Hello all - an experience while I was OC'ing near what I guess turned out to be felons.
I open carry much of the time and on weekdays I'll have on a suit / white shirt and tie. I visited a garage recently that I have been to before but have always CC there. The guys in the shop know me and they know my truck. I pulled in the shop the other day opened the door and before my feet hit the ground I hear "whoa whoa whoa we got a cop in here?" I say - no just an armed citizen. At this point all six or eight guys in the garage started to move to the other side of the shop - three or four bays over. Then one guys yells - "we're all felons in here!"
At that point I just went into the office and chatted with the office guy who said nothing about me carrying. A while later he says - youíre all set. So I walk out into the shop and it was completely empty. I looked outside and all the guys were across the parking lot sitting on a flatbed trailer looking at me, waiting for me to leave. They clearly wanted nothing to do with a gun.
I canít imagine how a felon working in a public setting and coming into contact with an armed citizen can jeopardize his parole or whatever it is he has going on. But I just don't know enough about this topic and haven't been successful in finding anything on it.
It's quite possible that with that many felons working there, that the parole / probation department might be targeting that place. Some time back, when help was hard to get, I had a number of work release employees, all felons. Frequently, there would be an unmarked police car across the street. I had one guy get his work rights terminated for talking to his AA sponsor. The sponsor was actually sponsoring four guys in the shop. The police targeted this guy. No repercussions for the other three. I've had the whole bunch walk out of the shop when a pickup was pulled in full of empty beer cans. When someone holds that much threat over your head, and no means of preventing abuse, I guess I can see their point.
It's probably more of a game than outright paranoia on their part.
Admittedly they are not supposed to be asking you to take it out and let them look at/touch/try it out. But under the circumstances you describe I would be willing to wager a large portion of my savings that no judge would be willing to revoke their probation/community supervision (there has not been parole in Virginia for quite some time) and send them back to prison just because they were in the shop while you were in the office.
Yes, cops and corrections folkls can yank chains with a fair amount of (unwarranted and unfair) impunity, but putting someone back in prison for merely being within x-feet of a gun is not going to happen. If that was the case then why aren't these guys/gals being busted for walking within x-feet of a cop or Community Supervision Officer?
Be glad there was no cover charge for the kabuki theater show.
It sounds like maybe these guys have just had the fear of God put in them and maybe haven't been properly acclimated to the outside world yet.
In recent years, there has been a lot of BS slung out there by various probation & parole agencies, both state and federal. I hear it all the time, and we've even seen the question here on the forum: "My cousin is getting out of prison and is going to stay with us until he gets his own place. The parole officer warned him that there can't be any guns in the house, and he can't be around anyone carrying a gun. What can I do?"
It's bull, of course, so long as the felon never has possession of any firearms or ammunition, either actual or constructive. But the mis(dis?)information is out there.
That being said, there are situations where one might get caught appearing to or actually provide a prohibitted person with a firearm without intending to.
When the easy solution is not available, getting the knowledge to know how to stay legal is a good thing.
If they are out on Parole, they probably can't be around firearms.
My son, who owns several guns, had a friend who came around all the time and was later convicted of a non-violent felony (fraud).
While on probation, he could not be around firearms and thus, could only stand outside my son's house to visit.
This kind of reminds me of two OC dinners.
The first at Golden Corral in Hampton, a customer seated near where we were being seated jumped up and started "being beside himself" looking like he was going to leave his family in the restaurant while he sprinted to the nearest door! He somewhat calmed down when we explained to him that none of us were LEO. :-)
The second was at Steve & Johns in Newport News where while waiting for the rest of the OC-ers to show up I had a conversation with one of the kitchen staff sitting out front. After asking many questions he revealed that he couldn't own a gun because he had a felony conviction. When everyone else showed up and were eating we kept hearing people kidding that the kitchen staff was "beside themselves" and we half expected them to exit the building via windows and back doors to avoid our OC-ing party. :-) I saw a couple people peeking out from the kitchen door and quickly returning into it while getting up to leave.
So I could kind of understand with the 1) mistaken LEO identity and 2) a large number of OC-ers may make "felons" uncomfortable. With that said I don't think they reacted properly, but with as many LEO not knowing the law, the people that explained to them what they could and could not do, being around guns might have had their own head up their arse too.
It was the cooks, dishwashers, etc in the kitchen that were having caniptions.