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Thread: Case: Arrested for OC, "scaring people", loses in court

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    Yesterday I spent a few hours with a firearms instructor to qualify for USPSA competition. This guy is not LEO but he supervises most of the LE qualification programs in Whatcom County, including ICE. So he knows pretty much what he's talking about. Granting that his point of view is decidedly from the LE perspective, we discussed a number of issues about OC and CC. One case that he cited involved some guy walking his dog on a dark street at night and carrying an AR-15. Someone called 911 claiming he was "frightening" them, LE responded, arrested him, and when it went to court, THE GUY LOST! This seems to be a simple case of OC, protected by 9.41.270 as we all are, but somehow the claim of "frightening" won the day in court. This probably hinged on the phrase "causes alarm" as the law words it. If this case is precedent, it means someone need only claim they were "frightened" by an OC'er to have an arrest, and worse, a conviction. So the question is: what could this case have been? He didn't mention any case name, or even the jurisdiction where it happened. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

    This instructor's advice was basically this: OC is legal, no question, BUT if you do it be prepared for consequences like that case. He himself carries, but strictly CC. Likewise, he says, if you do have to fire your weapon in self-defense, CALL 911 yourself and PUT YOUR WEAPON DOWN. If you still have it on you or in your hand it couldget you shot by LE.

    This mirrors a conversation I had with a sergeant in the Ferndale PD. Interestingly, he's the same guy who responded to my OC incident in Haggen's last October. I bumped into him at the Custer range a couple weeks ago and we had a rather friendly discussion about competitive shooting, guns, etc --- "gun talk". His guys were doing quals with their AR-15's. Then a week or so later I bumped into him again and the topic turned to OC, and I reminded him of the Haggen incident. He asked me if I always OC and I said Yes, almost every day, except when I CC. At that point the air became a bit thick, and the subject changed rather quickly. So my take on it is that even though this guy is educated about the law, he takes a dim view of OC. I don't know how this would translate in a MWAG incident on public property. This just FWIW

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    Richard6218 wrote:
    Yesterday I spent a few hours with a firearms instructor to qualify for USPSA competition. This guy is not LEO but he supervises most of the LE qualification programs in Whatcom County, including ICE. So he knows pretty much what he's talking about. Granting that his point of view is decidedly from the LE perspective, we discussed a number of issues about OC and CC. One case that he cited involved some guy walking his dog on a dark street at night and carrying an AR-15. Someone called 911 claiming he was "frightening" them, LE responded, arrested him, and when it went to court, THE GUY LOST! This seems to be a simple case of OC, protected by 9.41.270 as we all are, but somehow the claim of "frightening" won the day in court. This probably hinged on the phrase "causes alarm" as the law words it. If this case is precedent, it means someone need only claim they were "frightened" by an OC'er to have an arrest, and worse, a conviction. So the question is: what could this case have been? He didn't mention any case name, or even the jurisdiction where it happened. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

    This instructor's advice was basically this: OC is legal, no question, BUT if you do it be prepared for consequences like that case. He himself carries, but strictly CC. Likewise, he says, if you do have to fire your weapon in self-defense, CALL 911 yourself and PUT YOUR WEAPON DOWN. If you still have it on you or in your hand it couldget you shot by LE.

    This mirrors a conversation I had with a sergeant in the Ferndale PD. Interestingly, he's the same guy who responded to my OC incident in Haggen's last October. I bumped into him at the Custer range a couple weeks ago and we had a rather friendly discussion about competitive shooting, guns, etc --- "gun talk". His guys were doing quals with their AR-15's. Then a week or so later I bumped into him again and the topic turned to OC, and I reminded him of the Haggen incident. He asked me if I always OC and I said Yes, almost every day, except when I CC. At that point the air became a bit thick, and the subject changed rather quickly. So my take on it is that even though this guy is educated about the law, he takes a dim view of OC. I don't know how this would translate in a MWAG incident on public property. This just FWIW

    Sounds like State v Spencer. However, it was an AK and the reason he was convicted is because he was carrying it in an "assaultive manner", ie. he had the butt to his shoulder and his hand on the grip.

    State v. Spencer


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    Richard6218 wrote:
    This seems to be a simple case of OC, protected by 9.41.270 as we all are, but somehow the claim of "frightening" won the day in court. This probably hinged on the phrase "causes alarm" as the law words it.
    The law doesn't use the word "causes alarm". It uses the term "warrants alarm". They are two completely different things.

    Personally, I would take the story with a grain of salt until I found the cite, which will be difficult.
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

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    I could see if you were carrying it with butt to shoulder it may warrant alarm. Simply slinging a rifle over your shoulder wouldnt seem to meet that standard. But of course it always hinges on the perceptions of the "victim" and the common sense of the officer.

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    Instructors, although well meaning, often don't have all the facts straight when they tell these "stories". I always take them with a grain of salt unless they can cite specific cases by name.

    This "story" sounds a lot like "Spenser" but with a different rifle and other specifics.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Weave wrote:
    But of course it always hinges on the perceptions of the "victim" and the common sense of the officer.
    No it doesn't. It hinges on the law.

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    irfner wrote:
    Weave wrote:
    But of course it always hinges on the perceptions of the "victim" and the common sense of the officer.
    No it doesn't. It hinges on the law.
    No it doesn't. The rule of law is all but dead in America. Has been for my entirely lifetime. Warrantless wiretapping, torture camps, PATRIOT act and DMCA. Not to mention the entirety of the superfund BS.

    Yeah... it depends entirely on the perceptions of the officer, since juries don't know about -- and are specifically hidden from -- nullification, and cops are in cohorts with judges and prosecutors.

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    I have learned that when getting firearms related law speeches from "instructors" you should do as Reagan said, Trust but verify. Don't take their word for it unless you can have them cite case law or the actual law.

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    Vandal wrote:
    I have learned that when getting firearms related law speeches from "instructors" you should do as Reagan said, Trust but verify. Don't take their word for it unless you can have them cite case law or the actual law.
    "Verify" was my whole reason for posting the story, hoping that it would ring a bell with someone.

    As I heard it there was no detail as to the particulars of the case, i.e. the defendant's demeanor or other circumstances. All he said was that the guy was carrying an AR-15, and it was at night on a dark street, and that the compainant stated that he/she was "frightened" by the weapon. Whatever the circumstances the case was strong enough to convict the guy, and that is what concerns me.

    RCW 9.41.270(1) does use the words "warrants alarm" but the distinction has been drawn between that and "causes alarm" in case law. Sorry, I can't recall the case but that is the source for the distinction between the two terms.


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    grishnav wrote:
    No it doesn't. The rule of law is all but dead in America. Has been for my entirely lifetime. Warrantless wiretapping, torture camps, PATRIOT act and DMCA. Not to mention the entirety of the superfund BS.

    Yeah... it depends entirely on the perceptions of the officer, since juries don't know about -- and are specifically hidden from -- nullification, and cops are in cohorts with judges and prosecutors.




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    Better put my $.02 in... I CAN PEE FARTHER THAN YOU CAN!!!!!!
    Seriously, it really doesn't matter what WE think. All cases in law are weighed individually and are decided as to who has the better delivery of the argument, period.
    This bickering back and forth is just like a school playground and is getting nothing resolved.
    "Laws" are written the way they are written so there is always an argument available. Try reading some, they're all vague.
    When the **** hits the fan, ask yourself: What Would Bugly Do?

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    As is so often true here, you ask a simple question and get a lot of spin that has nothing to do with the original question. ALL I ASKED WAS WHETHER ANYONE KNEW THE DETAILS OF THE CASE. No one has the answer. Thank you.

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    I think Kenshin had the closest answer. I bet it was that case and the instructor is wrong on the style of weapon.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Richard6218 wrote:
    RCW 9.41.270(1) does use the words "warrants alarm" but the distinction has been drawn between that and "causes alarm" in case law. Sorry, I can't recall the case but that is the source for the distinction between the two terms.
    The distinction was made in State v. Casad, an as yet unpublished case and therefore cannot be used in court as precedent but it does show how another court would most likely rule.
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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    I agree that with kenshin's original point that it sounds like Spencer. The link he provided gives a recap of what happened (as brought out in the trial court) before going into the analysis. Unfortunately, there's not enough of a description of the terms used, "AK-47 semiautomatic rifle, with the clip attached, on his shoulder as he walked." and "military rifle slung on his shoulder" (passing motorist) and "He also thought that the manner in which Spencer carried the rifle was threatening." (firefighter's observation) and "a hostile, assaultive type manner with the weapon ready" (Officer Wall's observation). None of these descriptors further describes how the rifle was being carried in great detail (not unusual for a SCOWA opinion). The main factor's seem to be that 1) it was a military type rifle, 2) the clip was attached, 3) it was in some manner slung or carried and touching his shoulder, and 4) he was looking down and walking briskly.

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    Gene Beasley wrote:
    I agree that with kenshin's original point that it sounds like Spencer. The link he provided gives a recap of what happened (as brought out in the trial court) before going into the analysis. Unfortunately, there's not enough of a description of the terms used, "AK-47 semiautomatic rifle, with the clip attached, on his shoulder as he walked." and "military rifle slung on his shoulder" (passing motorist) and "He also thought that the manner in which Spencer carried the rifle was threatening." (firefighter's observation) and "a hostile, assaultive type manner with the weapon ready" (Officer Wall's observation). None of these descriptors further describes how the rifle was being carried in great detail (not unusual for a SCOWA opinion). The main factor's seem to be that 1) it was a military type rifle, 2) the clip was attached, 3) it was in some manner slung or carried and touching his shoulder, and 4) he was looking down and walking briskly.
    Gene/kenshin: this may be the case the instructor was describing. The only element not mentioned is whether it was at night, because the description I heard was that it was very dark, which the claimants alleged made the person that much more threatening. Can you clear that up? If so I think it would be safe to conclude this was the one.

    Casad is a case I'm most familiar with and I've used it in making my case with some of the local lawmakers. It definitely wasn't that because the incident that began the case happened in mid-afternoon, I think about 2PM.

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    Richard6218 wrote:
    Gene Beasley wrote:
    I agree that with kenshin's original point that it sounds like Spencer. The link he provided gives a recap of what happened (as brought out in the trial court) before going into the analysis. Unfortunately, there's not enough of a description of the terms used, "AK-47 semiautomatic rifle, with the clip attached, on his shoulder as he walked." and "military rifle slung on his shoulder" (passing motorist) and "He also thought that the manner in which Spencer carried the rifle was threatening." (firefighter's observation) and "a hostile, assaultive type manner with the weapon ready" (Officer Wall's observation). None of these descriptors further describes how the rifle was being carried in great detail (not unusual for a SCOWA opinion). The main factor's seem to be that 1) it was a military type rifle, 2) the clip was attached, 3) it was in some manner slung or carried and touching his shoulder, and 4) he was looking down and walking briskly.
    Gene/kenshin: this may be the case the instructor was describing. The only element not mentioned is whether it was at night, because the description I heard was that it was very dark, which the claimants alleged made the person that much more threatening. Can you clear that up? If so I think it would be safe to conclude this was the one.

    Casad is a case I'm most familiar with and I've used it in making my case with some of the local lawmakers. It definitely wasn't that because the incident that began the case happened in mid-afternoon, I think about 2PM.
    It does say the time of day in State vs. Spencer as that is a requirement to violate .270.

    Code:
    On August 19, 1991, at approximately 10 p.m., Spencer was taking a walk with his dog. He carried his
    AK-47 semiautomatic rifle, with the clip attached, on his shoulder as he walked.
    I am almost certain the case that was described to you is Spencer.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    It was a night this took place in Federal Way (not quite the city), but the Firefighters involved were Kent FF's handling a Federal Way incident. The FF's name mentioned was not FW. It sounds familiar though. I seem to remember dispatching that night. 260th and Pacific Hwy was not uncommon for Kent to handle one of our incidents. I also know Officer Wall, not well - probably not well enough to try to get further info. I might try to find some original trial court information. I think this was poorly decided. I think this because I vaguely recall hearing some comments shortly after the incident took place.

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    Also, FWIW, 260th and PHS was pretty much a sh!thole, the east side of the highway was the worst. I wouldn't necessarily sling an AK, but if I was walking my dog at 2200, I would definitely be armed.

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    If Hankt thinks Grtshnav is paranoid then your not paying attention ol boy. Please read the U.S. Constitution, article one, section two . It reads "
    The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;" . If this nations population is three hundred million that means we should have a U.S. Hous of Rep. of ten thousand. If we only have four hundred thirty five members then, we only have 4.35 % of what the constitution calls for.

    Now the kicker is when you read Article one, Section five, "
    and a Majority of each(house and senate) shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide." Now this leaves us with an unlawful congress because they are operating without a quorum.

    This wizardry has been in effect since a Democratic house, a Republican senate and a Democtatic president passed public law 62-5 ( the constitution can only be changed with an amendment or convention to the constitution)making the size of the house a permanet 435.This law passed in 1911 to be effective in 1913. Population of USA 94 million. So you can see we do not have a republic but an Oligarchy .

    This means congress has passed no law or amendment since 1913. By studing the history of congress and the supreme court you find how they have tricked the American public with word games,blue smoke and mirrors.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_..._apportionment

    Dang

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    Welcome to the boards dang.

    dang wrote:
    ... a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn ...
    Dang
    Your links are broken, in case you wanted to point to something specific.

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    dang wrote:

    If Hankt thinks Grtshnav is paranoid then your not paying attention ol boy. Please read the U.S. Constitution, article one, section two . It reads "
    The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;" . If this nations population is three hundred million that means we should have a U.S. Hous of Rep. of ten thousand. If we only have four hundred thirty five members then, we only have 4.35 % of what the constitution calls for.


    The quoted language sets a limit ("shall not exceed"), not a requirement. It would be a requirement if it read "The number of representatives shall be one for every thirty thousand...."

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    dang wrote:

    If Hankt thinks Grtshnav is paranoid then your not paying attention ol boy. Please read the U.S. Constitution, article one, section two . It reads "
    The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;" . If this nations population is three hundred million that means we should have a U.S. Hous of Rep. of ten thousand. If we only have four hundred thirty five members then, we only have 4.35 % of what the constitution calls for.

    Now the kicker is when you read Article one, Section five, "
    and a Majority of each(house and senate) shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide." Now this leaves us with an unlawful congress because they are operating without a quorum.

    This wizardry has been in effect since a Democratic house, a Republican senate and a Democtatic president passed public law 62-5 ( the constitution can only be changed with an amendment or convention to the constitution)making the size of the house a permanet 435.This law passed in 1911 to be effective in 1913. Population of USA 94 million. So you can see we do not have a republic but an Oligarchy .

    This means congress has passed no law or amendment since 1913. By studing the history of congress and the supreme court you find how they have tricked the American public with word games,blue smoke and mirrors.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_..._apportionment

    Dang
    What the HELL does this have to do with the Spencer case, or for that matter anything about the subject of this thread?????

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    soo if it's 29999 your out of luck for getting a rep. for the house . Now we see how thethe crookspulled this off?Just mince,twist and torture words to cover up thier crooked act.

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    dang wrote:
    mince,twist and torture words

    Some people call it that. Some call it giving common meaning to everyday words...



    -adamsesq


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