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Thread: Open Carry on Public Transit - New Information from RTD

  1. #1
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    Open Carry on Public Transit - New Information from RTD

    We all seem to know and very faithfully follow the state statute regarding the open carry of weapons on public transporation. It makes sense, seeing as all transit is federally funded and also Denver property.

    Now to the interesting part - Yesterday I was talking wth Lt. Millon of the Regional Transportation District's security team. These officers handle fare evasion and all other offenses against public transit. At the time I was in uniorm (carrying of course) and when he contacted me to see if I needed assistance as I was talking with a gentleman about the railroad that passes through Littleton Downtown lightrail station. Needless to say after a few professional words we were talking about firearms and what we were carrying. I happened to bring up this forum and my incident with Jeffco. I told him about Southwest Plaza calling because I had gotten onto a bus and how a concern was my weapon on public transit. At this point, the Lt. tells me that there is no state statute that is enforced regarding the carry of weapons on transit for the sheer reality that some people just don't drive but they have the right to defend themselves. Others need to carry for work (security, police, people in my field...)

    When I brought up the applicable C.R.S. he told me that they have orders not to follow that statute or enforce it unless the weapon poses a serious threat to the public, aka I have it out and am brandishing it.

    Now Im not willing to be a test case for this and I doubt most of you would be, but how about the intellectual thoughts about it? What do you think?

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    It sounds like Lt. Millon is a good guy and most of his men are as well. The fact that there is a law prohibiting open carry on public transportation is, in my opinion, one of the worst laws on the books. Let's face it, buses are large and can be used as a weapon itself quite easily. Not to mention that a crowded bus is an ideal target for a BG looking to get something for nothing. The fact remains though, that even though RTD doesn't enforce the law, it doesn't mean, as you have found, that you can't be stopped by local LE. If RTD is against the law and believes that people have a right to carry on the buses, then they need to work and fight to have the law repealed. They obviously believe in the right to defend oneself and they agree with carry, but as you stated, I doubt there are people willing to be a test case for this situation.

    Maybe with the repeal of the Denver OC ban the bus exclusion will be lifted as well. I don't know, but I would like to see it happen as buses are a great way to travel around Denver without having to waste gas and get stuck in traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZackL View Post
    It sounds like Lt. Millon is a good guy and most of his men are as well. The fact that there is a law prohibiting open carry on public transportation is, in my opinion, one of the worst laws on the books. Let's face it, buses are large and can be used as a weapon itself quite easily. Not to mention that a crowded bus is an ideal target for a BG looking to get something for nothing. The fact remains though, that even though RTD doesn't enforce the law, it doesn't mean, as you have found, that you can't be stopped by local LE. If RTD is against the law and believes that people have a right to carry on the buses, then they need to work and fight to have the law repealed. They obviously believe in the right to defend oneself and they agree with carry, but as you stated, I doubt there are people willing to be a test case for this situation.

    Maybe with the repeal of the Denver OC ban the bus exclusion will be lifted as well. I don't know, but I would like to see it happen as buses are a great way to travel around Denver without having to waste gas and get stuck in traffic.
    I may have just become the test case for the RTD weapons ban. On my way home from work this afternoon, I was approached by a different Lt. who told me that it didn't matter who you were or who you work for, if you carry on a bus or train you could be arrested and couldn't ride. He pulled my credentials and ran them through with DPD, called some officers out and told me I was free to go. I got home and turns out he had called my mother in law to find out what my address was and exactly where I work. I will be interested to see if im going to have to fight this through my employer. The bottom line is, however, that NOT ALL OF THE RTD OFFICERS are so well versed. If I am the test case, I will keep you up to date on what's going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wthornton0206 View Post
    ...if you carry on a bus or train you could be arrested.
    That's the crux for me. If a law is on the books, it could be enforced by a zealous officer and prosecutor even it's normally ignored by everyone else. However, your information is very interesting, thanks for supplying it; please keep us posted on further developments.

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    If there is a law on the books but you have heard information from the Lieutenant to the contrary.... I would get that in writing. Before breaking a law on the books that "is not enforced" I would be 110% sure you have, in writing, a formal letter written to your name that suggests the statute will not be enforced against you. My suggestion- talk to the DA. Have the DA write you a letter- not the Lieutenant. If stopped by an officer- the letter from the DA will be your saving grace- if you have one. Hear-Say from a cop won't cut it.

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    I have been reading the forms for a few months now but never signed up, however after reading this post and the other post by wthornton0206 I felt the need to post this link to a 9 news story:
    http://www.9news.com/news/article.as...9104&catid=339
    "Police arrest alleged paramedic impersonator with a gun"

    9WANTS TO KNOW
    DENVER - 9Wants to Know has learned Denver Police arrested a man after they say he impersonated a paramedic, took a gun on an RTD bus and RTD light rail and claimed to be part of a SWAT team.

    Police want to know if Wayne Michael Thornton, 21, has claimed to be a paramedic other times.
    Thornton is seen wearing a paramedic's uniform and a gun at the I-25 and Broadway light rail stop on Tuesday when security reviewed his ID, RTD Spokesman Scott Reed told 9Wants to Know.
    "It is a felony to carry weapons aboard public transportation, unless the passenger is a law enforcement officer or has a valid concealed carry permit," Reed said.
    Deputies allowed Thornton to board a train, but later learned the ID was fake.
    Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call about Thornton Aug. 13 after security at Southwest Plaza called deputies when Thornton showed up at the mall's parking lot with a gun, according to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Mark Techmeyer.
    Deputies tracked the man onto an RTD bus and removed him. Deputies had their guns drawn. Techmeyer said Thornton claimed to be a tactical paramedic.
    Deputies ran Thornton's background, but it came back clean and he was released, Techmeyer said.
    The special investigations unit of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office further investigated Thornton and discovered he is not a paramedic, Techmeyer said.
    They also discovered he has a juvenile record that prevents him from being able to carry a gun, 9Wants to Know has learned.
    Thornton faces charges of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and possessing a firearm or explosive on public transportation.
    Online court records show Thornton has a second advisement in Denver County Court September 2.
    The Jefferson County district attorney's office is considering whether to file charges against Thornton.
    Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies hope anyone with information about Thornton will call the Sheriff's Office at (303) 271-5612.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team X View Post
    I have been reading the forms for a few months now but never signed up, however after reading this post and the other post by wthornton0206 I felt the need to post this link to a 9 news story:
    http://www.9news.com/news/article.as...9104&catid=339
    "Police arrest alleged paramedic impersonator with a gun"

    9WANTS TO KNOW
    DENVER - 9Wants to Know has learned Denver Police arrested a man after they say he impersonated a paramedic, took a gun on an RTD bus and RTD light rail and claimed to be part of a SWAT team.

    Police want to know if Wayne Michael Thornton, 21, has claimed to be a paramedic other times.
    Thornton is seen wearing a paramedic's uniform and a gun at the I-25 and Broadway light rail stop on Tuesday when security reviewed his ID, RTD Spokesman Scott Reed told 9Wants to Know.
    "It is a felony to carry weapons aboard public transportation, unless the passenger is a law enforcement officer or has a valid concealed carry permit," Reed said.
    Deputies allowed Thornton to board a train, but later learned the ID was fake.
    Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call about Thornton Aug. 13 after security at Southwest Plaza called deputies when Thornton showed up at the mall's parking lot with a gun, according to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Mark Techmeyer.
    Deputies tracked the man onto an RTD bus and removed him. Deputies had their guns drawn. Techmeyer said Thornton claimed to be a tactical paramedic.
    Deputies ran Thornton's background, but it came back clean and he was released, Techmeyer said.
    The special investigations unit of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office further investigated Thornton and discovered he is not a paramedic, Techmeyer said.
    They also discovered he has a juvenile record that prevents him from being able to carry a gun, 9Wants to Know has learned.
    Thornton faces charges of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and possessing a firearm or explosive on public transportation.
    Online court records show Thornton has a second advisement in Denver County Court September 2.
    The Jefferson County district attorney's office is considering whether to file charges against Thornton.
    Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies hope anyone with information about Thornton will call the Sheriff's Office at (303) 271-5612.
    Wow.......

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    So if you claim to be a war hero that is fine and dandy, but if you claim to be a medic it is BAD?
    Me thinks the thin air has taken its toll. Gee I guess it does wonders for your muzzle velocity though.

    So he has done it before and never hurt anyone, but because you looked at sealed records it is now a problem?
    If he was a real threat then storming the bus guns drawn was making thinks a lot worse, and endangering the lives of the other passengers.
    Unfortunately his legal aid lawyer probably won't even bring up the law being wrong, and possibly a civil rights violation under equal protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlackwareRobert View Post
    So if you claim to be a war hero that is fine and dandy, but if you claim to be a medic it is BAD?
    Me thinks the thin air has taken its toll. Gee I guess it does wonders for your muzzle velocity though.

    So he has done it before and never hurt anyone, but because you looked at sealed records it is now a problem?
    If he was a real threat then storming the bus guns drawn was making thinks a lot worse, and endangering the lives of the other passengers.
    Unfortunately his legal aid lawyer probably won't even bring up the law being wrong, and possibly a civil rights violation under equal protection.
    Yes, this is a problem. If records exist, even if they are juvenile records they would still show up in a normal CBI check to determine if he was legally permitted to own and carry a firearm, and would have been available to the DA, LEO Agencies and the Department of Human Services with no restrictions. If the juvenile records had actually been expunged through the legal process needed to do so, then they would not have shown up during a CBI check but would still be available to the DA, LEO Agencies and the Department of Human Services. (CRS 19-1-306) with a court order.
    If he's not legal to have a firearm, he's not legal to have a firearm.....pretty cut and dry.

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    Exclamation

    Jaw has dropped

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlackwareRobert View Post
    So if you claim to be a war hero that is fine and dandy, but if you claim to be a medic it is BAD?
    Me thinks the thin air has taken its toll. Gee I guess it does wonders for your muzzle velocity though.

    So he has done it before and never hurt anyone, but because you looked at sealed records it is now a problem?
    If he was a real threat then storming the bus guns drawn was making thinks a lot worse, and endangering the lives of the other passengers.
    Unfortunately his legal aid lawyer probably won't even bring up the law being wrong, and possibly a civil rights violation under equal protection.
    He didn't just say he was a paramedic, he said he was a tactical paramedic on a S.W.A.T. unit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wthornton0206 View Post
    Now Im not willing to be a test case for this and I doubt most of you would be, but how about the intellectual thoughts about it? What do you think?
    Just became a case for a Class 6 Felony. LOL.
    And now that you're over 18, you'll never own a firearm again if you get convicted.
    Last edited by luv_jeeps; 08-20-2010 at 06:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    He didn't just say he was a paramedic, he said he was a tactical paramedic on a S.W.A.T. unit.
    Many of the law enforcement agencies in Colorado are using paramedics trained to SWAT team standards as part of the unit. To the best of my understanding, they are not LEO, but paramedics charged with and trained to support SWAT operations. They are also required to complete POST training, but still are not Law Enforcement Officers. Littleton, Greeley and Douglas County come up with a quick google search for more background info.

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    Seriously?!

    Alright, so you claim to be a Paramedic...but watch these videos from 9news and even read the actual story...tell me whatcha think because this is about your case wthornton0206..

    http://www.9news.com/news/article.as...4&provider=top

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    I think it's safe to say that for now, this guy's down and out for the count.

    Maybe we'll see you again somebody wThornton. Maybe not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZackL View Post
    Maybe with the repeal of the Denver OC ban the bus exclusion will be lifted as well. I don't know, but I would like to see it happen as buses are a great way to travel around Denver without having to waste gas and get stuck in traffic.
    Not only are they much more economical than driving, they're fairly efficient, as well - very green. Thus, I'd definately like to see this ban repealed as unconstitutional (against the state constitution).

    If I were Bill Gates, I'd happily spend my $$$ fighting the worst 10% of the laws on the books in our state and country. Unfortunately, I'm not Bill Gates...

    Still, this is one law that makes absolutely no sense, particularly here in Colorado Springs, where one can carry (nearly) everywhere else.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdlong View Post
    Many of the law enforcement agencies in Colorado are using paramedics trained to SWAT team standards as part of the unit. To the best of my understanding, they are not LEO, but paramedics charged with and trained to support SWAT operations. They are also required to complete POST training, but still are not Law Enforcement Officers. Littleton, Greeley and Douglas County come up with a quick google search for more background info.
    An acquaintence of mine just finished his paramedic training, and is awaiting state background check certification, which raised this thought in the back of my mind. I'd assumed it's because they have access to narcotics, and perhaps that's why.

    The Colorado Mountain Rangers train to POST standards, as well, even though technically they're not law enforcement officers, either. On certain occasions, they are called to augment local, county, and state police forces, however, and are simply briefed before participating. If they're's any significant chance they'll be making arrests, however, they'll be deputized before the event.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    two words:

    mall ninja

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    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team X View Post
    I have been reading the forms for a few months now but never signed up, however after reading this post and the other post by wthornton0206 I felt the need to post this link to a 9 news story:
    http://www.9news.com/news/article.as...9104&catid=339
    "Police arrest alleged paramedic impersonator with a gun"
    There's already a thread on it, here.

    Since these two threads are very intertwined, I will recommend the admins/mods simply join them.

    In the meantime, I've analyzed the regs in detail, and I posted the best I can come up with, here.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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