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Thread: Police interaction...what would you have done?

  1. #1
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    Just had my first OC interaction with a cop. This was in Nashville (Nash County).

    I was at a gas station, and was pulling away from the gas pump, when I drove into the side of a moving vehicle I didn't see coming. Totally my fault, no injuries, no major vehicular damage, very low speeds, no biggie.

    My issue, though, was what happened after we waited for the cop to show up to type up an accident report. The cop pulls up to our vehicles, gets out of his cruiser, I step out of my truck OC'ing, he looks at me and says something like "Put that gun in your truck NOW." (I forget exactly how he worded it, but that was the general jist of it). Being that I didn't want to get myself in trouble with a cop, especially in a public place with everybody already staring at me, and being at-fault in an accident, and being that I was driving without insurance (and thus a suspended registration), I decided to say "Yes sir. Is putting it on the passenger seat okay?" and comply.

    After waiting for half an hour while he typed up the citation and all that, he walked up to my window and explained the citation, etc., and after that he added (again, these weren't his exact words, just paraphrasing) "But sir, there's one other concern I have here today. Why did you walk up to a police offier with a gun?" I told him "I was under the impression that open-carry is legal in North Carolina." He said "No sir, it's called 'to the terror of the people', that's why only police officers in North Carolina can open-carry. If you want to do it on your own land, that's fine, but not in public."

    I'm under the impression that he is incorrect - HOWEVER, that's from reading things I've seen on pro-open-carry websites online, not talking to a lawyer or reading the actual legal cases for myself. Either way, even if he was incorrect, he could have jammed me up on so many violations (again, driving without insurance, etc.) which he didn't, that I figured it was in my best interest to not look a gift horse in the mouth by giving a hard time to an officer who just let me off on a whole bunch of charges.

    Do you think I handled it right? What would y'all have done?

  2. #2
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    When I'm open carrying I realize that I may (again!) have issues with LEO's. Most of the time if you know your rights and the law you will be fine. But you're right, if you had stood up for yourself you probably would have pissed him off and he would have hit you with everything he could.

    Without sounding condescending you need to learn the laws and make sure you're not breaking any non firearm related laws while oc'ing. If you had a holstered firearm you are clearly not guilty of GATTTOTP. You don't need to talk to a lawyer to ascertain the legality of OC in NC, or read anecdotal references to laws on pro gun sites. You may find the links on these sites to NC statutes and legal precedence helpful though.

    Sounds like another cop bent on monopoly of force. Not everyone wants to go through the hassle and expense of getting a concealed carry permit, and many would rather OC for various reasons. Cops will eventually get more used to it when we stand up for our rights and fight against oppressive cops who don't know the laws they're paid to enforce.

    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

    I don't bother with pragmatic statistics while discussing my constitutional rights. The issue is far less complex, to me. Free men should be able to act like free men.

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    I was involved in a wreck while OC'ing without a CCW permit. The officer actually disarmed me himself and put the gun and ammo on my passenger seat. Other than disarming me for the stop, which involved paperwork done in his car, there were no other issues. He did not ask me why I OC'd. Did not run the #'s on the gun and no lectures. We actually sat in the car and talked guns for nearly 20 minutes after the paperwork. It was a NCHP trooper as well.

    Basically, he's wrong. But under the circumstances it's better to walk away with the minor charges than to piss him off.

    If you want to you could write a letter to the PD, citing case law and such, and explain what the officer said. Then ask for their official position on OC.

    Here are some things to read through.

    State v Kerner

    http://www.guncite.com/court/state/107se222.html

    State v LR Speller

    http://www.guncite.com/court/state/86nc697.html

    State v Huntley

    http://www.guncite.com/court/state/25nc418.html

    And this

    http://www.opencarry.org/nc.html

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    You handled this situation as best as you could. But what a terrible situation to be in. :shock:


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    Since you have his name on the report, it makes it rather convenient to go down to the local PD and put in a complaint about his behavior. Maybe he really thought he was doing you a favor by warning you, but now it's time to do him a favor and get him educated about the law.

    It is pretty much impossible to get a GAttTotP charge to stick on someone for OCing, since you are not out to intentionally terrorize people.

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    You did the right thing, that was not the time or place to have that discussion. With no insurance, he could have not let you leave with the vehicle or had it towed. I would follow up with a letter to the chief about what he said about open carry being the same as GATTTOTP.

  7. #7
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    You handled that situation well. You were already in the wrong having been the one that was cited in the car wreck, and that was NOT the time to try and discuss 2A law with an LEO. Good job on keeping your cool, staying polite, and ending up no worse for the wear!

    However, the cop lied to you. OC is perfectly, 100 legal in NC (with a few, very specific exceptions like the City of Cary), and that is the end of the discussion.

    If it WAS illegal, he would have written you a second citation, and confiscated your firearm. If you had REALLY been guilty of GAttTotP, it would have been a "slam dunk" citation for him. Since you were NOT guilty of GAttTotP, he just threw that in there to intimidate you, and that is at the very least unethical, and possibly illegal.

    Many people don't understand the GAttTotP case law, and are unfamiliar with the exact wording. Police are NOT, however, because they are trained in this violation at the Academy, and the State Police an NC Attorney General have both issued many memos concerning GAttTotP over the years.

    What he did was threaten you "under color of law". He lied about the applicability of a law in a situation where it was NOT applicable. He sounds like he's one of those officers who believes that only police and military should be allowed to have firearms. There is a term for countries where that situation exists: Totalitarian Regimes...

    It looks like it might be time for a trip to Nash County for some of our more experiences and well-versed OCers...
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    I don't personally believe that any officer who tells you "it's GAttTotP" is blatently lying and trying to intimidate. Many people in NC believe that it is GAttTotP to open carry, officers included.

    I know one person who did BLET locally (all he needed to get a job in Surf City) and when he graduated the course, I asked him what the legal length limit for a pocket knife was, he replied 4", or maybe it was 3", 10 years will play tricks on a short conversation. What I can say for certain is that he picked a length limit, something he'd heard as a civilian, not in BLET. I know this for fact, because A. there is no length limit in NC and B. he told me it was what he "thought" not what he was "taught".


    Comrade who was charged with GAttTotP without basis, JP out in Greensboro was detained for a lengthy time in a food court while the officers checked with command about the legality of openly carrying a firearm. While I didn't see anywhere in the video where they mentioned GAttTotP, it stands to reason that if they were trained about that charge in BLET that they would also know about OC being legal. Incidents like these add to my belief that the BLET doesn't train officers in many NC laws, or more importantly in things that are legal in our state.

    He may have been trying to intimidate, but I don't know it for a fact.

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    I for one would think that if you cannot afford auto insurance to protect the people you may possible injure or kill in an accident you ought to sell your gun and buy an insurance policy. A law abiding citizen does not put others at risk by breaking the law.

    Driving without proper financial responsibility is not a laughing matter. The officer still has time to cite for additional charges.

    I for one would appreciate a call letting me know when and where you are planning to be driving soI may protect myself and family from your irresponsibility.

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    Campaign Veteran ComradeV's Avatar
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    in reference to myself and the false charge of GATTOP that I was arrested for; I have concluded that the Police involved in the incident made a judgment call at some point that I was doing something wrong(morally, ethically, or something) or that they had reacted very harshly for no real reason (3 or 4 police cars, guns drawn, searching my car illegally) so they had to make something up to justify it.

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    American Patriot wrote:
    I for one would think that if you cannot afford auto insurance to protect the people you may possible injure or kill in an accident you ought to sell your gun and buy an insurance policy. A law abiding citizen does not put others at risk by breaking the law.

    Driving without proper financial responsibility is not a laughing matter. The officer still has time to cite for additional charges.

    I for one would appreciate a call letting me know when and where you are planning to be driving soI may protect myself and family from your irresponsibility.
    So your asking the man to put up his firearm so he can purchase auto insurance? I don't think so. Personal safety is more important then auto insurance, IMO. While I am not supporting the fact that he is driving without insurance, however, it would be more prudent to inform him of NC auto insurance law, state that you would appreciate it if he bought insurance, and left it at that.

    People can't afford insurance all the time. I understand that it is NC law to have insurance on a vehicle, but with the way the economy is, I can understand not having insurance for a period of time. I would ask that he pick up an insurance plan as soon as possible, so as to avoid any possible situations that could hurt him financially in the future though.
    Taurus PT1911 .45 ACP. Carried in condition 1, with a total of 25 rounds.

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    Campaign Veteran ComradeV's Avatar
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    Unless you got a cool 30-60 grand on the float, I hope you scrounge up the money for a bare minimum liability policy so when you hit someone with your car you aren't facing civil suits and no means to pay when found liable.
    Good thing we don't have debtors prisons

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    Or could it be his insurance had lapsed and he did not realize.

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    Thanks guys for all the input. Good to know I'm not the only person this has happened to.

    This thread wasn't started to be about car insurance, but it elicited some nasty remarks, so let me put it to rest. In general, I keep auto insurance in-force on my vehicle. I recently moved back here to NC from Alabama, and figured that because my policy there was issued by a franchise of a chain that also has franchises here in NC, that the policy would just carry over. As it turns out, I need a policy issued by an NC agent, because these franchises are incorporated state-by-state to comply with differing state laws (i.e. Acme Insurance Company of North Carolina, Inc. is a different company than Acme Insurance Company of Alabama, Inc., even though they're both franchises of the same chain; the latter is not licensed to do business in North Carolina). I have gone to a local agent and transferred my policy here. So that end of it is all settled, but was irrelevant to the OC question from the beginning. Also, just for the record, my liberatarian/conservative leanings lead me to deeply resent being legally forced to purchase auto insurance. Or wear a seat belt. Both should be my choice, like they are for the citizens of New Hampshire (the "Live free or Die" state, and those folks MEAN it). Regardless of whether seatbelts and auto insurance are a good idea, it's about the fundamental principle of the matter: namely freedom and individual liberty, and taxation (which is what car insurance amounts to... a tax). Anyhow, I'm not going to go off on this tangent.

    I think the officer was a decent guy who was unnerved by seeing a citizen with a gun. I understand that, legally, he was incorrect about the GATTTOTP thing. However, given that he didn't charge me, AND he let me slide on at least three other citable charges (and the insurance one is a pretty big thing legally, especially given that I was in an accident), I must conclude that there was no way this guy was trying to single me out or give me a hard time, quite the opposite. He could have thrown the book at me, yet he didn't even charge me with things he could make stick in his sleep.

    Given that I've never been arrested, or had any criminal charges or other legal trouble before, I didn't want to start getting any now. It closes way too many doors in life, and I have no clue what my future may bring employment-wise or any other way that having an arrest/conviction record matters.

    I know many of you are probably mad at me, because many of you (i.e. ComradeV) are more ballsy than I am, and more willing to stand on a point of principle, even if you end up in cuffs, in jail, paying out money to hire a good jew lawyer to fight bogus GATTTOTP charges in court, with every cop in the vicinity hating you and going to be up your arse for the rest of your life every time you drive through their jurisdiction. I admire you for that, and am grateful that like the first American patriots, your sacrifice will help secure and enhance the rights of all people, myself included. But I'm just not willing to give up my clean record in order to be on the front lines with you. I know that that's cowardly and unpatriotic, and it's just generally a horrible situation for a citizen to be in, where he has to roll over and surrender his liberties to the cops in order to keep out of jail and legal trouble. But I'd rather donate to the NRA, write to my Senator and Congressman, and get a letter from the local chief/sheriff stating that he's aware OC is legal and has informed his officers of such, than I would have all those doors in life slam shut because I got myself arrested for being defiant to an officer, even an incorrect one.

    Again, thanks for all the input. My next move will be to write to the local sheriff (Pat Green of Franklin County, who is running for re-election), and police chiefs of the local towns, and find out what their stance on O.C. is, and make sure their officers are informed. I'd rather go that route than blaze a saddle right into the local jail... spurs, six-shooters, and all.

  15. #15
    Campaign Veteran ComradeV's Avatar
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    I don't consider myself particularly brave, I just don't take it well when people try to intimidate me(if I even notice it)

    When I was arrested, it was damaging to my psyche for awhile, the whole incident was extremely unexpected, and I was shamefully unprepared to deal with the legal aspects with the military.

    But as for the civilian world, I could've easily represented myself, as the DA wouldn't even bring the case before the Judge.

    When you know you are morally right and legally right, and able to express it articuately, these things are extremely helpful.

    And bring a recording device.

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    ComradeV wrote:
    And bring a recording device.

    That brings up a point I forgot.

    I've seen quite a few posts on this forum where folks mention that they carry what I'm under the impression is basically a concealed audio recorder. Or is it audio/video?

    Anyway, that sounds like a great idea, if I ever decide to OC again in the future (and heck, even if I get an officer who isn't CC-friendly). Just seems like some great airtight backup to have when it's "your word against the cop's" in court, and he's fudging a little bit to get a conviction because you were doing something he doesn't like.

    Two questions:

    (A) Are there any places where this is illegal? i.e. police stations, courthouses, The People's Republic of Chapel Hill, etc.?

    (B) Does anyone have a specific model they'd recommend? Also, how would you wear it with overalls (which is what I wear all 365 days of the year, including to church and court, very old-fashioned Southern raising here).

    Thanks!

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    freedomdepartment wrote:
    Also, how would you wear it with overalls (which is what I wear all 365 days of the year, including to church and court, very old-fashioned Southern raising here).

    Thanks!
    AHHHHAAHAHA! That's awesome! Go to office depot or the like, buy any of their 50 dollar voice recorders and stick it in your front pocket. My Carrharts have two pockets right in the chest that would be perfect.
    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

    I don't bother with pragmatic statistics while discussing my constitutional rights. The issue is far less complex, to me. Free men should be able to act like free men.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran ComradeV's Avatar
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    As far legalities go
    in NC you can record conversations that you are a part of without the other party's consent (one party consent) but courtrooms require prior permission.

  19. #19
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    Good that it's one-party consent, which is the same for recording telephone conversations (I use a P3 International model #5080, which automatically records all telephone conversations to casette tapes).

    Next time I've got $50 handy, I'll pick up a voice recorder at the Staples in Henderson, and start carrying it everywhere with me.

    Thanks!

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