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Thread: Detained on the strip

  1. #1
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    This is the content of a complaint form I just sent to the FBI, Internal Affairs, and Citizens Review Board. This situation mimics very closely what DONT TREAD ON ME went through in NW Las Vegas a few weeks back, including the unloading of my weapon and making me play hide and go seek to reload it.



    I was out for a walk along Las Vegas Blvd and openly carrying my firearm. I was stopped by what seemed like 10 officers as I was swarmed by police officers with weapons drawn. They blocked the right lane of southbound Las Vegas Blvd approximately 1/4 mile south of Charleston.

    Sgt Tom Miller was the initial contact officer and he instructed me to put my hands on my head with backup officers pointing guns in my direction. He then proceeded to handcuff me. He lectured me about carrying a firearm but acknowledged it was legal. I objected to being detained and handcuffed but did not resist physically. My objections were dismissed.

    I was clearly being seized in the form of a Terry stop, though the Terry standards were not met. I repeated that I do not consent to being detained and would like to be released immediately. I demanded that Sgt Miller articulate his "reasonable suspicion" which is one of the required components of a terry stop. His response was that I was being stopped on suspicion of armed robbery, clearly absurd and not-the-least-bit reasonable. By Miller's own admission, there were no reports of any armed robberies, any threatened armed robberies, nor any report of a suspect who's description I matched. He later conceded I was stopped merely because he witnessed me carrying a holstered firearm. I was stopped at gun point and held against my will despite the fact that I did not consent to the detainment and there was no Reasonable and Articulable suspicion. This was a violation of my 4th amendment rights and I also believe an egregious violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242, as the unlawful stop was combined with Assault with Deadly Weapon, having at least 2 officers pointing weapons at me (it was dark and there were spotlights in my eyes, so there may have been more I did not see).

    Plain Clothes officers began questioning me as Sgt Miller tried to remove my weapon from its holster. He was not successful in removing it, so he unsafely started pulling it with great force. Though I was handcuffed, I verbally repeated several times I do not consent to having my firearm seized. Sgt Miller responded he didn't care. My belt is a custom made leather gun belt with internal strengthening rod and my holster is a retention holster, the combination of which renders the firearm secure upon my person. A plain clothes officer had to show Sgt Miller that the retention holster has a manual release that must be depressed to release the gun.

    As the plain clothes officer removed the gun, I again repeated I do not consent to them seizing my firearm. He just looked at me asking if I had any other guns on me as he proceeded to lift my shirt. I immediately stated I do not consent to a search (Terry standards limit the "search" for weapons to an external pat down). To his (limited) professionalism, he immediately ceased the search and instead turned his attention to my gun and asked if I have a "blue card to carry that weapon". A blue card is a registration card, and according to the LVMPD web site (http://www.lvmpd.com/permits/firearms_registration.html) is not required to be carried upon your person. As I consider it like a car title, I leave it safely at home in my safe so in the event of a theft, I have some proof of ownership. This question was repeated nearly a dozen times throughout the detainment. I advised the officers that the LVMPD web site specifically states it is not required to be carried and that if they are unsure (clearly they did not know), they should call the firearms detail.

    I explained I was exercising my right to remain silent and requested an attorney be present before they question me further. I even produced a business card repeating these statements and assertion of rights. All the officers examined this card and then placed it on the hood of the cruiser, a copy of which can likely be seen from the dashboard camera footage from Sgt Miller's cruiser.

    Despite my request for an attorney, both verbally and in writing, I was continually questioned in violation of my 6th amendment rights. Admittedly, I did make voluntary statements following my assertion of my 5th amendment right to remain silent. However, those statements made, temporarily waiving my 5th amendment right, did not change the fact that I was questioned without an attorney and was detained absent reasonable articulable suspicion, probable cause, or a warrant.

    While Sgt Miller made his absurd assertion of me being an armed robbery suspect, the plain clothes officer who previously removed my firearm without permission (in fact, with a demand that he not touch my property period), he was so unsafely handling the weapon and ammunition, a bullet dropped upon the hood of the cruiser and rolled down, landing on the road. I begged them "Please stop damaging my property." as I was unable to physically do anything, having my hands bound behind my back.

    Sgt Miller continued his lecture and stated that he will stop everyone with a firearm, as that is "enough" reasonable suspicion for him to detain any citizen he so chooses. He said I have to prove I'm not a felon, since a felon in possession of a firearm is a crime. I replied that since this was not Nazi Germany, citizens need not produce their papers to prove they're "legal".

    I again demanded to be released immediately and have my firearm placed back in my holster. In response, Miller demanded "I want to see a blue card." I again explained that I did not have it in my possession and I was not required to carry it, according to the LVMPD web site I responsibly checked prior to carrying my firearm.

    Unsatisfied, the plain clothes officer want back to questioning me "Do you have a blue card for that firearm?". I again replied I'm not answering any questions without an attorney present and repeated I do not consent to having my firearm seized. Miller raised his voice and began yelling "DID WE SAY THAT?" I explained that simply having my property on the hood of the cruiser and not in my possession constituted seizure under the law. "Listen hear Mr Lawyer" Sgt Miller taunted, upon which he again tried questioning me, and I again refused. Finally, the plain clothes officer returned and asked my name. Being familiar with NRS 171.123, which requires a person held by police to identify himself (though NRS 171.123 does repeat the Terry standard requiring reasonable articulable suspicion, which the police did not have in my case), I opted to cooperate and identified myself by name, spelling both first and last name and also providing my middle names.

    He was still unhappy. I was the one being held illegally, but still cooperating as required by law, but the plain clothes officer was still unhappy. He asked for my date of birth, which is not required to be furnished under state law, and so I did not provide that information, citing that I was not required to provide him with it. He threatened me "You're in a lot of @#$%". I asked "I am?" and he said "Yes, you are. Listen, once we get you identified, and find out that you're John Q Citizen, you know what, you'll be on your merry way." I again repeated I did not consent to being seized and wanted to be released immediately. By now, we're only 7 minutes into the detainment and I've asked to be let go 5 times.

    Sgt Miller again wanted to have a debate there while I'm in handcuffs, sweating from the heat (and danger) of the passing traffic and the close proximity of the cruiser. He stood comfortably (and safely) on the sidewalk. He repeats "You are totally right...except for one point...we do have reasonable suspicion to stop anybody with a firearm...(debate)...how do we know you're not a felon...(I reply "I'm not required to prove that to you")...that's reasonable suspicion right there". Clearly this whole dialog shows that the original assertion of "armed robbery" was absurd, and Miller is now fishing for a more reasonable explanation for why he's stopped me and I'm not free to go.

    No longer enjoying the debate, the plain clothes officer said "fine exercise your right" to which I replied "Fine, may I have my firearm back?". His reply is "No, not until we figure out who you are." I had already identified myself, and he had already illegally seized my weapon and ran the registration. I'm not sure what else I would be required to do.

    Already impatient and intolerant of this unlawful detention, I asked again a few minutes later whether I was free to go and they repeated not until they knew who I was and that this gun was not stolen. I said I have no receipt for my hat or my shoes, but that doesn't give you the right to check whether they're stolen. Our country faces an illegal immigration problem but that doesn't give you the right to come into my home and check for illegals. We have a drug problem, but that doesn't give you the right to stop every citizen and check his pockets. Sgt Miller responded "You're wrong, you're totally wrong." Miller goes on to explain that in addition to the rights I've explained, I also have the right to "be stopped and be detained and make sure that firearm belongs to you". I'm rather amused at this continued absurdity and tried educating him that that's what the 4th amendment is all about.

    At this point, the officers gang up, go off on the sidewalk and have a jovial conversation. Loud laughing can be heard but I cannot hear their conversation.

    They come back and tell me that although I've given them my name, how do they know I'm not lying. I then, out of an obvious desire to get out of handcuffs and the heat and danger of traffic, I give the plain clothes officer my drivers license number. They said I still could be making it up or giving them my brother's license number or something. I said look, I'm being more cooperative that I'm required to be under the law, go type the number in and my picture will probably pop up on your computer. If not, I've given you my name, including middle name, including spelling, I've given you my driver license number, you've seized my gun and ran the registration. All of them match, what else do you want?!

    Apparently trying his best to cite the Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, Plain Clothes officer threatened to arrest me for hindering his investigation because I was not cooperating. In that case, the court ruled that a suspect must identify himself or can be charged with hindering an investigation. However, I complied with NRS 171.123 by identifying my name. I went above any beyond the requirements of the law and provided my driver license number so they could positively confirm my identity (compared to another person in Las Vegas who may share my name). With his limited, dangerous, knowledge of the law I decided it was now in my best interest to provide a copy of my driver license, which I did under duress. I was threatened that if I did not, they would arrest me for this "hindering" charge and would seize my weapon and I'd have to convince a judge to give it back to me, which is "very expensive" according to the officer. But now, he no longer needs just my ID. He wants my social security number and again asks for the elusive blue card. I get a smile on my face (didn't he hear me the prior 8 times I mentioned that I do not have it in my possession, it is not required to be in my possession, etc.). Apparently my smile comes across as attitude as I'm threatened again.

    I tell him "You may take my identification only, please return the remainder of the contents of my wallet back to my pocket." He ignores me and takes everything out, credit cards, cash, business cards, frequent shopper cards, casino player cards, concealed weapons permits, social security card, and takes the 4th amendment violations even further. When he sees my concealed weapon permit he says "Hey what is the law about carrying a concealed weapon?". I said you already frisked me and know I'm not carrying any concealed weapons. I repeated that I wasn't carrying any concealed weapons about 4 or 5 times as he asked me even more questions without my attorney present. As I explained I was well versed in NRS 200, NRS 202, NRS 244, and NRS 268, all governing firearms in this state, he stopped trying to trick/intimidate me with his blatant lies. As I see him taking all my cards, I said "I told you only to take my ID". Knowing he was in the wrong, he made up something about my ID being hidden behind several cards and he had to find it. He disappears into the cruiser to run my information again.

    Another few minutes goes by.

    The "silence" was uncomfortable, so I thank the officer for placing me in two pairs of handcuffs rather than a single pair, minimizing the discomfort upon my wrists. He responds the only reason I'm in cuffs is that I refused to answer their questions. I wasn't aware asserting my 5th amendment rights was grounds to escalate an encounter.

    Sgt Miller offers a story about his father who used to carry his six shooter and cooperated with police every time they illegally stopped him. A heartwarming story no doubt, but I opt to exercise my 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment rights in addition to my 2nd amendment rights. I protest being forced to stand here listening to family stories while I'm in handcuffs and not free to leave. The plain clothes officer emerges from the cruiser, explains he found me, I'm in fact not a felon, nor do I have any disqualifying reasons for carrying/possessing a firearm. But, as if it were some Saturday Night Live Skit, when I ask if I'm NOW free to leave, he says as soon as I show him my blue card. I can't help but laugh, though I find the situation far from humorous.

    They start asking me even more questions. I've completely lost my patience at this point and say "I don't want to answer any questions man, am I free to go?" They decide to hold me longer as they examine the type of ammunition I'm carrying. The only handgun ammo illegal in Nevada is a tracer (an bullet with incendiary tip designed to allow a shooter to follow the trajectory visually). However, I patiently explain that the chambered bullet is an "Extreme Shock Air Freedom" round carried by Federal Air Marshals. I carry it as my chambered round to be as absolutely responsible as I can be. These rounds are designed to be fired on board aircraft because they disintegrate when they come into contact with a solid surface, such as an aircraft skin (so they don't shoot the bad guy and crash the plane at the same time). Because they disintegrate upon contact, any accidental discharge minimizes risk to innocent people and the risk of any penetration of wall or window.

    I again repeat I'd like to be on my way immediately. Before removing the handcuffs, the plain clothes officer takes every round out of my magazine (illegally and without consent) and puts them in my pocket. Rather than just dropping the rounds into my pocket, I feel him rooting around touching each and every thing I had in there (again, furthering the 4th amendment violations). He removes the handcuffs and hands me the unloaded gun. The slide is pulled back and locked in place by the retaining clip and I'm told to put it in my holster without releasing the slide. In some kind of hide and seek game, the officer then walks my magazine a 100 feet away and puts it on top of an irrigation box (out of their control and out of my control). He tells me to stay where I am, so even though the handcuffs are off I'm still being detained as I'm not free to leave. He said I'm not to reload the weapon until they leave otherwise they'll arrest me. "Just shut up and listen to me" he says.

    I ask "Am I free to leave now?". He says not until we leave. I'm not free to move until they leave. Ridiculous and illegal. I return to Miller and get a copy of the event number.

    Miller tells me there is no paperwork, but there is a computer record of the officers that respond, etc. He said next time I should just cooperate. This incident has insured that next time I will not cooperate. I will leave my wallet at home or in the car and will not have ID on me.

  2. #2
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    So, Tim, you have your test case and it is you. Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

    Ken

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    In the works Ken. I'm going to head out to the strip again this weekend. This time I will not have ID on me and will not debate anything. They'll get my name after they respond to my demand for their RAS, and I'll keep my mouth shut. A pattern of abuse is the most important element. As my situation so closely mirrored another forum member, I think the pattern is quite clear and is almost certainly a department policy of some kind (unloading the magazine, don't reload till we leave, etc).

    If they really intended to arrest me then, I'll probably wind up getting arrested this weekend, because when the situation turns "ugly" I'll be unable to provide them with my ID to get the cuffs off.

    Tim


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    On a side note, have you looked into what it takes to set up a 501(c)(3) so I can send my tax deductable contribution to the "timf343 legal defense fund"?

    We will keep a light on for you.

    Ken

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    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    Wow.



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    Im shocked....but thats expected when you are OCing on the strip.

    Id probably just givem my damn ID and bluecard.

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    Wow!!!
    If you can have someone follow you with a video camera.

    Post where donations can be sent.

    NVHP did something similar with my ammo/mag during a traffic stop.
    The officer handed me my gun back butunloaded the magazine and placed it on the hood of my car and the ammo behind my car on the shoulder.

    Have you filled your FOIA request?
    You should probably do this before filling a complaint.


    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    Quite an encounter. How long were you detained overall?

    Also, what type of holster and belt were you wearing?


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    CowboyKen wrote:
    On a side note, have you looked into what it takes to set up a 501(c)(3) so I can send my tax deductable contribution to the "timf343 legal defense fund"?

    We will keep a light on for you.

    Ken
    Yea, that was the tricky part. I might be able to get away with a $300 "filing fee" but will most likely wind up needing to pay the $750 filing fee. It's been the only holdup to this point. It will take a few days (literally 30-40 dedicated hours) to compile all the information they requested from scratch but it's in my plan. I hope to have this filed with IRS by mid July.

    Tim

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    geoffw wrote:
    Im shocked....but thats expected when you are OCing on the strip.

    Id probably just givem my damn ID and bluecard.
    From his description of the events, it sounds like that wouldn't have satisfied the cops either. They would want him to prove that the card was his, and not stolen.

    "Proof you're not a felon"? Gee, I think I missed out when they were passing those cards out. If anyone has a spare, let me know.

    Since I live in Nye Co., a blue card is not required, but the LV cops probably don't know that either.

    -

    Tim, good luck with this. If it went as you stated, which of course the cops will deny, I would think you should be able to get a 2A lawyer to take your case easily.

    If a fund is set up, I'm sure a lot of people can help. Keep us updated.

    Bob Rocco

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    geoffw wrote:
    Im shocked....but thats expected when you are OCing on the strip.

    Id probably just givem my damn ID and bluecard.
    I didn't have the blue card, but I refused to give them my ID on principle. Next time I go out (this weekend, maybe tonight) I will not have any ID on me. A holstered firearm and a "rights" card. That's it, no wallet, no CCW, no ID, nothing.

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    Agent19 wrote:
    Wow!!!
    If you can have someone follow you with a video camera.

    Post where donations can be sent.

    NVHP did something similar with my ammo/mag during a traffic stop.
    The officer handed me my gun back butunloaded the magazine and placed it on the hood of my car and the ammo behind my car on the shoulder.

    Have you filled your FOIA request?
    You should probably do this before filling a complaint.

    I had a dream I was wearing an audio recorder. Whether this is legal or not, it was only a dream... Besides, if I were recording, it'd be a pretty tough sell that the officers did not consent to the recording, since their dashboard cameras, with audio, were rolling.

    My FOIA request has already been submitted to LVMPD though they are indicating not all cruisers are equipped with cameras. I'll know in a few days what they found....If no camera, disregard what I said above about any fictional recording...

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    Tim,

    You did everything right during your encounter. It's perfectly clear that the LVMPD engages in a pattern of harassment and civil rights violations. During my own illegal detention on The Strip (documented here - http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum36/20477.html ), the Sgt. in charge even admitted as such. He states that OC is completely lawful, but then says, "Lawful or not, you're gonna be stopped everytime," and, "This is what we do." I wasn't even armed with a firearm like you and I was still stopped for an empty holster.

    I hope you file suit against the dept. and win. You have an excellent case against them. They have to learn that people's rights may not be violated at whim under color of law. You're welcome to utilize any of the recordings/supporting evidence from my incident for your case if it comes to that.

    - Mike S.

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    OK, that was quick. Downtown area command confirmed their cruisers ARE NOT equipped with cameras.

    Anyway, I have this belt:

    http://rlcompanyusa.stores.yahoo.net/1bube.html

    It has the extra internal stiffener and it works real good

    By the way, they also made me a real nice IWB holster for concealed carry. It's a beauty. And the reviews are true. I forget I'm concealing with this thing. It's expensive but more comfortable than any other IWB holster I've ever used.

    http://rlcompanyusa.stores.yahoo.net/teheiwb.html

    I was using this holster during the incident:

    http://www.blackhawk.com/product/SER...,1144,1410.htm

    Yes, this simple design stumped a LVMPD Sergeant.

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    Metro has never been burned on this particular issue. Everyone usually lets it drop. It will likely only take one successful lawsuit before they start to change their tune.

    I know for a fact that this sort of stuff is not Metro "policy" any more than driving 100mph+ with no lights and sirens in town is "policy."

    Getting the attention of the local brass on this issue will likely lead to some changes.

    Good luck, Tim. Let us know what we can do to help.

    And for everyone else, a minor word of encouragement - there are good Metro cops out there who believe largely as we do, and are working to educate and change perceptions from within.

    Bob

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    Bob is absolutely right. There are lots of good officers on Metro and this stop is not the norm for OC. It's one of the only negative experiences I've had in more than 2 years OCing here in Las Vegas. Do not let this discourage you from OCing, as it is very unlikely you'll be similarly harassed.

    Tim

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    NavyLT wrote:
    Good luck, Tim, I stand up and applaud you. I wish I were present in LV, I would be willing to be the videographer for a future encounter. Thank you for your bravery in standing up for all of our rights.
    Thanks! I assume from your name you're in the service, so I stand up and applaud you sir. The risks you take far outweigh the minor inconveniences I'm willing to deal with. But I do appreciate the encouragement.

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    I just finished transcribing the entire recording. The entire period of the non-consensual stop was 24 minutes, 10 seconds. During this time I counted 39 separate violations of my 6th amendment rights and 12 separate violations of my 4th amendment rights.

    As I was literally standing in one of the two traffic lanes on Las Vegas Blvd (I was held on Las Vegas Blvd just south of Charleston, where there are only two lanes), every car heading south passed me only a few feet away, so the recording was unfortunately inundated with frequent and loud road noise. I was able to run the audio against a high pass and low pass filter eliminating much of the road noise, but there were several unintelligible portions of the recording I was unable to clean up....so there were probably at least a few more violations of rights I was unable to recollect.

    For now, the recording and transcript will remain private.

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    tim you got some major balls (and brains) man, thanks for standing up for your rights.your right is our rights too. hats off to you brotha. honestlyi would have freaked out by the middle part if it was me.

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    I also commend you for keeping your cool and as a 2nd volunteer to video any and all other exercises of your Constitutional rights.

    I will not convey my wishes and wants to the scum who detained you on a public forum.

  21. #21
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    Your story floored me. I had no idea the Gestapo is operating in the State of Nevada. Are you sure they didn't make you click your heels and salute before they let you go? Sounds like there needs to be some massive OC get-togethers on the strip in the near future. I wanna see what these jack-boots do with several dozen armed citizens walking down the sidewalk. I would definitely drive out for that one. I'll be the guy with the red triangle armband.
    Do you want to enjoy liberty in your lifetime?

    Consider moving to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project.

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    I think that's a great idea. To those who volunteered to video tape, this would be a much better way to properly "utilize" you. If we could get 5-10 armed citizens walking down the strip, 2 or 3 cameras would be able to capture it.

    Next week is a bad idea. It's July 4 weekend and the strip is PACKED. The following weekend sounds good though.

    How about tentatively we say Saturday July 11? I'd like to do it early evening or later to get the heat to die down some.

    I'd love to get a picture at the Las Vegas sign with the group facing the camera strong side. Tropicana Hotel has ample surface parking along E Reno and it is approximately a 1.1 mile walk to the sign. I'll go drive down there and see what pedestrian access is like, it might be limited now that the sign has its own parking lot.

    Another choice is parking at the Harley Davidson Cafe or Fashion Show Mall and choosing an alternate route/destination. I'm obviously trying to avoid the casinos (Tropicana excepted due to its surface parking in very close proximity to Las Vegas Blvd).

    North of Sahara there are lots of residential neighborhoods with on-street parking but far fewer tourist-type destinations.

    There's always downtown too. Park at the Neonopolis garage on 4th (pay) and stroll down Fremont St. It's pretty safe now as far east at 8th St, where "Fremont East" begins, in front of El Cortez, and then of course west all the way to Main St. Though under the canopy, I would estimate we're more likely to encounter security rather than police (at least at first).

    Anyone have any preferences? As you probably know, I'm open to any of them.

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    Re: Fremont St, anyone have any knowledge on whether this is "private property" or other weird rules might apply?

    Also, I just remembered July 10-12 is the Campaign for Liberty regional conference here at Bally's....Congressman Ron Paul and others like that...

    http://www.campaignforliberty.com/event/2009vegas.php

    The Friday night (8-10pm) "Freedom Celebration" is free to the public at the Bally's Event Center. From their email:

    Our Friday night Freedom Celebration on July 10 is free and open to the public! Take advantage of this opportunity to bring along family and friends who may have never heard our message of freedom, peace, and prosperity. Friday night's speakers include Mark Skousen, editor of "Forecasts & Strategies" and producer of FreedomFest, Mises Institute Senior Fellow and C4L contributor Tom Woods, and Congressman Paul.
    It is a casino, but they're hosting this event.....might be a good event to try to get to OCing so we have a story to share with them if we're denied entry, and if we're not denied entry, to show that responsible gun owners know how to behave inside casinos

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    Tim they are crucifying you on the Nevada shooters board. I just do not understand how some folks do not see the violation of rights. It does not matter to me if some one is "looking" for trouble or not. The Bill of Rights still applies.

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    Steve, thanks for the heads up. I went over and defended myself. We'll see how it goes.

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