I already posted this in the INgunOwners forum and generated some discussion andb thought I should do so here as well.
OC - my first interaction with a police officer
This happened just yesterday. I think it went quite well though I could nitpick.
I was taking my usual route walking to Burger King in Hammond. I was dressed in shorts and a tucked in collared shirt with my Warthog in a Galco M7X Matrix on my right side. Unfortunately I dont have my comptac double mag carrier just yet to go on my left. I've carried openly quite a few times to this Burger King, and to McDonalds, Wendys, Walmart, Walgreens and Meijers in Highland without comment or incident except for one time when a teenage girl overreacted while her friends giggled.
I was at 171st and Indianpolis and saw the squad car but the officer wasn't in it. Apparently he was in the paint store across the street because after I passed I heard "Hey" a couple times. I turned around and turned off my headset and crossed the street to talk to the officer.
He was polite but was under the mistaken notion that you can't open carry. I assured him we could and that I had checked the State Police website which had confirmed that and I was aware of someone having that verified by a Highland detective who was trying to make sure other police in the area were informed though I wasnt sure if they had contaced Hammond police. He made a comment that he was in traffic so maybe that was why he hadn't heard about that. He also said he had heard open carry had been discussed by didnt know they had decided it yet.
He looked at my license and called it in on his cell phone. On the second call he got someone. Some of the comments I overheard were a bit comical, the following are to the best of my recollection. "He's carrying just like us", "shirt and shorts", "A .38? what's that you're carrying?" "wow I really got that wrong *chuckle*."
Now one could find some of that disconcerting but he was very friendly and had conceded I might be correct. They talked about what the license actually said and as we all know it does not specify the manner of carry. At one point he said "You're lucky I didn't pull a gun on you" I took that as just a joke to keep things light. I told him I appreciated that he was being professional about the matter.
He took down my information and said they might even call me on my cell phone once they had things figured out. He did ask me to untuck my shirt which is where I could nitpick. I decided not to push the matter as I believed he really wanted to get informed and have other officers know the proper procedure so I untucked and concealed.
It's been several hours and no phone call yet.
I'm going to open carry next time I go out and since they've had time to look into it and I know the law is on my side I will say that I don't have to conceal it, thank you officer I hope you have a nice day.
What really ticks me off is that whoever is running the Hammond Police has known about this for some time as others have had similar interactions. That they still have not made certain their officers are informed is pathetic.
The officer on the street has a hard enough job they don't need poor leadership putting them out there with incorrect information.