!
    Was any of that legal? I don't know the law on carrying knives in your state, but based soley on what you've reported, and the assumption that you were not doing anything illegal, and on the assumption that the 911 caller did not report you were doing something illegal orreport you looked like you were getting ready to rob the place, or hurt someone, then hell no,it was not legal for the police to detain you.

    There are reams and reams of court opinions splitting split hairs on whatcircumstances do and do not justify detaining someone. Disarming that someone is a part of that stack of court opinions.

    The starting point is a US Supreme Court decision called Terry vs Ohio.1The very abbreviated version is that police need reasonable suspicionthat a crime is, was, or is about to be committed. Police may patdown someone for weapons for officer safety, and disarm someoneof any weapons found, but there must first bereasonable suspicion of a crime.Those reams of court opinions I mentioned earlier examine, case by case, whether certain circumstances in the case under examination amount to being reasonably suspicious. So, there is more to this area of law. But the abbreviated version will get you started.

    The applicable right is the 4th Amendment--the one that guarantees your right against unreasonable searches and seizures. You and your knives were definitely seized.2

    If you find out that the 911 call did not allege something illegal, I recommend a formal complaint making it very clear:

    • you consider your 4th Amendment rightswere violated,
    • that you will not tolerate such,
    • that you want the officers involved trained, at a minimum
    • that you want the dispatchers trained to ask, "What is he doing with the knife/gun? Is it in a sheath/holster?"
    • that you are not interested in their editorializing ("just asking for trouble") and anything else they might have said.
    • that you want to know what the department is going to do about it.
    If you cannot obtain a copy of the 911 call recording, you can infer that nothing dangerous or illegal was alleged in the 911 call by the police officer's statement that "people were nervous".

    Its just me, but, early in the complaint, after reciting the facts,I wouldthank them for confessing that they plan to continue violatingmy 4A rights by telling me that I am"just asking for trouble."

    Use the forum search feature to find out more about writing formal complaints.

    Below are excerpts from two court opinions applicable to your situation. Please take some time to read the entire opinions at the links below. Also, realize they are not the whole picture in all cases of police detaining someone.

    1. Terry vs Ohio

    ...It must be recognized that, whenever a police officer accosts an individual and restrains his freedom to walk away, he has "seized" that person...

    ...And, in justifying the particular intrusion, the police officer must be able to point to specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant that intrusion...

    ...And in determining whether the officer acted reasonably in such circumstances, due weight must be given not to his inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or "hunch," but to the specific reasonable inferences which he is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his experience... (emphasis added)

    ...We merely hold today that, where a police officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous, where, in the course of investigating this behavior, he identifies himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in the initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others' safety, he is entitled for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him... (emphasis added)

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



    2. US vs Mendenhall

    ...The Fourth Amendment's requirement that searches and seizures be founded upon an objective justification, governs all seizures of the person, including seizures that involve only a brief detention short of traditional arrest... (emphasis added)

    ...We conclude that a person has been "seized" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment only if, in view of all of the circumstances surrounding the incident, a reasonable person would have believed that he was not free to leave. [n6] Examples of circumstances that might indicate a seizure, even where the person did not attempt to leave, would be the threatening presence of several officers, the display of a weapon by an officer, some physical touching of the person of the citizen, or the use of language or tone of voice indicating that compliance with the officer's request might be compelled. (emphasis added)

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/htm...6_0544_ZO.html
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  12. #12
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    Citizen wrote:
    Was any of that legal? I don't know the law on carrying knives in your state...
    Other than switchblades and "gravity knives" there IS no state law regarding carrying knives in Wisconsin. However many local municipalities have ordinances regulating knives by blade length, or whether it is a "dagger" and so on. So you ought to know your local ordinances, and the ordinances of any other municipality where you carry a knife that is in any way "iffy." Your run of the mill Swiss Army knife or a small folder under 3" in length is likely to be legal most anywhere in the state. Beyond that it becomes much less certain. The problem of course is, there can be as many variations in the ordinances as there are municipalities in the state. That makes it difficult to always be knowledgeable about what is legal in any particular place. In other words, exactly one of the same reasons a state firearms preemption law was passed 14 years ago!

    Sheesh, when I went to New York City, I knew I wasn't going to try to take a gun with me, but I sure as hell was going to take whatever legal weaponry I was allowed to have. I talked with an NYCPD official and he said it would be ok to carry a knife as long as the blade was no longer than the width of the palm of my hand. Wow what impressive precision that is! Some people have hands the size of a catcher's mitt, so do they get to carry a much larger knife than the average person? (Ironic, since people that size probably would need LESS knife than the average person.) And does that mean that the average woman is allowed to carry a knife that is smaller than the average male is allowed to carry?

    A. Gold

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    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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