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Thread: Virginians Relocating to Alabama under BRAC

  1. #1
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    I know there are a number of you who will be coming to Alabama as a result of the most recent military BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure). We could sure use your help in solidly establishing open carry in our state. Although listed here at OCDO as a traditional open carry state and almost a "Gold Star" state, the reality on the ground is that we get a very mixed response from law enforcement from location to location. So, please bring what you've learned and help us get OC firmly established and well-practiced here in Alabama.

    Many thanks,

    - Neo

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Neo wrote:
    I know there are a number of you who will be coming to Alabama as a result of the most recent military BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure). We could sure use your help in solidly establishing open carry in our state. Although listed here at OCDO as a traditional open carry state and almost a "Gold Star" state, the reality on the ground is that we get a very mixed response from law enforcement from location to location. So, please bring what you've learned and help us get OC firmly established and well-practiced here in Alabama.

    Many thanks,

    - Neo
    It seems to take a few good 5 figure pre-trial settlements to really hammer the point home to the local LEO community...

    TFred

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    Good luck to all BRAC retirees. I was retired by BRAC03 and it probably saved my life.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Of course, I should have put a winkie after that... even though it's true, I don't think anyone would claim that getting arrested and put through the preparations for a criminal trial is a good thing.

    It would be interesting if some of the OC veterans would weigh in on what they feel has been contributing factors to the progress here in Virginia.

    TFred


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    I'd certainly appreciate that kind of information. I've had thoughts about attempting to form something like the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    TFred wrote:
    ....It would be interesting if some of the OC veterans would weigh in on what they feel has been contributing factors to the progress here in Virginia.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Neo wrote:
    I'd certainly appreciate that kind of information. I've had thoughts about attempting to form something like the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    TFred wrote:
    ....It would be interesting if some of the OC veterans would weigh in on what they feel has been contributing factors to the progress here in Virginia.
    Neo -

    Stop having thoughts and do it. "If you build it they will come."

    You do not have to start out as a 501(c)3 or whatever the heck the numbers are. You can be a social club for all that matters.

    Send an email to the VCDL Pres asking for ideas/suggestions on how to start. Phil's getting so good at doing that I think he as a canned response in his 'puter these days.

    Remember, it's grass roots. Put somebody up in front of the headlights and give them a push.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  7. #7
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    Neo wrote:
    I'd certainly appreciate that kind of information. I've had thoughts about attempting to form something like the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    TFred wrote:
    ....It would be interesting if some of the OC veterans would weigh in on what they feel has been contributing factors to the progress here in Virginia.
    Organization is the number one contributing factor. Scores of dedicated gun owners put in thousands and thousands of hours of work planning, organizing and participating in making it what it is today.

    How about starting with the folks in the Alabama section of OpenCarry.org. Is anyone else already doing the work? (I wrote a bunch of other stuff off the top of my head, but really you should email the VCDL Board of Directors and get their guidance based on their experience building VCDL.)

    Stout Hearts - SAC-LANT sends. :P

  8. #8
    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    skidmark wrote:
    Neo wrote:
    I'd certainly appreciate that kind of information. I've had thoughts about attempting to form something like the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    TFred wrote:
    ....It would be interesting if some of the OC veterans would weigh in on what they feel has been contributing factors to the progress here in Virginia.
    Neo -

    Stop having thoughts and do it. "If you build it they will come."

    You do not have to start out as a 501(c)3 or whatever the heck the numbers are. You can be a social club for all that matters.

    Send an email to the VCDL Pres asking for ideas/suggestions on how to start. Phil's getting so good at doing that I think he as a canned response in his 'puter these days.

    Remember, it's grass roots. Put somebody up in front of the headlights and give them a push.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    Yeah I think the VCDL is as much of a result as it is a cause. VCDL doesn't just happen...any organization with the power that it has must come through time, passion and devotion. Just start something. It certainly won't be a VCDL right away but it will grow and most likely grow quickly. The opportunity to be able to start something like that from scratch where it doesn't already exist would be exciting. I say just go for it. Start with OCDO as suggested. Recruit people there. Maybe also on Facebook. Print out some fliers and notecards and stick them up on the bulletin boards at the gun shops. Hand them out at the gun shows. It will be a hit and it will grow and probably quicker than you think. Once you get a name start charging a small membership fee and use that money solely to grow the organization. But keep it free for a while to get a decent base. Maybe research 2A lawyers around where you live, call them up and see if they are willing to help. It may be in both of your best interests to partner up. Same with the gun shops. Find out where the more friendly jurisdictions are and concentrate your efforts there first so you don't have any problems and can get a good name with the community. Then slowly expand your efforts to the more problem jurisdictions. Just start small, recruit a base, partner with whatever businesses and lawyers you think may be willing to help and slowly work your way up. Good luck!!

  9. #9
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Several have posted about the importance of a strong grassroots organization, the VCDL, and I agree with all that has been said there.

    Another aspect of this issue is how do you handle yourself in your day-to-day Open Carry activities? I suspect that may be more along the lines of what the OP was wanting to know, and I think that successful encounters with LEOs and other folks have gone a long way toward advancing the cause here in Virginia.

    I've not been in the trenches here, but I have read many accounts on this forum for about the past year, so I've learned a lot. Then just a little bit ago, OCDO co-founder John Pierce posted a note on one of the Hot Topic threads which neatly sums up what I was thinking...

    2) Mike and I have said it before but it bears repeating here. The rule when given an order by a law enforcement officer is to comply while documenting the misconduct for future legal action (via video or audio recorder, witnesses, and getting the officer's contact info). Arguing legal or constitutional issues on the scene with an officer who is misinformed or acting in bad faith will accomplish nothing other than an arrest that you will have to pay thousands to redress. While these types of cases, when carried through to a proper end, can do a great job of educating law enforcement and paving the way for future open carriers, do not set yourself up to be a test case that you are not prepared emotionally or financially to see all the way through.
    I think John's paragraph sums up the success here in Virginia quite nicely, and in most cases, all that is needed is to address the issue with the uninformed person's supervisor or management chain. I don't think legal action is needed in the vast majority of cases.

    As you encounter the public, prepare yourself ahead of time with thoughts along these lines:
    1. You are in the right. You are not breaking laws. OC is "normal" behavior.
    2. The general public, and even LEOs may not know the facts in #1.
    3. There are people, including LEOs who adamantly hate the facts in #1.
    4. LEOs, even when wrong or displaying unprofessional attitudes and behavior, are still in a position of authority over you. You will never win the argument "on the side of the road".
    5. Be professional, courteous and cooperative, while explicitly reserving your rights (such as politely informing LEOs that you do not consent to any searches, confiscations of your property, etc... read through the forum for much more info on this aspect.)
    6. Gather evidence! Yes, voice recordings are gold. I don't know Alabama laws, Virginia is a "one party consent" state, meaning anyone participating in a conversation can record it without informing the others. LEOs may be excluded from any privacy laws due to the public nature of their job, check your state law. Take names, take notes.
    7. Approach the incident as an opportunity to educate, inform, and expand the acceptance of OC.
    8. Remember, some people will automatically label you as a criminal for carrying a gun. Dress, act, speak and treat others in such a way as to quickly dispel those prejudices.
    I'm sure there are other thoughts along these lines from the veterans... feel free to add in!

    TFred





  10. #10
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    This is great information. Please keep it coming.

    - Neo

  11. #11
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    There was a fledgling group a while back, headed up by a college student but he burnt out and disappeared.

    One person can start such an organization but it takes multiple layers of volunteers to keep it afloat.

    Best wishes to you.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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