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Thread: Madison County

  1. #1
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    Has anyone had issues with open carry in Madison County Al? Several years ago, I was approHas anyone had issues with open carry in Madison County Al? Several years ago, I was approached by a Madison County sheriff's deputy. I was carrying concealed, but he must have seen the barrel when I went to get out of my car. He took my pistol, unloaded it, and ran my license to ensure that I wasn't a criminal. He then gave my pistol back and told me I couldn't carry openly in Alabama, so make sure it stayed covered. I am concerned about pointing out the law for fear of losing my concealed permit by a vengeful Sheriff.

  2. #2
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    It may not be worth arguing with the cop at the time... but it's always an advantage to know your rights and know the law. Especially when dealing with a sworn "law enforcement officer".

    Code of Alabama, Section 15-5-30:
    A sheriff or other officer acting as sheriff, his deputy or any constable, acting within their respective counties, any marshal, deputy marshal or policeman of any incorporated city or town within the limits of the county or any highway patrolman or state trooper may stop any person abroad in a public place whom he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed or is about to commit a felony or other public offense and may demand of him his name, address and an explanation of his actions.

    Section 15-5-31:
    When a sheriff or other officer acting as sheriff, his deputy or any constable, acting within their respective counties, any marshal, deputy marshal or policeman of any incorporated city or town within the limits of the county or any highway patrolman or state trooper has stopped a person for questioning pursuant to this article and reasonably suspects that he is in danger of life or limb, he may search such person for a dangerous weapon. If such officer finds such a weapon or any other thing, the possession of which may constitute a crime, he may take and keep it until the completion of the questioning, at which time he shall either return it, if lawfully possessed, or arrest such person.

    In other words, the cop cannot even force you to stay and talk with him unless he "reasonably suspects" you're committing a crime. And if you do stop, he has no authority to check for a weapon unless he "reasonably suspects" he is in danger of life or limb. And if he finds a weapon, he has no authority to take it unless your possession of it constitutes a crime! (which, while carrying concealed, a simple look at your pistol permit would clear up)

    Anyways, I had a cop do the same to me, and it made me pretty uncomfortable... I have no idea of this person's ability to handle my weapon safely. I think we would all be much safer if this weapon that is unfamiliar to him just stayed safely tucked away in its holster. So I went home and did some research and learned that he has no right to take it in the first place. Food for thought...

  3. #3
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    dixieborn wrote:

    Anyways, I had a cop do the same to me, and it made me pretty uncomfortable... I have no idea of this person's ability to handle my weapon safely. I think we would all be much safer if this weapon that is unfamiliar to him just stayed safely tucked away in its holster. So I went home and did some research and learned that he has no right to take it in the first place. Food for thought...
    Did anything ever come of it? Like you calling his supervisor or anything?

    It seems to me that most times when anything happens like this, nothing ever comes of it because they claim to "know" the law, when they really don't.

  4. #4
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    No, I don't think anything could have come from it in this case because I (to my shame) did not know these laws at the time. And so I let him remove my gun, no questions asked. So theoretically, it is possible that had I advised him that my gun was staying where it was... he would have accepted that as something he couldn't change and we would move on.

    Do I believe that would have been the case? Probably not, but the fact is, I didn't express any kind of opinion against his taking it since I assumed (wrongly) that he just could.

  5. #5
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    dixieborn wrote:
    No, I don't think anything could have come from it in this case because I (to my shame) did not know these laws at the time. And so I let him remove my gun, no questions asked. So theoretically, it is possible that had I advised him that my gun was staying where it was... he would have accepted that as something he couldn't change and we would move on.

    Do I believe that would have been the case? Probably not, but the fact is, I didn't express any kind of opinion against his taking it since I assumed (wrongly) that he just could.
    Yeah I have had several posts on here about my conversations with MPD, SO, state legislature, and also a few other govt agencies when attempting to learn what they "said" the OC laws were.

    I have a few buddies on MPD...more than half of the ones I know, recognize OC is legal. A few will still not admit it is legal nor will research anything else concerning it.

    The SO deputy I spoke to was really kool about it and even told me "you seem to know more about it than I do". He asked his Sgt., who told him it was illegal, then he asked his Lt., who told him it was legal. It is hit or miss when actually speaking to someone about it to find out if it's "legal or illegal".

    When I called the state legislator's office, they xferred me to an analyst who helped me by looking at case law and supreme court rulings and said that it is legal. The SO deputy mentioned that there is a "city ordinance" against it within the city limits. I told the analyst this as well and she said "if there is a city ordinance, or case law, or anything that is not in line with a supreme court ruling then it is null and void".

  6. #6
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    I hear ya... the sheriff's deputy sounds like he then needed to be introduced to the idea of "preemption." But alas... I talked to one SO deputy who flat out told me it was illegal at first, and after a 10 minute conversation he finally at least agreed that he ought to look into it. I'm hoping he really did instead of going back to the office and complaining about "some angry citizen."

    Maybe if I get a chance I'll stop down at the MPD, or SO and bring some copies of the law down there to try and get their opinions and/or educate if their opinions are mistaken...

  7. #7
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    dixieborn wrote:
    I hear ya... the sheriff's deputy sounds like he then needed to be introduced to the idea of "preemption." But alas... I talked to one SO deputy who flat out told me it was illegal at first, and after a 10 minute conversation he finally at least agreed that he ought to look into it. I'm hoping he really did instead of going back to the office and complaining about "some angry citizen."

    Maybe if I get a chance I'll stop down at the MPD, or SO and bring some copies of the law down there to try and get their opinions and/or educate if their opinions are mistaken...
    I faxed the tri fold to the S.O. The deputy I spoke to said he read it and handed it to his Sgt. and Lt.

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