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Thread: Advance Notice

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    Let me toss this idea out to all of you. I have not OC'd yet; I'm just a little uneasy about it. Your opinions, please: What do think of advising local law enforcement agencies of one's intent to OC? Iwould limit the letter to my intent, my name, and my address.

    Which of course would give them the necessary info to run a background check. Good idea? Bad? I welcome any feedback here; it may be a way to get the OC issue more advertising, especially if one were to copy the local newspapers, public defenders office, et cetera.

    Iwill not do this before I see a through discussion here. Then we may think about form letters (think petition), but let's make certain they are error free and we all are on the same page!



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    I'm in the same boat. I have not yet UOC, but am organizing an event to do so. Personally, I would rather not open carry solo my first time out (but may do so anyway).Being able to get some first hand knowledge from those who've learned first hand is valuable to me.

    I did decide, after much thought and internal debate, to notify my local LEA with my version of a letter based on those published in this forum (along with copies of the other county memos and training bulletins). Again, I want to be able to say "Hey, you knew and I can prove it." if they try to claim they knew nothing of the activity or movement. However, in my letter, I gave only my name and cell phone number, no address. So far I haven't heard anything back from the person I contacted.
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    Unless you sent the letter by certified mail and required a signed receipt and the contents were witnessed by a notary there exists no tangible evidence of your advance notice to the authorities.

    I wrote a similar letter to the local sheriff in 2006 and recieved no response and as evidenced by subsquent correspondance, he had no knowledge of my open carry activities until I was stopped by local police more than a year later.

    I have mixed feelings about such an advisory letter. I dont think it really protects you from bad action by the police or really changes how they intend to manage an encounter with you.The letter as a voluntary 'background check' is a surrender of your 4th,and it implies that people who carry guns require special scrutiny or approval.
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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Sons of Liberty's Avatar
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    I would not advise.

    In my mind, they may misunderstand the letter to be from an antagonist. It may give them an excuse to confront you, run a background check, talk to your neighbors, employer, who knows what else. And it's no guarantee that you won't be mistaken for a BG.

    If you feel uneasy, don't rush it.Give it some time.
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    Bull Frog wrote:
    Let me toss this idea out to all of you. I have not OC'd yet; I'm just a little uneasy about it. Your opinions, please: What do think of advising local law enforcement agencies of one's intent to OC? Iwould limit the letter to my intent, my name, and my address.

    Which of course would give them the necessary info to run a background check. Good idea? Bad? I welcome any feedback here; it may be a way to get the OC issue more advertising, especially if one were to copy the local newspapers, public defenders office, et cetera.
    Reasonable idea.

    It's hard to say if such a letter will do you any good. But it's easy to say it is unlikely to hurt you.

    The points against listed above by Condition Three and Sons of Liberty seem to be kind of weak or speculativeto me.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide.

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    Forget letters. Walk into the local police station (minus gun)and ask to talk with a representative.

    Explain what you plan to do. Explain the law to them, if they are unfamliar with it. Hand them the literature and walk them through it.

    Listen to what they say politely while neither debating nor surrendering.

    Be coureous and emphasize that the movement is designed to educate the public, not antagonize the police.

    What can possibly go wrong at such a meeting that would not occur when you are OCing in public?

    Then, when you are out OCing in public, you can refer to "officer X" who was previously informed and to the information that was given out.

    If you have the courage to OC in public, don't hide behind the postman in dealing with the police.

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    Bull Frog wrote:
    SNIP Iwill not do this before I see a through discussion here.
    This has been hashed out repeatedly over the life of the forum. A number of threads and sub-thread discussion on it.

    The responses can be, as you might guess, notify and not notify.

    The not-notifier arguments generally seem to include:

    • Free men don't ask
    • The police should already know
    • Notifying won't change LEO minds.

    The notifier arguments generally include:

    • Its the civil thing to do.
    • Shows OCers to be considerate
    • Try to avoid trouble
    • Try to avoid arrests
    • Try to avoid making a bad impression

    Under the heading of "notify" is the form of notification called an education campaign to the police. Brief or lengthy.

    I am in the not-notify camp. But to be fair, the educate-in-advance approach has worked. Couldn't tell you anymore which ones worked and which didn't. Although, I think the boys in Washington State got some traction with theirs.


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    You can always call ahead and ask to speak to their most pro-gun police officer, that usually does the trick.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bad_ace's Avatar
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    Bull Frog, I'm in the not-notify camp also. I introduced myself (while OCing) to deputy in my neighborhood and nothing good came from it. If I could go back in time I would have just gone about my business and not involved LE.

    The only communication I intend to have with LE is through my attorney now.

    If you'd like to ease into UOC feel free to PM me for a cup of coffee.

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    First, remember that the LEOs - especially in Santa Clara County are monitoring this site - so don't post unless you intend to have the LEOs have notice of what you post -

    Ironically, it is a more effective form of notice to post hear and let the LEOs sleuth it than to send it directly to them

    BadAce has direct experience on this - check out other threads on this topic -

    Question, do you notify local LEOs when you exercise your other rights lawfully?

    Discretion is the better part of valor, IMHO -

    carry on!:celebrate

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    jeffw tried to notify Milpitas PD about his intention to OC and he even offered to send in his picture and everything and all he got was some crazed Sgt. Tran calling him up and threatening him (thread here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...light=milpitas). Based on that experience alone, I wouldn't notify any police department of my intention to OC unless it was totally anonymous.

    I'm of the opinion that if any agent of the government knows where I live and knows I own firearms that it cannot benefit me in any way or form. I can list off a variety of ways it could do me harm though.

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    TatankaGap wrote:
    First, remember that the LEOs - especially in Santa Clara County are monitoring this site - so don't post unless you intend to have the LEOs have notice of what you post -...

    BadAce has direct experience on this - check out other threads on this topic -...

    Question, do you notify local LEOs when you exercise your other rights lawfully?
    I think that's the wrong attitude.

    OC is new to almost everyone (I know history but that's not most people's experience). The whole point is to educate the public. If if were the mere exercise of a right then it would not be an issue. If you just stand on your "rights" you won't convince anyone of anything and you may actually turn people off.

    (If you think you live in a world where other people's opinion's don't matter then you probably are not mentally qualified to own a gun. The NRA has been successful because they fought on all fronts, not just in the courts.)

    As to SCC sheriff's office, I hereby extend an open invitation to buy lunch and give my best explanation first hand. I promise also to listen to your concerns. If you are interested in taking me up on this, contact me by PM.

    As for BadAce, I made a quick look at his threads and couldn't find the problem you and he mentioned. Please give us a url or elaborate here.

    Pullnshoot has a good suggestion, though. Ask to talk to the "pro-gun" cop/deputy.

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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    jeffw tried to notify Milpitas PD about his intention to OC and he even offered to send in his picture and everything and all he got was some crazed Sgt. Tran calling him up and threatening him (thread here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...ght=milpitas). Based on that experience alone, I wouldn't notify any police department of my intention to OC unless it was totally anonymous.

    I'm of the opinion that if any agent of the government knows where I live and knows I own firearms that it cannot benefit me in any way or form. I can list off a variety of ways it could do me harm though.
    Really, I don't undersand how anyone could say, on the one hand, that they want to be an anonymous gun owner but, on the other hand ,they plan to OC in CA, one of the most hoplophobic states in America.

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    Some people OC to educate the public. These are activists. Some LEOs think that the activists are trying to lure them into lawsuits.

    Some OC because they have determined they require carrying a firearm for self-defense and are unable to get a CCW in CA and don't want to LUCC - these may or may not be activists.

    Some OC because they have big hawg leg guns and live in a place where it's allowed - probably not an activist -

    Some OC because they just got a new gun and want to show it off.

    It doesn't matter the whys and wherefores because of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    There's no reason to assume that the OC goals of one person are the same as any other person.
    If you're an activist, more power to you :celebrate ~ but no one is asking anyone else to be an activist - that's a personal decision - and it requires a large amount of time and energy to 'educate' the public or the LEOs or the politicians -

    IMHO, it is presumptuous to call someone's attitude 'wrong' - it all depends on the person's personal goals for OCing -


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    TatankaGap wrote:
    Some people OC to educate the public. These are activists. Some LEOs think that the activists are trying to lure them into lawsuits.

    Some OC because they have determined they require carrying a firearm for self-defense and are unable to get a CCW in CA and don't want to LUCC - these may or may not be activists.

    Some OC because they have big hawg leg guns and live in a place where it's allowed - probably not an activist -

    Some OC because they just got a new gun and want to show it off.

    It doesn't matter the whys and wherefores because of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    There's no reason to assume that the OC goals of one person are the same as any other person.
    If you're an activist, more power to you :celebrate ~ but no one is asking anyone else to be an activist - that's a personal decision - and it requires a large amount of time and energy to 'educate' the public or the LEOs or the politicians -

    IMHO, it is presumptuous to call someone's attitude 'wrong' - it all depends on the person's personal goals for OCing -
    I think that's a good summary. But I don't see where any of these OC goals impy treating OC as a mere exercise of a right. To approach OC in that way is to disgregard the reality of California politics and public opinion. Even if your goal is nothing more than self defense you still have to take account of the fact that this particular method is new to most people, the public and the police. It will attract attention whether you intend to do so or not.

    I've lived in CA for quite some time and I have never seen anyone OCing. While I would not be alarmed if I did, I know that virtually all of my neighbors would be.

    Whether or not you intend to affect public opinion on OC, it will happen. You are "educating the public". Make it a positive education.

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    deforcer wrote:
    bigtoe416 wrote:
    Based on that experience alone, I wouldn't notify any police department of my intention to OC unless it was totally anonymous.

    I'm of the opinion that if any agent of the government knows where I live and knows I own firearms that it cannot benefit me in any way or form. I can list off a variety of ways it could do me harm though.
    Really, I don't undersand how anyone could say, on the one hand, that they want to be an anonymous gun owner but, on the other hand ,they plan to OC in CA, one of the most hoplophobic states in America.
    It's pretty simple to be an anonymous OCer. You wear your firearm and you don't carry ID. I've open carried my handgun twice (both at OC events) and neither time did I have identification on me. Nobody on this forum knows where I live outside of my city, so unless I am followed home, I am anonymous.

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    Bull Frog wrote:
    Let me toss this idea out to all of you. I have not OC'd yet; I'm just a little uneasy about it. Your opinions, please: What do think of advising local law enforcement agencies of one's intent to OC? Iwould limit the letter to my intent, my name, and my address.

    Which of course would give them the necessary info to run a background check. Good idea? Bad?
    bad idea - why are you identifying yourself as needing attention??

    OK, so if police see you in an incorporated area (or area of an unincorporated area where the county has banned shooting) they can demand to check theload conditon - anything else, you need to be ready to sue.

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    Mike wrote:
    Bull Frog wrote:
    Let me toss this idea out to all of you. I have not OC'd yet; I'm just a little uneasy about it. Your opinions, please: What do think of advising local law enforcement agencies of one's intent to OC? Iwould limit the letter to my intent, my name, and my address.

    Which of course would give them the necessary info to run a background check. Good idea? Bad?
    bad idea - why are you identifying yourself as needing attention??

    OK, so if police see you in an incorporated area (or area of an unincorporated area where the county has banned shooting) they can demand to check theload conditon - anything else, you need to be ready to sue.
    OK, now I'm confused. Mike you posted a message with a suggested letter to email to your local LEA. Then CA_Libertarian posted his version of the letter. Both letters "suggest" signing off with your name and address. Now I created my own slightly modified letter based on these two and did just that, but I did not put my address. Now, why would one do that if they did not intend to UOC? Kind of a conflicting message if I understand this correctly. (See thread here http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum12/23131.html)
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    coolusername2007 wrote:
    OK, now I'm confused. Mike you posted a message with a suggested letter to email to your local LEA. Then CA_Libertarian posted his version of the letter. Both letters "suggest" signing off with your name and address. Now I created my own slightly modified letter based on these two and did just that, but I did not put my address. Now, why would one do that if they did not intend to UOC? Kind of a conflicting message if I understand this correctly. (See thread here
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    deforcer wrote:
    TatankaGap wrote:
    First, remember that the LEOs - especially in Santa Clara County are monitoring this site - so don't post unless you intend to have the LEOs have notice of what you post -...

    BadAce has direct experience on this - check out other threads on this topic -...

    Question, do you notify local LEOs when you exercise your other rights lawfully?*
    I think that's the wrong attitude.

    As to SCC sheriff's office, I hereby extend an open invitation to buy lunch and give my best explanation first hand. I promise also to listen to your concerns. If you are interested in taking me up on this, contact me by PM.

    As for BadAce, I made a quick look at his threads and couldn't find the problem you and he mentioned. Please give us a url or elaborate here.
    TatankaGap could be refering to this thread http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum12/28786.html
    You can read that thread I won't make my point twice.

    I recently started a blog (short for web log). Some consider this an expression of my 1st amendment rights. No matter how offensive it could be to the general public I never thought to run it by my local authorities to make sure they were ok with it. Additionally during the election last year (and prop 8 this year) lots of people stood on street corners exercising their 1st and I doubt they cleared it with PD.

    I will not ask for permission to do something that is completely legal and I believe a human right. Others rights end where mine begin. Which is to say I dont care if I turn someone "off", so long as they dont use violence in an effort to stop me from exercising my rights. Creating a law and deferring the burden of violence to LE is just as bad.

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    Damn forum butchered my above post...

    I'm trying to point out that my posts in the thread you mention were made before jeffw had his problems with the Sgt from Milpitas PD.

    I no longer encourage voluntarily identifying yourself.

    ETA: here's the link that didn't make it into my above response - http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...mp;forum_id=12

    Here's how it started to go south (it went further, just read the thread):

    jeffw wrote:
    All those who said it was a bad idea to contact the local PDs, please form a line for your "I told you so".

    A very non-professional Sgt. Tran (head of SWAT) called me today to ask a few more questions. These were mainly about why I was going to carry, and where I might frequent while carrying. While on the phone my girlfriend was with me and she was applying for a job. A natural part of this is giving your name... You guessed it, he overhead. He thanked me for my time and hung up.

    I get to work and my girlfriend calls me saying there was a police officer at her house when she got there. He took down all of her information and her brother's. He asked loads of questions about my mental state. Then he suggested that one day I could snap and shoot everyone. Awesome.

    I called Sgt. Tran back and tried to straighten things out. He said that if they get a report of a man with a gun, they'll have at least four on duty officers dispatched, and possibly SWAT. He says that while I might be sane today, I might snap tomorrow and go on a rampage. Even while answering his questions, he was constantly interrupting me. I ended the call after telling him that I did not appreciate being interrupted... multiple times. I told him to have a nice day and that I'd call back tomorrow. Apparently he won't be in tomorrow. I'm fine with that, I'll just speak with a lieutenant.

    I don't believe it is in my best interest, or anyone else for that matter, to carry in Milpitas.
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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    It's pretty simple to be an anonymous OCer. You wear your firearm and you don't carry ID. I've open carried my handgun twice (both at OC events) and neither time did I have identification on me. Nobody on this forum knows where I live outside of my city, so unless I am followed home, I am anonymous.
    1) You can "anonymously" talk to the cops the same way. 2) In neither case are you really that anonymous as it would require only the most basic "police work" to identify you. Maybe more trouble than it's worth in most situations but certainly not anonymous.

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    bad_ace wrote:
    deforcer wrote:
    TatankaGap wrote:
    First, remember that the LEOs - especially in Santa Clara County are monitoring this site - so don't post unless you intend to have the LEOs have notice of what you post -...

    BadAce has direct experience on this - check out other threads on this topic -...

    Question, do you notify local LEOs when you exercise your other rights lawfully?
    I think that's the wrong attitude.

    As to SCC sheriff's office, I hereby extend an open invitation to buy lunch and give my best explanation first hand. I promise also to listen to your concerns. If you are interested in taking me up on this, contact me by PM.

    As for BadAce, I made a quick look at his threads and couldn't find the problem you and he mentioned. Please give us a url or elaborate here.
    TatankaGap could be refering to this thread http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum12/28786.html
    You can read that thread I won't make my point twice.

    I recently started a blog (short for web log). Some consider this an expression of my 1st amendment rights. No matter how offensive it could be to the general public I never thought to run it by my local authorities to make sure they were ok with it. Additionally during the election last year (and prop 8 this year) lots of people stood on street corners exercising their 1st and I doubt they cleared it with PD.

    I will not ask for permission to do something that is completely legal and I believe a human right. Others rights end where mine begin. Which is to say I dont care if I turn someone "off", so long as they dont use violence in an effort to stop me from exercising my rights. Creating a law and deferring the burden of violence to LE is just as bad.
    I assum you're referring to the "don't OC or you'll get shot by a rookie" argument. I don't find that convincing in any way. Might as well be telling us "don't own a gun".

    OC is, at this time, inherently educational. Offensive speech is something that everyone is familiar with. (If we were talking about free speech in a newly liberated country I'd make the same argument, take it slowly.)

    You are not merely exercising your de jure right. You are enlarging your de facto rights toward your de jure rights. You need to allow people time to adjust. Common courtesy and general diplomacy will go a long way toward easing that social change along. Cops, in particular, are not the antagonists here.

    I'm not suggesting to deferto LE but simply to treat them like human beings who need time to learn the law and adjust to the newreality that you are seeking to create.

    Some patience please!

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    deforcer wrote:
    I assum you're referring to the "don't OC or you'll get shot by a rookie" argument. I don't find that convincing in any way. Might as well be telling us "don't own a gun".
    No I was referring to this:

    bad_ace wrote:
    dirtykoala, You're not likely to get a LEO to reply, nice try. But I know for a fact that the Santa Clara Sheriff Department reads this forum on a regular basis. Whether this is being done by deputies as a function of their duties or in their free time is unclear.

    I'd suggest open letters to Police departments and Sheriffs departments, posted here. Since you know there is at least one way communication, I'd use it. Some of our activity is the topic-de-jour at the department water cooler so I'd keep any points you have short and simple.

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    bad_ace wrote:
    No I was referring to this:

    bad_ace wrote:
    dirtykoala, You're not likely to get a LEO to reply, nice try. But I know for a fact that the Santa Clara Sheriff Department reads this forum on a regular basis. Whether this is being done by deputies as a function of their duties or in their free time is unclear.

    I'd suggest open letters to Police departments and Sheriffs departments, posted here. Since you know there is at least one way communication, I'd use it. Some of our activity is the topic-de-jour at the department water cooler so I'd keep any points you have short and simple.
    This is a public forum after all. I assume everything I write is read by the worst enemies of the 2A and that if they go to enough trouble they can find me.

    (My lawyer friends say never put in writing anything you are not willing to have said against you in a court of law.)

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