Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: detained while open-carrying an AK + SVT-40 on my motorcycle

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    35

    Post imported post

    Hi all,

    I know we normally use the term "open carry" to refer to a holstered handgun, but I normally sling a rifle across my back when I ride my motorcycle to the shooting range or to show it off over at a friend's house. I've been doing so frequently without any incident in Houston and Austin, TX and have even passed by (and waved) at several police officers while doing so.

    However, I live in an urban area near downtown Houston, where most people don't own a gun and many have probably never seen one in real life (except for cops' sidearms), so I recognize that the sight can frighten some people.

    Anyhow, this morning I hopped on my motorcycle with my side-folder AK (actually an AMD-65 paratrooper AK) slung across my back and my SVT-40 slung across my chest (so they wouldn't scrape each other). (I also stuck a Tokarev pistol in a concealed ankle holster and my every-day-carry Glock in my wasteband holster). I hopped on the freeway, and passed a couple of cop cars without any problems. I'm half-way to my buddy's house when I see two cop cars flashing their lights at me, so I pull over and kill the engine (leaving my hands on the handlebars and not taking off my helmet). After a few minutes one cop approaches me slowly while the other backs him up with his gun at his side. The police officer lifts the rifles over my head and sets them down, then handcuffs me, then removes my two handguns. I get a pat-down and get led to the backseat of a copcar. I ask them if I've done something wrong, and they say that they got a call about someone with assault rifles and they're required to respond to it and check it out. Two more cops show up.

    The first officer asks me where I'm going and if there's any way I can get a bag for my rifle so they don't get called out every time I go to a shooting range. I inform him that I've been doing this for years and this is the first time I've had any problems and that it's completely legal, even without my CHL. This guy is pretty understanding and tries to make sure I'm comfortable, but none of the other three cops knew that it was legal to carry a rifle. They run my plates, DL, CHL several times to see if anything comes up, and then double check with Central to make sure it's legal to carry rifles. All the while they're joking around about never having actually *seen* "Mad Max" riding down the freeway....

    Then, because I'm carrying an "evil black rifle" they want to make sure with ATF that it's not Class III (though that wouldn't have affected the legality of carrying it, just owning it, as long as I had the tax stamp).

    I have to spell out the makes/models of my rifles and inform the officers what calibers of round they shoot. They record the serial numbers of all of my firearms. I do not give consent to search my saddlebags, which are locked. One officer tugs on the lid to see if they can be opened without a key.
    Eventually most of the cops disperse and the first one lets me out of the back of the cop car, unlocks the cuffs, and tells me I can "load up" and go on my way.

    All told, I wasted about half an hour, maybe a little longer.
    Uggghh.
    I just came back from a road trip wherein I open-carried my Glock all across NM, AZ, NV, UT, CO without any problems. Then again, I've been carrying a rifle on my back for years without a problem. I guess there's a first for everything.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gulf Coast, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    144

    Post imported post

    Wow, yeah open carry of "long guns" isn't illegal in a number states, I've actually thought about doing it in MS with my SKS because I haven't found a statue against it, just "rifles shorter than 16" and shotguns shoter than 18" basically ATF guidelines for CIII anyway.

    Even though it isn't illegal doesn't mean you won't be seen as man carrying an evil gun...

    Sucks you were delayed for half an hour and cuffed, but what can you do? "MAN WITH AN EVIL BLACK RIFLE!!" and you all know how it goes from there...

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    35

    Post imported post

    Well, if you *do* decide to do so, I like to keep a printed out copy of the state's firearms laws in my saddlebags, and I move my hands *very* slowly if/when detained by police. (Common sense, I know.) Also, print out supreme court cases that establish that "the mere wearing of arms does not constitute disorderly conduct or brandishing" if the laws in your state are not already crystal-clear on that issue.

    I haven't had to show any officers the law, but there definitely is a lot of confusion about the matter.

    -tico

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    376

    Post imported post

    IMHO, you need to sue them. You were illegally searched and seized. If you had a hammer on your hip or a shovel slung around your back, would they pull you over? They had no PC to stop you, detain you, or really do anything. 42 USC 1983, hit em up.

    Have you talked to a civil rights lawyer yet?

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    35

    Post imported post

    I'm more than willing to take recommendations for a 2A / civil rights attorney in Houston that would take this up pro bono, but I'm not aware of any that would "bite" unless I was hospitalized for having been beaten up by a cop on video camera ...

    But I (obviously) agree -- there was absolutely no probable cause to detain me, and the only reason the officers gave was that they "had to check me out because I had an assault rifle on my back ..."

  6. #6
    Lone Star Veteran Ian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    712

    Post imported post

    tico wrote:
    I'm more than willing to take recommendations for a 2A / civil rights attorney in Houston that would take this up pro bono, but I'm not aware of any that would "bite" unless I was hospitalized for having been beaten up by a cop on video camera ...

    But I (obviously) agree -- there was absolutely no probable cause to detain me, and the only reason the officers gave was that they "had to check me out because I had an assault rifle on my back ..."
    You don't have to be beaten up by a police officer to have your rights violated...

  7. #7
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Gone
    Posts
    3,958

    Post imported post

    tico wrote:
    I'm more than willing to take recommendations for a 2A / civil rights attorney in Houston that would take this up pro bono, but I'm not aware of any that would "bite" unless I was hospitalized for having been beaten up by a cop on video camera ...

    But I (obviously) agree -- there was absolutely no probable cause to detain me, and the only reason the officers gave was that they "had to check me out because I had an assault rifle on my back ..."
    Assault is a behavior, not an object.

  8. #8
    Centurion
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Yuma, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    923

    Post imported post

    At the minimum I think you should draft a letter to the department detailing your treatment and demanding that they address the issue with training. This will document the case for the future and may be used to show a pattern of abuse. I would talk to an attorney and have them send the letter if you can manage it.

  9. #9
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    35

    Post imported post

    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    Assault is a behavior, not an object.*
    You're preaching to the choir. I know that, but those were the police officer's words.

    As for sending a letter to the chief of police, I plan on doing so, but want to consult with an attorney first to see if I've got a case against the city. I'll post back once I've found someone who'll talk to me.

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    1,544

    Post imported post

    You need to request any and all communications, police reports, and video tapes of the event under your state's Freedom of Information Act (if you have one).

    There should be a lawyer out there willing to take the case on a contingency basis (they take a cut of what you win).

    You should file a complaint at the state level, the local level, and with the FBI. What they did was violate your First, Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth amendment rights. What they did was also an abuse of their power under color of law, a Federal Felony which carries a minimum of 1 year jail time.

    Please contact a lawyer about this ASAP.

  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    376

    Post imported post

    At the minimum I think you should draft a letter to the department detailing your treatment and demanding that they address the issue with training. This will document the case for the future and may be used to show a pattern of abuse. I would talk to an attorney and have them send the letter if you can manage it.

    Show a pattern of abuse for whom exactly? Who is going to do something if the victims won't? The magical justice fairies? This needs to be handled with a lawsuit, plain and simple. Training is standing in front of the man with a robe. That will get them trained and will deter a future occurance.

    What have you come up with in Google thus far?





  12. #12
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    35

    Post imported post

    Gentlemen, thus far I have yet to find an attorney that is interested in taking up this case, much less without expecting $$ from me up front.

    If you *know* of an attorney in the Houston area that you can recommend that handles civil rights / 2A/4A lawsuits I'm open to suggestions.

    -t

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    376

    Post imported post

    how much are they asking for up front? I don't think 1-2k up front would be abnormal.

    If they aren't willing to take on the case, you should do it pro-se.

  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Big D
    Posts
    1,059

    Post imported post

    I would think that a first step might be to ask for a meeting with the city attorney/district attorney. At that meeting, you discuss what laws apply, and why it is important to you that the law, but only the law, be enforced. Try to get the city to issue directive to officers about this particular set of laws, and what conduct if expected.

    You could ask for a copy of the letter to be provided to you at the same time, so it can be shown to the person stopping you, either in Houston or elsewhere in the state, and you can be on your way. Ask the person meeting with you and issuing the letter if you can have any officer with a question call them day or night, based on the letter. They might then try to get the department to educate officers on the matter to avoid phone calls.

  15. #15
    Founder's Club Member PrayingForWar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    The Real World.
    Posts
    1,705

    Post imported post

    Try Dick Deguerin.
    If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training. You will become a minister of death, PRAYING FOR WAR...

  16. #16
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    376

    Post imported post

    I would think that a first step might be to ask for a meeting with the city attorney/district attorney. At that meeting, you discuss what laws apply, and why it is important to you that the law, but only the law, be enforced. Try to get the city to issue directive to officers about this particular set of laws, and what conduct if expected.

    Maybe you aren't up on Tx law, but there is ZERO regulation of long arms in this state. Like zero. None. At all. NOTHING about what OP did was even close to illegal.

    You could ask for a copy of the letter to be provided to you at the same time, so it can be shown to the person stopping you, either in Houston or elsewhere in the state, and you can be on your way. Ask the person meeting with you and issuing the letter if you can have any officer with a question call them day or night, based on the letter. They might then try to get the department to educate officers on the matter to avoid phone calls.

    Sue them and they will be educated.

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Big D
    Posts
    1,059

    Post imported post

    codename_47 wrote:
    Maybe you aren't up on Tx law, but there is ZERO regulation of long arms in this state. Like zero. None. At all. NOTHING about what OP did was even close to illegal.


    Sue them and they will be educated.
    I am actually very up on Texas law, but my first reaction to any perceived slight is NOT to sue a government. I, as a taxpayer, am the one who ends up paying, not some police officer or government official. If you are intending to force some action (rather than collect money) then why not try a carrot before thinking "stick."

    I guess I can see why some people think that everyone cannot be trusted to wear a sidearm.

  18. #18
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    376

    Post imported post

    I am actually very up on Texas law, but my first reaction to any perceived slight is NOT to sue a government. I, as a taxpayer, am the one who ends up paying, not some police officer or government official. If you are intending to force some action (rather than collect money) then why not try a carrot before thinking "stick."

    Look, I live in this place called reality. This is the kind of situation that warrants more than a stern talking to. There needs to be some heavy and repeated stick action, otherwise the cops won't learn.

    IMHO, if you intend to force some action, you need to have a significantly negative option ready and waiting to enforce compliance. YOU as the taxpayer will not end up paying, it will be the insurance company. The cops most certainly can wind up paying on a personal level if they goof up.



  19. #19
    Accomplished Advocate
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bedford, Texas, USA
    Posts
    834

    Post imported post

    all of the talk about how taxpayers end up footing the bill when you sue the government is irrelevant.......to a certain point.

    yes, they foot the bill, but they should. It's been far too long that 'taxpayers' have ignored their civil duty in maintaining an honest government. If they have to foot the bill because they failed in their duty, so be it.

  20. #20
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Big D
    Posts
    1,059

    Post imported post

    DKSuddeth wrote:
    all of the talk about how taxpayers end up footing the bill when you sue the government is irrelevant.......to a certain point.

    yes, they foot the bill, but they should. It's been far too long that 'taxpayers' have ignored their civil duty in maintaining an honest government. If they have to foot the bill because they failed in their duty, so be it.
    I guess my point is that we should be working through effective, low cost, non-belligerent options first. You can always fire the courtroom salvo after diplomacy fails.

  21. #21
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    376

    Post imported post

    I guess my point is that we should be working through effective, low cost, non-belligerent options first.

    Uhh Why? low cost, non-belligerent options are defacto not effective. Furthermore, you don't respond to aggressive behavior with non-aggression. That only encourages them. Put THEIR money at risk. Start taking THEIR time. Start demanding answers and accountability from them, and see what happens.

    Think about it, if a cop knew that he faced a civil lawsuit for stepping out of line, they would rarely do it. Screw formal complaints drag his butt into court.

    You can always fire the courtroom salvo after diplomacy fails.

    But a courtroom salvo IS diplomacy. There is lots of talking, reasoning, rationalizing, offers, counter offers, etc...It is all fun and games until someone gets sued.

  22. #22
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Texas, United States
    Posts
    130

    Post imported post

    Diplomacy in these matters never work. Don't go for a stick. Use a BOOM stick!

  23. #23
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    3

    Post imported post

    I vote for the "Boom-Stick" as well........

  24. #24
    Lone Star Veteran Gator5713's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Aggieland, Texas, USA
    Posts
    593

    Post imported post

    Sorry i'm so late chiming in here... I haven't stopped by in a while...

    On I-10 heading Eastbound into Houston (some miles west of Katy) there is a billboard with a civil rights attorney stating that he is willing to go after City/State/whatever/Whoever for civil rights violations. I do not remember his name, and havent passed that way in a some time, but I am sure that it is still there.

    Also, the act of 'suing' does not necessarily constitute the exchange of money. You 'sue' for 'restitution'. That restitution can be in any form you so choose, I would put an amount of money in to cover your court costs, but the true restitution can come in the form of new training, suspension of pay for violations, whatever you feel necessary!

    Take it to court! And good luck!

    P.S. IANAL

  25. #25
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    8

    Post imported post

    Okay, the answer is very simple.



    First, screw diplomacy. The stop was not just wrong,it was ILLEGAL.We don't pay cops to get together and hang out on the side of the roadwhile they harass some LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, who legally stapped an AK tohis backand got on a bike. That's NOT their job!!!Every minute you suffered because they forced you to stand there for nothing, we spent paying these creatons to make you stand there for nothing, and that ain't cool.



    That being said, the first step is to file a CRIMINAL COMPLAINT against every single officer that showed up either to violate, or to watch others violate, yourGOD GIVEN HUMAN RIGHTS, yet did nothing to stop thatrights violation. Then, file a CRIMINAL COMPLAINT against thier supervisor for not providing adequate supervision over his criminal horde and allowing them to violate yourrights. If ANYONE, even a judge, gets in your way when you file your complaints, file CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS on them.



    Need to know how? Need to know the steps? Need to know which laws, EXACTLY, that they violated by violating your CIVIL RIGHTS? Listen to RULE OF LAW RADIO (use your search engine) Listen to their archives, or call into the show. They are out of Austin, so they know Texas law best. And Randy Kelton can help you learn the process for going after these scumbags yourself WITHOUT an attorney. 'Cause your right. Ain't no way in heck an attorney is gonna p-ss -ff some judge by going after one of his boys. That judge will ruinthat attorneyslaw career. A worry you don't have to deal with if your not an attorney.



    I'm not kidding. You can go after those CRIMINALS, and they are criminals for what they have done. They broke SEVERAL laws by illegally detaining you, and you, not an attorney can go after them for it. You can FORCE judges to take action against these RIGHTS violators if you just understand how the legal system works, and the processes involved with filing a criminal complaint with a magistrate. Randy Kelton and Debrah Stevens, Rule of Law Radio, get 'em and get 'em good. When your done with them, if they are still employed, they will NEVER do that again. And you didn't cost the tax-payers anything, other than the court costs, but you can blame that on the officer that forced you to take actions against him for being such a criminal.



    Then, if you so choose, you can use the results from your criminal actionsas the basis for civil actions against the cops, personally (which saves tax-payers from having to pay), the boss, personally, the department, and the city. If you so choose. And you don't need a stinking attorney for that either.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •