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Thread: Unconcealed gun causes stir in Prosser restaurant

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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    http://www.tri-cityherald.com/kennew...ry/910419.html

    http://tinyurl.com/ykul4qf



    Unconcealed gun causes stir in Prosser restaurant
    Kristin M. Kraemer, Herald staff writer

    var comments_story_id = 910419;



    COVINGTON -- Duncan Dohmen wants people to notice the pistol he carries.

    He isn't a police officer and tells people that when he's asked. He likes these chances to educate people about a right afforded them 219 years ago -- a right he fears could be stripped.

    "Rights not exercised are rights lost," said the 68-year-old resident of Covington in King County. "... I was walking around for 18 years with a pistol secretly concealed and it alarmed nobody. Then I realized that (openly) carrying a pistol might cause questions."

    So for the past two years Dohmen has openly worn his Smith & Wesson 1911 model .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. He's an active member of the Open Carry movement and takes any chance he gets to talk about the right to bear arms under both the U.S. and Washington constitutions.

    Dohmen said he's found most people willing to listen -- until last June, when a restroom break at a Prosser restaurant ended up in a criminal charge.

    According to police reports, the McDonald's manager said that when she asked Dohmen to leave because of his gun, he tapped the holstered pistol and told her, "Bring it bitch."

    Dohmen denies that.

    He says he told her it wasn't illegal and offered her a brochure about gun rights.

    He was eventually charged in Benton County District Court with a gross misdemeanor for the unlawful carrying or displaying of a firearm "in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons."

    He was scheduled to go to trial Monday, but earlier this month he agreed to a six-month continuance. If in the meantime he commits no other crime, including traffic infractions, the charge may be dropped.

    Dohmen, who has carried a gun for 20 years, says he's never shot anyone nor felt the need to do so.

    A graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey with a degree in economics, he originally moved to Washington state because he'd heard the skiing was good.

    He was working for Boeing when he realized that if he could get a security clearance there, he should be able to get a permit to carry a gun. He obtained a concealed weapons permit.

    "It was more safety than anything else," he said of his initial desire to be armed at all times.

    He'd been in a couple of road rage incidents, though nothing came of them. But he figured, "How long does it go on before somebody goes completely around the bend?"

    For 18 years, Dohmen said, he thought carrying a concealed pistol was the "tactically superior way to go." Then he decided it was time to "do something proactive to retain our gun rights" and joined the Open Carry movement.

    Unlike carrying a concealed gun, people who openly carry don't need a permit because it's a right under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the state Constitution, Article I, Section 24.

    "While everybody has the right to carry a pistol, they don't because they don't know they have the right or they think they'll get in trouble ...," said Kennewick lawyer Jim Egan, who is representing Dohmen in the Benton County case.

    "Mr. Dohmen believes if more people carried handguns for self protection, that would make the world a more safer place instead of a dangerous place."

    Washington is considered an Open Carry-friendly state. However, gun owners must be 21 to open carry, and must possess a concealed pistol license to carry a loaded handgun in a car.

    People are prohibited from carrying weapons into certain places like schools and buildings connected to courtrooms and judge's chambers, bars or lounges that are off-limits to people under 21, the restricted areas of a jail or law enforcement facility, a commercial airport or public mental health facility. Businesses also may prohibit guns.

    The website opencarry.org says Open Carry is "A pro-gun Internet community focused on the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns in daily American life." The organization was founded in 2004 by two Virginia gun rights activists.

    An e-mail request from the Herald for an interview with one of the founders was not returned.

    The website serves as not only a legal resource for gun owners, but also a social network to share stories and name businesses that are either gun-friendly or anti-gun.

    Starbucks has drawn praise from Open Carry for allowing customers to carry guns into its coffee shops.

    But the national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has launched a petition drive urging Starbucks to change that stance. A letter to the company's chief executive officer said "the open display of firearms in public places is inherently threatening and intimidating, and poses risks to those nearby, to law enforcement and to the community."

    Dohmen disagrees that he's being intimidating. "I never carry it to be a wise guy, to say, 'Look at me, I got a gun,' " he said.

    He does, however, attract attention. He said people often approach to ask questions, a few to tell him they object.

    "Most are curious and want to know, 'Can you do that?' And then I explain," he said. "I think some think I'm a cop and just don't say anything. I make sure to tell them no because I don't want to impersonate."

    That's just what Dohmen was initially asked on June 18 at the Prosser McDonald's, where he and his wife, Gail, had stopped on a trip home from Denver.

    Dohmen said he was leaving the restroom through the lobby when manager Brenda Aldridge approached and asked if he was a police officer. His pistol had apparently attracted the attention of a customer who reported it to management.

    Upon learning Dohmen was not a cop, Aldridge told him to leave because he couldn't have a gun in the restaurant.

    Dohmen says he replied that the law allows it, but that he also respects private property rights. He says he was preparing to get a brochure from his car to "further her understanding" when Aldridge told him she was calling 911. He waited for police in his car.

    McDonald's has a nationwide policy that forbids employees from carrying weapons at work, but it's unclear if it has a policy regarding customers' guns. Corporate officials did not respond to an inquiry. The Prosser restaurant reportedly did not have a sign posted saying guns were banned.

    In her written statement to police, Aldridge said employees can refuse service to anyone. "I did feel like he was going to do something ... ," she said. "He didn't point the gun at me but by putting his hand on it I felt for my crew and customer safety."

    In his report, Prosser Officer Antonio Martinez said he approached Dohmen's car carrying his patrol rifle and ordered Gail Dohmen out of the car. When Officer Nickalas Letourneau arrived, Martinez took Dohmen's pistol and ordered him out of the Audi. Letourneau then handcuffed Dohmen. Martinez wrote that Dohmen "was extremely verbal and was very upset I was taking the firearm from him."

    "I said, 'You do not have my permission to do that,' " Dohmen said of the officer taking his legally carried, loaded gun.

    Gail Dohmen, 63, said she was upset as she watched what was happening to her husband. She said she tried to grab Open Carry brochures from the car to give the officers but was told to move away or face arrest.

    She said she later met a truck driver in the parking lot who said he never saw Dohmen do anything threatening. That man was willing to testify if the case went to trial, Egan said.

    Eventually, Gail Dohmen was able to get the brochures and gave them to the officers. The pistol and cartridges were returned to Dohmen, who was released and told a report would be sent to prosecutors for review.

    Two months later, Dohmen received notice he'd been charged and needed to appear in District Court. Prosser City Attorney Howard Saxton III did not return a call seeking comment on the case.

    Dohmen hired Egan, who recommended the stipulated order of continuance, which Dohmen reluctantly agreed to sign earlier this month.

    Dohmen, a retired concrete inspector, said he doesn't know how to feel about the incident.

    "A stranger has me quoted saying things I never said," he said. "... I have no idea what they think my purpose was given what I do. What would I have to gain from this?"

    Pointing out his mane of gray hair, he said he's well past adolescence and is aware his open carry advocacy could offend others so he avoids arguing.

    "I feel no different open carrying than I did before. ... The only difference now is people can see it and they approach me," he said. "I don't feel particularly empowered by it, though I know that I am."

    Washington's Open Carry forum is at opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55.

    -- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com



    (Edit: Added Links)


  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    He said, she said.

    Every McDonalds that I've ever been in has video cams - likely too much time has passed now to be of benefit though.

    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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    Got links?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    kparker wrote:
    Got links?
    http://www.tri-cityherald.com/kennew...ry/910419.html

    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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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    This is outrageous and paranoia by the Store Manager, and ignorance of the Prosser Police Department and Prosecutor.

    I hope he files a civil lawsuit on the City, County, Prosecutor and Officers.
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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    This is why at a minimum one should carry an audio recorder.

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    A 68 year old mad said

    "Bring it bitch."


    Not on any planet I know of. Talk about a lying manager.

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    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    A 68 year old mad said

    "Bring it bitch."


    Not on any planet I know of. Talk about a lying manager.
    That caught my eye as well. It's highly unlikely that a man or woman of that generation would use that sort street slang.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

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    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    Take the link to the article in the Tri-City Herald then click on "home" to see a photo of this panic inducing geezer, his gun moll wife, and their vicious Bull-mastiff.

    Sarcasm / off :shock:

    MD

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Well you know Bull mastiffs and tiny little rat terriers get kicked out of a certain Bellingham Park.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Machoduck wrote:
    Take the link to the article in the Tri-City Herald then click on "home" to see a photo of this panic inducing geezer, his gun moll wife, and their vicious Bull-mastiff.

    Sarcasm / off :shock:

    MD


    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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    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm sorry this happened to you. I really wish that you hadn't taken that " stipulated order of continuance", but I understand your thinking. This way it is over and done with. See you at the next get together. I'll buy you a soda.

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    Wow, I gues I should of read on before posting my post. I posted a new topic about this. in "new guy here" I believe 100% on your right to carry.

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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    kparker wrote:
    Got links?

    Thought I had them in the original post. Have now added them...



    http://www.tri-cityherald.com/kennew...ry/910419.html

    http://tinyurl.com/ykul4qf




    (Edit: Spelling correction....not my day )

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    Why? Just....Why? :shock:

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    Regular Member Stretch's Avatar
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    Hmm, looks like a trip to Prosser for a cup of java is on the plans shortly. There is a Starbucks directly across the street from McD's.

    I'll have to ask about some of the local officers in Prosser, I do know of one that has some "small badge" syndrome, but other than that, I've heard nothing else negative about them.

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    Regular Member Stretch's Avatar
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    Oh hey, look at the poll on the link. It didn't register my vote! WOW!!!

    The liberal rag that is the TC Herald strikes again!

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    I noticed it too. What a joke.

    EDIT: Looks like it finally registered. That site is a nuisance.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Stretch wrote:
    Oh hey, look at the poll on the link. It didn't register my vote! WOW!!!

    The liberal rag that is the TC Herald strikes again!
    Are you running add-blockers?

    I had to temporarily allow googleapis

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    Regular Member Aryk45XD's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you have to endure the trouble, but hopefully that manager and officer get a real good lesson. Go get 'em.

  21. #21
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    WTF - Total Votes: 34 Is everybody asleep?

    http://www.tri-cityherald.com/kennew...ry/910419.html

    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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    Grapeshot wrote:
    WTF - Total Votes:* 34** Is everybody asleep?

    http://www.tri-cityherald.com/kennew...ry/910419.html

    ************ Yata hey
    I think it stopped counting. I just voted and it says 34 total votes.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    I never like the tri harder herald I mean Tri-City Herald. They dont get the facts before publishing stories. The writer Kirsten is really big at doing that.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    DaemonForce wrote:
    Why? Just....Why? :shock:
    Why what? Conversely, why who?

    For my part, I have lots of questions for myself in my after-action review.

    If it's the prosecution, I have a theory which I intend keeping to myself for a while yet. If it's people who lied about what went on, and it is plural, you would have to ask them; just don't expect an honest answer.

    MD

  25. #25
    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    RDrettwan wrote:
    I never like the tri harder herald I mean Tri-City Herald. They dont get the facts before publishing stories. The writer Kirsten is really big at doing that.
    I thought Kristen did a good job, actually. Given that a reporter, ideally, should not purposely take sides, I thought she did a good job. She got airport carry wrong but some of us do that in the beginning. Some of the quotes sounded a little off, which I attribute to the need for brevity.

    Some of the comments following the article are good, making me optimistic about the future of the republic. Some others, in the minority thank goodness, are an embarrassment to the writers. Kinda makes you wonder if their mommies and daddies let them out during the day.

    MD

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