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Thread: Hartford-Courant - Courts and law enforcement say open carry legal in Connecticut

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    NOTE 1: The photo of the man holding a gun is not a useful image for us because it conveys the idea the great mass of people (who have little or no idea about gun rights issues) that open carry means carrying a handgun around in your hand in public (and not just when at the range shooting).OC organizers need to think through this issue before holding events - groups like VCDL.org have long had official "no handling" policies for group events.

    NOTE 2: Unfortunately the article fails to mention that Connecticut already has some of the most strict gun laws in the nation - including mandating a permit to carry handgun, even openly. Most states do not require a permit to open carry handguns, and Arizona just joined Alaska and Vermont and repealed the requirement tohave a permitto conceal carry handguns.

    --

    http://www.courant.com/news/connecti...,2346909.story

    MUST HAVE A PERMIT, BUT …

    Support Is Growing For Openly Carrying Permitted Weapons
    By EDMUND H. MAHONY The Hartford Courant
    April 18, 2010

    An eruption in a simmering dispute over gun rights occurred when James Goldberg, wearing camouflage clothing and a holstered — and licensed — pistol on his right hip, walked into a Chili's restaurant in upscale Glastonbury, where he intended to pay for a takeout order.

    According to Goldberg, a college-educated, occupational safety engineer, a restaurant employee, concerned by the sight of an armed customer, called the town police department. A goggle-eyed luncheon crowd watched three officers roll up, confront Goldberg and handcuff him.

    "What can we get him for?" Goldberg, 32, says one of the officers asked his colleagues.

    The answer, as it turned out, was nothing.

    A state Superior Court judge dismissed the breach of peace charge police ultimately filed against Goldberg, forcing law enforcement experts to concede that, absent extenuating circumstances, there is nothing in Connecticut law to prohibit licensed gun owners from conducting their lives visibly armed.

    The judge's decision was treated as a vindication by some gun owners in traditionally gun-shy Connecticut. They are joining groups elsewhere in asserting, as Goldberg does, what they say is the right to carry sidearms openly, in public, for protection.

    The "open carry" movement is growing at a time when the federal courts have been looking more favorably on the rights of gun owners than on the authority of governments to restrict gun ownership.

    . . .

    In the past two years, open carry has become part of the national gun discussion. The Starbucks coffee chain put the issue before a broad audience earlier this year when it decided to allow obviously armed customers into its stores in states that permit open carry. Virginia, Tennessee and Arizona have enacted laws allowing openly armed patrons to drink in barrooms.

    . . .

    No one in Connecticut is predicting that the suits or the evolving discussion of gun rights will result in a spike in the number of armed shoppers at suburban malls. But the talk alone has law enforcement officers and policymakers re-examining the existing law and how it should be enforced.

    Even through it may be legal for a permitted gun owner to carry a pistol or revolver in public in Connecticut, the officials say every case is not necessarily legal and they will closely examine those brought to their attention.

    "There is no law that expressly prohibits the open carrying of a firearm by somebody who has a permit to carry it, in and of itself," said Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane.

    . . .

    Goldberg called his arrest an overreaction by a police department unfamiliar with state handgun laws, something he said happens regularly in Connecticut.

    "In my circumstance, no one pressed any charges, no one was interviewed," he said. "The woman who called 911 called to ask what the concealment law is in the state of Connecticut. And the dispatcher didn't know. If the dispatcher was educated or trained, and answered that you can carry openly or concealed in Connecticut, it should have ended right there. It was unfortunate that what happened to me had to happen to me."


    . . .

    Goldberg said his arrest and the arrests of others in similar circumstances show a misunderstanding of the law by members of the public, who think it is illegal to openly carry a weapon in public in Connecticut. He also blamed police officers who are "just uncomfortable with civilians having firearms and people having the right to carry."

    "The state needs to be educated and the people who live in the state need to be educated and know that you can carry openly or concealed and just because you see a firearm doesn't constitute that person breaking the law," he said. "There are a lot of great arguments for open carry in Connecticut."

    On the other hand, he said, anyone who uses a gun incorrectly or uses one to intimidate or frighten people, should be arrested.

    "This was really upsetting to me because in my career I dedicate myself to protecting other people," Goldberg said. "To be construed as someone who is deemed to be unsuitable to carry a pistol, just because someone happened to see it, was very disheartening."

    In past years, the state police have pushed for revisions to state handgun laws that would allow the concealed carrying of weapons but outlaw open carry. The efforts have failed, and there is no similar legislative effort this year.

    Key lawmakers said they will wait for the resolution of the pending gun cases in Connecticut before deciding whether the law needs to be revised.

    "It is definitely opening up a hornet's nest when you try to add on to or modify the laws that govern gun ownership in Connecticut," Lawlor said. "And I think, on paper, we have the most sensible system in the country. I think it is appropriate to have this discussion. And maybe the legislature should weigh in. Maybe not."[/i]

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    NOTE 1: The photo of the man holding a gun is not a useful image for us because it conveys the idea the great mass of people (who have little or no idea about gun rights issues) that open carry means carrying a handgun around in your hand in public (and not just when at the range shooting).

    Unbelievable that this guy could be that dumb to do that on camera, particularly after making the following statement:

    On the other hand, he said, anyone who uses a gun incorrectly or uses one to intimidate or frighten people, should be arrested.

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    The actual newspaper included a map summarizing the open carry status of the 50 states.

    The map shows:
    - Texas, Florida, and Illinois as "no open carry" states.
    - NY, CT, MA, SC, TN, VA, MN, IO, IN, and HI as "permit required" open carry states
    - All other states were no permit required open carry states.

    It's unfortunate that this map was not included in the online version of the article.

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    And, there is a poll at the URL Mike links to in the OP.

    We're currently at 65% to 32%, good guys versus the evil anti-gunners. Hit it, folks!
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

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    It was quite a shock to see this article on the front page of that leftist rag, the Hartford Courant. I almost pissed my pants.



    Of course, they reverted to the usual and expected tone with repeated references to 'camouflage clothing', the statements about guns-in-bars in Virginia/Tennessee/Arizona, and the '...every case is not necessarily legal...' bs.



    Amazing. Just f'n amazing. They couldn't just present the truth without including anti-gun innuendo.



    mg

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    DanM wrote:
    And, there is a poll at the URL Mike links to in the OP.

    We're currently at 65% to 32%, good guys versus the evil anti-gunners. Hit it, folks!
    Again, some people are taking the time to click "Not sure." How silly is that? Why waste the bandwidth?

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    MGoduto wrote:
    Of course, they reverted to the usual and expected tone with repeated references to 'camouflage clothing', . . . Amazing. Just f'n amazing. They couldn't just present the truth without including anti-gun innuendo.
    And a good example of why folks who choose to open carry should consider how they are going to appear to others - as John has said, "wearing camoflage perpetrates an unhelpful steriotype."

    Normalization is best effected when open carriers look and act like a normal citizen going about your business, and not like a police officer wanna be, nor Indiana Jones, etc.

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    "Virginia, Tennessee and Arizona have enacted laws allowing openly armed patrons to drink in barrooms." - snipped from above text.

    O RLY?

    A.) no such thing as a bar in Virginia, only restaurants that serve alcohol.
    B.) there is no such law, to my limited knowledge, of ANY law allowing an armed person to drink (especially in an alcohol serving restaurant)

    someone ask for them to site their info on that little tidbit.

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    You've always been able to carry in bars in CT.
    You are also allowed to drink. You just can't be impaired.

    I don't take it that far. if I'm carrying, I'm drinking seltzer. But the law only says that you can't be impaired. I don't remember if they passed the law lowering the BAC recently.

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    For the record, James Goldberg did not open carry prior to his arrest in May of 2007, and had his weapon exposed by accident. James was wearing Camo trousers and a tee shirt that he believed covered his weapon.

    James was NOT returning from any form of training, and stopped in to Chilis on his way home with the day's receipts from the liquor store he managed in the town of his arrest.

    There were NO customers seated or eating in the takeout side of the restaurant and there were NO Lunchtime customers.

    The manager DID NOT complain to the police when she dialed 911, and only asked if there was such a thing as a NON CONCEAL Permit. The manager was even giggling during one of two tape recorded phone conversations with Police dispatch.

    Everyone including James andI thought he was wrong and in trouble for exposing his weapon until we read and re read the law and found a legislative research document that explained that weapons may be carried OPENLY or CONCEALED.

    After the judge dismissed his charge of Breach of Peace and refused to immediately return the weapon, contact was made the the Glastonbury Police Chief Thomas Sweeny.

    During a meeting with the Chief, the situation and law became the topic of discussion along with a request that the Chief pick up the phone and end the situation.

    The Chief chose instead to back his Sgt. and patrolmen and their actions in arresting James Goldberg. THE REST IS NOW HISTORY.

    Statements have been taken from the four employees at Chilis together with sworn depositions from the Sgt., Two Police Officers and the Chief.

    James Goldberg is a NRA Pistol Safety Instructor, has attending several well established resident schools for Personal Protection training and is very experienced with various types of firearms.

    As for his dress and handling of his sidearm during the photo shoot, he was asked by the photographer to pose for several different photos and did as requested.

    If anyone in the State of Connecticut is entitled to carry openly or dress in whatever he or she wants while carrying openly or concealed, it's JAMES GOLDBERG.

    James Goldberg has done more to promote the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bare arms then most in Connecticut.

    He is currently employed at Hoffman's Guns in Newington, CT as a sales person and pistol instructor.

    There is much more to this story that has not been published or discussed except between the legal team, family and close friends.

    This incident has been discussed and widely exposed in this section of Opencarry.com since the late summer and early fall of 2007.


    There are currently 150,000 Permit to Carry holders in the State of Connecticut and this incident is a good example of why each and every one of them needs to read and understand the laws of Connecticut.

    Why should we as Permit to Carry holders have to sufferthreats,bullying,public embarrassment andoccasional arrests by those who are sworn and trained to uphold the law.


    I currently carry openly while in Connecticut even though I prefer to carry concealed. I'm carrying oenly and answering questionsuntil the James Goldberg case is resolved.

    When James was arrested there was NO Connectcut CitizenDefense League to advocate our rights and the issue was NEVER on the front page of the Hartord Courant.

    TIMES ARE CHANGING










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    Ed,
    I couldn't agree more with everything you have said. Based on the Courant article, and the fact that no cop in the state can claim ignorance, I was emboldened today.

    While I have never wanted to carry openly, I have in the past chosen a smaller less effective weapon because of my concern that it was not 100% absolutely concealed. If there was any small chance that someone might notice, I would drop down a size.

    Today I went out with my Glock 34 in a belt holster with nothing but a fairly short fleece vest. I know that my gun could be seen by anyone who bothered to really look. But I'm feeling a bit better now about carrying the bigger iron.

    Later in the day, I took my Les Baer Premier II for a walk around town.

    In both cases, the muzzle hung slightly below the hem of my vest.

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    I'm currently in Olahoma, and on my way back for the summer, I would imagine there is much to discuss and do regarding the issues at hand.

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    In re: Tennessee

    A permit is required to carry a handgun. No distinction is made between openly or concealed.

    As to licensed premises, the question is still undecided. Though a law permitting restaurant carry was overturned some still insist it can be legal. However, no one is or would be permitted to consume alcohol in a bar or restaurant while armed. That has never been considered.

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    In CT, you can't be impaired and carry. I believe the standard is the same as for driving, 0.08%

    There was some effort to reduce it to 0.04%, I don't know what happened to that law. I'd be good with that.

    I personally don't drink when I carry, although I may have a sip of my wife's wine.
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    gluegun wrote:
    The actual newspaper included a map summarizing the open carry status of the 50 states.

    The map shows:
    - Texas, Florida, and Illinois as "no open carry" states.
    - NY, CT, MA, SC, TN, VA, MN, IO, IN, and HI as "permit required" open carry states
    - All other states were no permit required open carry states.

    It's unfortunate that this map was not included in the online version of the article.
    It's probably even more unfortunate that the map has errors.

    Virginia does not require a permit to OC.

    TFred


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    Edward Peruta wrote:
    As for his dress and handling of his sidearm during the photo shoot, he was asked by the photographer to pose for several different photos and did as requested.
    I hope this serves as a lesson learned then... if a reporter had asked him to pose with a gun held to the head of a little kid, would he have done it? Of course not... You should count on any photos that are taken by the press to be cropped and used to do the most damage to the message you are trying to spread.

    TFred

    P.S. This is why Philip Van Cleave (president of the VCDL) always records his interviews with the press. And he has used these recordings to refute reporting that has not accurately reflected his statements.


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    CT Open Carry,This topic can be cleared up buy going to open carry.org, It states under CT summary that CT is a LEGAL OPEN CARRY STATE, its just that most pistol permit holders don't know that. I have had my permit for 10 years now and when i went through the course to obtain my permit the instructors have always told everyone that your pistol or revolver must be concealed. Well that is what i have done for the past ten years until now. I have just done some research about this topic and found out CT by law is a open carry state.

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    TFred wrote:
    gluegun wrote:
    The actual newspaper included a map summarizing the open carry status of the 50 states.

    The map shows:
    - Texas, Florida, and Illinois as "no open carry" states.
    - NY, CT, MA, SC, TN, VA, MN, IO, IN, and HI as "permit required" open carry states
    - All other states were no permit required open carry states.

    It's unfortunate that this map was not included in the online version of the article.
    It's probably even more unfortunate that the map has errors.

    Virginia does not require a permit to OC.

    TFred
    Depends on what and where you are open carrying.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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    turbotype87 wrote:
    CT Open Carry,This topic can be cleared up buy going to open carry.org, It states under CT summary that CT is a LEGAL OPEN CARRY STATE, its just that most pistol permit holders don't know that. I have had my permit for 10 years now and when i went through the course to obtain my permit the instructors have always told everyone that your pistol or revolver must be concealed. Well that is what i have done for the past ten years until now. I have just done some research about this topic and found out CT by law is a open carry state.
    Turbo. Do some reading. Its not simply about the law. Search on Goldberg. You present it like it is a simple endeavour. Its not. Its a lot simpler since the Courant article. But the fact of the matter is that in many places the cops will look for a reason to arrest you if you are open carrying.

    I'm in no way saying you shouldn't do it. Just that you need to understand the risks. Nobody in CT should open carry unless they are willing to get arrested over it.

    Its still not VT.
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    PeteXD wrote:
    "Virginia, Tennessee and Arizona have enacted laws allowing openly armed patrons to drink in barrooms." - snipped from above text.

    O RLY?

    A.) no such thing as a bar in Virginia, only restaurants that serve alcohol.
    B.) there is no such law, to my limited knowledge, of ANY law allowing an armed person to drink (especially in an alcohol serving restaurant)

    someone ask for them to site their info on that little tidbit.
    VA law does not explicitly permit an armed indiviual to consume alcoholic beverages, but neither does it prohibit it. However, it is illegal to be intoxicated while armed (there is no definitive BAC limit for this offense).

    As of July 1, 2010, ordinary citizens who carry concealed into restaurants that serve alcohol may not consume alcohol. Until then ordinary citizens are prohibited from carrying concealed into such establishments. There are exceptions for LEOs.

    It took a while, but negative encounters with LEOs by open carrying citizens in VAhave become relatively rare. We continue to educate the public, especially those who work in retail establishments.

    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    I think we need to do a west farms mall open carry mall walk.
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    gluegun wrote:
    The actual newspaper included a map summarizing the open carry status of the 50 states.

    The map shows:
    - Texas, Florida, and Illinois as "no open carry" states.
    - NY, CT, MA, SC, TN, VA, MN, IO, IN, and HI as "permit required" open carry states
    - All other states were no permit required open carry states.

    It's unfortunate that this map was not included in the online version of the article.
    As mentioned before this map is FUBAR. Oklahoma does not allow OC at all. The maps on the OCDO home page say it all for those that DON'T know what states allow what.
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    86% for Open Carry, today :celebrate
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    Yeah, except, lets be realistic. Its a meaningless number. Although its nice to know that the ignorant will at least see that stat.
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    Old Saybrook huh? My hometown. I gotta tell ya, it was such a pain in the ass to get a permit in CT that I never got one. I took a course and got fingerprinted and then lost the application. I now live in VT, what a difference. Just about everyone here has a gun and people are much more mature about it. The tourists can sometimes get antsy about open carry but most people look just because they are interested in what you are carrying - you know "How do you like that Glock?" Open carrying actually opens pleasant conversations.

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