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Thread: My Visit With The DA, Pt 2

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    I want to begin by thanking the assistant DA who spoke with me for his time yesterday. We spent the best part of an hour discussing OC. He was courteous, curious and helpful. I'd also like to thank the investagator with this office (9th District, Dekalb and Cherokee counties) who last week was every bit as courteous and helpful. (I'm withholding names, I didn't ask if I could use thier name, and I've no desire to make enemies of apparent friends)

    At the beginning of our conversation, it was made quite plain that open carry is in fact legal in Alabama, there is no question on that. I asked about a strict reading of the law which would seem to imply that one could walk down the street with an unconcealed handgun, but couldn't enter a store as that is private property. He replied that -52 is modified by -73. He also suggested keeping the CC permit on the person. My impression was that at least in his thinking, the license mitigates the "property of other persons" clause of -52. That was my impression from how the conversation unfolded and his reference to the code book. He didn't say as much. (An interesting interpretation, it has the effect of turning a license to carry concealed into a license to carry. Opinions?)

    It was also obvious as he read from the code, that there being no code against open carry makes it legal, (If it is not illegal then it is legal) that interpreting -73 to mean that only concealed carry is permissable is wrong. -73 only makes concealed carry, with a license to do so, permissable.

    I didn't press on unlicensed carry as I didn't think that going into an area of law that even the courts seem to conflict on at times, during the first meeting was appropriate or nessicary. My intention in the disscussion was to simply find out how the DA's office is going to percieve the legality of open carry.

    Overall, the conversation was very congenial. He was quite impressed with the trifold, and with the research of court cases that went into it. He asked where I got the info, and I gave him

    www.alabamaopencarry.com
    www.opencarry.org

    He said he'd check us out.

    He was impressed that I could speak to Heller v DC and to McDonald v Chicago as well. The conversation touched breifly on those, and he made reference to Heller v DC and McDonald v Chicago, but he didn't know where the later stood. I told him that Heller tested two things, whether the 2nd protected an individual right, and if DC's gun bam was legal under the 2nd. I told him that many think the decision on the right to keep and bear arms was split, but it is not. 9 Justices agree the 2nd protects an individual right to arms. The 5-4 split was over striking down the DC gun ban. Heller is correct, if a ban has the effect of rendering useless the free exercise of a right, it is infringement (If only our state constitution included a "shall not be infringed" clause, State v Reid actually speaks to this) On McDonald he was impressed that I knew what incorporation was, and that the court was hesitant about overruling Slaughterhouse and using the "privledges and immunities" clause of the 14th, rather than due process to incorporate.

    Knowledge is key guys, knowledge is key. It reinforces the relationships with those who may be on our side, and it has a disarming effect on those who are against.

    He said it is not his place to enforce municipal or county laws. I pointed out that no one but the legislature can make law about handguns. (He smiled)

    He said if I choose to OC I should be prepared to explain myself. I replied "That's why I'm here, and why I'm going to speak the with all those LEA's where I may be open carrying, and those places I normally go to. I prefer not to have to explain myself while being detained.

    He asked why I wanted to open carry. I replied, "It's June. In another month it is going to be 98 degrees, 120% humidity and not a drop of rain in sight. It is more comfortable to open carry. Besides, if it is a legal option, why should I not use?"

    He replied "The heat does make carrying a gun concealed uncomfortable doesn't it." He told me that he is normally asked what is illegal, that it was a first time to be asked what is legal.

    My bottom line gut feeling from this conversation is that unless one is being totally stupid, this DA's office is not going to persue charges on an OC. (can;t speak to city or county as yet) I also think that this is an area of law which remains ambiguous, as the code says one thing and the courts another. LEO's are going to uphold the code, without a full knowledge of what the courts say those codes mean. -52 needs to go.



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    Regular Member DJDD's Avatar
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    All I have to say here is Bravo!

    Now begins the education of the LEA's, hopefully it won't be as painful for you as for some of us here.

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Awesome. I'm glad everything went so well. I know you're new here, but you're taking some huge first steps! (Putting me to shame, by far )
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    mcdonalk wrote:
    Awesome. I'm glad everything went so well. I know you're new here, but you're taking some huge first steps! (Putting me to shame, by far )
    No friend, it was you who inspired me this week. I did not want to read Isaiah. While I was thinking of going to talk with the DA again, I was vasilating. I was wondering if I was putting too much energy into an online chat board. I was wondering if I was putting too much enregy intowhat others might think of my ideas. I was wondering if I was putting too much energy into the whole OC thing.

    Then I read Isaiahand realized how badly our laws have been written and how badly they could be interpreted. And I realized how when a people don't stand for their rights, they loose them. We have nearly lost the right to OC in Alabama simply because we stopped practicing it. How true it is, "A right you don't use is a right you loose." OC in Alabama is a perfect example of that. I realized that if I didn't go down to the DA's office I wasn't giving up to anything but my own fears. Though I couldn't see it, you didn't discourage me by suggesting I read Isaiah, you were telling me I needed to see more of the truth. I was being too selfish to hear your council.

    I realized that each of us here as fellows want the same thing, to have the freedom to choose to carry openly or concealed as the days needs dictate without fear of being detained, harrased or arrested. We are not asking for a new bill of rights, we are asking the state, LEA's and LEO'sto recognize the rights we already possess.

    None of us are standing the shadow of another. We are all free men standing together, each in our own way, each according to our own abilities, each with their own desire to practice freedom, and to spread the wings of freedom for all to enjoy. It is aboutOUR freedom, for none of us have it if we all don't have it. As Dianosis has said, we must become proactive.

    As for those who reallydo stand on the sidelines like spectators at a game, waiting to enjoy the fruits of what may be gained without having to suffer the pain,I offer the words of one far more versed and knowledgeable in mattersof the cost offreedom than I; "...May your chains sit lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen" Samuel Adams

    How easily we forget that freedom is something that must be won everyday.My friend, itis you who inspired me this week.





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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    All I can think to say is thanks.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    (If only our state constitution included a "shall not be infringed" clause, State v Reid actually speaks to this)

    And State v Reid completely ignored this:

    Constitution of Alabama 1819



    SEC. 30. This enumeration of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people: and, to guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, or any transgression of any of the high powers herein delegated, we declare, that every thing in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.

    Instead of reading the constitution of our state, they were reading about the Prince of Orange, William and Mary and what went on in Kentucky.We still have that clause in our current constitution, less the last phrase. If our constitution got the respect itdeserves we would have no needto be talking about laws against bearing arms, because bearing arms is a right excepted out of the general powers of government in our state.

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