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Thread: Madison County will arrest you if they get a report of MWG!

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    Madison County will arrest you if they get a report of MWG!

    According to the Chief Deputy of the Madison County Sheriff Dept, if someone calls in a MWG, a law abiding OCer will be arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct. Sounds to me like they are a lawsuit waiting to happen... Anyone ready to challenge them on their lack of understanding of the law?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vondelta View Post
    According to the Chief Deputy of the Madison County Sheriff Dept, if someone calls in a MWG, a law abiding OCer will be arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct. Sounds to me like they are a lawsuit waiting to happen... Anyone ready to challenge them on their lack of understanding of the law?
    One of our ALOC members, Jonathon, was arrested in July in Birmingham for OC and was charged with DC. We are awaiting the outcome of that case before Jonathon seeks civil remedy. It would be most helpful to have both criminal and civil court judges rule that lawful OC, in and of itself, cannot be DC.

    Also, one of the code changes in the Self Defense Protection Act of 2011 is to prohibit the DC code section from being used to arrest OCers.

    Check out the details of these two ongoing stories at www.AlabamaOpenCarry.com .

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    Has this happened to anyone in Madison Co yet?

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
    Has this happened to anyone in Madison Co yet?
    Not to my knowledge. There are quite a few "I am the LAW" sheriffs in Alabama, and it's going to take some time to bring them all down. In the meantime, we're letting them froth and spew their garbage. They want to waive their 5th amendment right against self incrimination, I say let 'em.

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    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    An interesting idea...

    If legal OC is grounds for arrest, that is, it is sufficient cause for an officer to arrest someone for doing it absent all other causes...

    I find myself wondering. The law makes it legal for citizens to OC. The law also makes it legal for police to OC when going about their duties, particularly in uniform. But the fact remains, they are still open carrying.

    What if you got a bunch of people to phone in MWG calls every time they saw a police officer with a gun? Don't tie up the E911 line with this, phone it in to the non-emergency number (which usually goes to the same dispatch room as an emergency line call, just lacks the emergency tag). Describe the MWG, but leave out the fact he's uniformed or badged. Tell the truth, just don't tell all of it. You can't be accused (legitimately anyway) of misusing the E911 system since you're not calling 911, nor can you be legitimately accused of making a false police report, since there really is a man with a gun present.

    If simply having as holstered gun openly carried is grounds for alarm, constitutes probable cause or reasonable suspicion of a crime, or amounts to disorderly conduct, then by all means, let the police know whenever you see a man with a gun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Calling in a MWG on a uniformed officer whether he is on-duty or not....this is one bad idea. This is not how you win friends and influence people. Besides, if you research statutes you may find a plethora of exemptions for on-duty LE to just about any law. Almost as many exemptions when they are off-duty. Then there is the "we don't hassle our own" syndrome to overcome. LE will react to this tactic and not in a neutral way, let alone a positive way.
    Absolutely. So far it seems Madison county and the cities therein have not done such an arrest, making such a hasseling call useless and unfounded at best.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    2009 Alabama Code
    Title 13A — CRIMINAL CODE.
    Chapter 11 — OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY.
    Section 13A-11-7 Disorderly conduct.


    (a) A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:

    (1) Engages in fighting or in violent tumultuous or threatening behavior; or
    (2) Makes unreasonable noise; or
    (3) In a public place uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or
    (4) Without lawful authority, disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or
    (5) Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or a transportation facility; or
    (6) Congregates with other person in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse.

    (b) Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor.
    (Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §5525.)

    Now, this is the 2009 Code, so it May not be the most recent. One may well note that there are a total of Six Circumstances under which a charge for Disorderly Conduct may properly be brought.
    Anyone care to hazard a guess as to which if any of the above circumstances are met by the mere presence of a firearm, carried openly or concealed?

    They might as well charge someone with Disorderly Conduct for daring to eat a ham on rye sandwich without benefit of mustard on Sunday. The charge is just as ""appropriate"".
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 05-13-2011 at 04:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    2009 Alabama Code
    Title 13A — CRIMINAL CODE.
    Chapter 11 — OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY.
    Section 13A-11-7 Disorderly conduct.


    (a) A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:

    (1) Engages in fighting or in violent tumultuous or threatening behavior; or
    (2) Makes unreasonable noise; or
    (3) In a public place uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or
    (4) Without lawful authority, disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or
    (5) Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or a transportation facility; or
    (6) Congregates with other person in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse.

    (b) Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor.
    (Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §5525.)

    Now, this is the 2009 Code, so it May not be the most recent. One may well note that there are a total of Six Circumstances under which a charge for Disorderly Conduct may properly be brought.
    Anyone care to hazard a guess as to which if any of the above circumstances are met by the mere presence of a firearm, carried openly or concealed?

    They might as well charge someone with Disorderly Conduct for daring to eat a ham on rye sandwich without benefit of mustard on Sunday. The charge is just as ""appropriate"".
    In the past such charges did not get convictions. Recnetly a municiple appointed judge has ruled that bearing arms is threatening and thus disordertly conduct. This was of course a slaughtering of the written english language because one word does not a sentence make. Of course as you have noted the charge can be for threatening behavior, but if one has a firearm on in a holster or on a sling attached to ones person one has not engauged in behavior. To have behavior one must do an action. Pointing a firearm would be behavior. I find it most anoying when a judge thinks that if she would feel threatened by an item then the owner of the item has been inherently threatening...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
    Has this happened to anyone in Madison Co yet?
    No, it hasn't. One man was detained and questioned by Madison County Sheriffs Deputies, but that encounter did not result in an arrest. All of the principal elected and appointed law enforcement officials of Huntsville and Madison County have been contacted concerning open carry. This has been done via a combination of posted letter, e-mail, telephone, and in-person conversations. No letter concerning OC to any Madison County or City of Huntsville law enforcement official has ever been favored with a response. In personal contacts none of these officials have indicated that they either support or agree with open carry, and to the best of my knowledge none are at all comfortable with it.

    However, modest success has been realized. The warning on the CCW permit issued by the Madison County Sheriff that the permit does not allow the bearer to openly carry a firearm as an officer no longer appears on recently issued permits. Very modest success, indeed. The general consensus of the open carriers in the Huntsville-Madison County area is that the local law enforcement community is not yet ready for open carry. The open carriers in the area have therefore adopted a respectful and non-confrontational approach with regard to the law enforcement community, in marked contrast to the approach generally discussed in the www.alabamaopencarry.com forums.

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Calling in a MWG on a uniformed officer whether he is on-duty or not....this is one bad idea. This is not how you win friends and influence people. Besides, if you research statutes you may find a plethora of exemptions for on-duty LE to just about any law. Almost as many exemptions when they are off-duty.
    I don't believe the point is legality. It's legal for ANYONE to OC.

    I believe the point is to report legal behavior. That's it. Beyond that, the LEO response is entirely their own... Choosing to respond, or not, to a non-crime is up to them.

    An increase in perfectly legal MWAG calls, regardless of who they are about, would put a spotlight on dispatch policy. Another place for them to step off, or incriminate themselves by setting flagrantly frigid policy on harassing people for not breaking the law...

    "OMG, I see a guy walking around with a gun! He's a white male, approximately 5'6", 230lbs. He's wearing some kind of uniform. I'm afraid he might be some Militia Lunatic impersonating a Cop! I'm afraid, I'm afraid, I'm afraid!"

    "What? No, I'm not going over there and talk to him! No! I'm not going to get a closer look! I'm afraid, I'm afraid!"

    "I've seen TV shows about guys who look like him; they're very dangerous!"
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ixtow View Post
    He's a white male, approximately 5'6", 230lbs. He's wearing some kind of uniform.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

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    I think this one is more appropriate. ;-)

    But more on topic...

    While it wouldn't get a big response, I think calling in MWAG on Cops would make the point... There is no reason to respond to non-criminal behavior. If some dumbass phones up 911 over nothing, then the Cops should not be sent. Affirming a policy to the contrary would only be boning themselves more...

    Right, Wrong... It's better than doing nothing, eh?
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Difdi View Post
    If legal OC is grounds for arrest, that is, it is sufficient cause for an officer to arrest someone for doing it absent all other causes...

    I find myself wondering. The law makes it legal for citizens to OC. The law also makes it legal for police to OC when going about their duties, particularly in uniform. But the fact remains, they are still open carrying.

    What if you got a bunch of people to phone in MWG calls every time they saw a police officer with a gun? Don't tie up the E911 line with this, phone it in to the non-emergency number (which usually goes to the same dispatch room as an emergency line call, just lacks the emergency tag). Describe the MWG, but leave out the fact he's uniformed or badged. Tell the truth, just don't tell all of it. You can't be accused (legitimately anyway) of misusing the E911 system since you're not calling 911, nor can you be legitimately accused of making a false police report, since there really is a man with a gun present.

    If simply having as holstered gun openly carried is grounds for alarm, constitutes probable cause or reasonable suspicion of a crime, or amounts to disorderly conduct, then by all means, let the police know whenever you see a man with a gun!
    The law does not 'make it legal' to OC.

    It is that "the law does not make it illegal" to OC.

    First and foremost, remember that laws do not allow behaviors, they restrict behaviors. Absent a law restricting a behavior, it is de-facto legal.

    In this case, from the map page of OCDO about Open Carry in the states:

    http://www.ago.state.al.us/oldopinions/8400205.pdf
    Last edited by wrightme; 06-28-2011 at 01:21 AM.
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    Huntsville experience

    I was stopped by Huntsville Police Department when I was eating at a Taco Bell in Huntsville. They said someone had called because I was carrying my pistol openly. I'm sure it was some liberal, whiny, big government loving, freedom-hating, "concerned citizen." You know the type... Anyways, I had just moved from TN and have permit from the state of TN to cover me (within 30 days, so I was good.) Anyways, I told them I was a "Civilian Police Officer," with the Department of the Army and from my understanding of Alabama law it was legal to carry openly. They told me it was not only illegal to carry openly, but unwise to carry openly as well. They temporarily took my gun during the encounter and returned it to me by placing in my vehicle and told me from now on, if I wanted to carry, it would HAVE to be concealed. Though 2 of the 3 officers that showed up were polite and mostly friendly after they started talking to me and checked me out, it was still a little embarrassing.

    The really ironic thing is that my wife talked to some of the Huntsville Police Officers that work extra security jobs at her bank, and they said Open Carry was legal. It makes me really miss TN, where though you need a permit to carry period, at least it's a Shall Issue state and there's NO CONFUSION about HOW you can legally carry, open or concealed, it's up to you. Though you still get the liberty-hating "concerned citizen," MWG call, the Police just show up, check your permit, and say they wish you'd carry concealed since the world is full of whiny complainers.

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    Well that is troubling. The one Huntsville cop I know agrees OC is legal. You must have gotten ahold of Bill BA cop.
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    We would not want to encourage the necessity of a permit to OC. That would be a HUGE step backwards!

    What is needed is to correct the law to allow unlicensed OC in vehicles.
    - then Alabama can join the ranks of Gold Star OC States.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    We would not want to encourage the necessity of a permit to OC. That would be a HUGE step backwards!

    What is needed is to correct the law to allow unlicensed OC in vehicles.
    - then Alabama can join the ranks of Gold Star OC States.
    no Kidding! Only place I know of that is worse than AL is MS where people have trouble reading and don't understand what concealed means, and have other terrible misunderstandings about the legal, permit less and constitutionally protected nature of OC.
    Don't believe any facts that I say! This is the internet and it is filled with lies and untruth. I invite you to look up for yourself the basic facts that my arguments might be based upon. This way we can have a discussion where logic and hints on where to find information are what is brought to the forum and people look up and verify facts for themselves.

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    I'm a bit confused..

    They told me it was not only illegal to carry openly, but unwise to carry openly as well.
    If it was illegal, OF COURSE it wold be unwise!!

    If it was illegal, why were you not arrested?

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    CBLW, I suggest that you take this up the chain of command at the police department. I did so in Montgomery and received an acknowledgment from the deputy chief and from the city attorney that OC was legal. They promised to change their training and conduct some new training regarding OC. It seems to have worked. I have had two encounters since my first one, and those encounters ranged from much better to perfect.

    I agree with GS that OC should not require a permit. There should always, in order not to infringe on the RKBA, be a reasonable way to carry available that requires no State-issued permission slip. AL fails this test in two ways: You must have a license to carry in your car and you may not (with or without a license) carry withing 1000 feet of a demonstration. If AL fixes these two things, the RKBA will be uninfringed.
    Last edited by eye95; 08-25-2011 at 08:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    CBLW, I suggest that you take this up the chain of command at the police department. I did so in Montgomery and received an acknowledgment from the deputy chief and from the city attorney that OC was legal. They promised to change their training and conduct some new training regarding OC. It seems to have worked. I have had two encounters since my first one, and those encounters ranged from much better to perfect.

    I agree with GS that OC should not require a permit. There should always, in order not to infringe on the RKBA, be a reasonable way to carry available that requires no State-issued permission slip. AL fails this test in two ways: You must have a license to carry in your car and you may not (with or without a license) carry withing 1000 feet of a demonstration. If AL fixes these two things, the RKBA will be uninfringed.
    uninfringed by AL code. The governor's universities all have policies against RKBA; while arrests and criminal charges can't really be used to enforce policy academic sanctions can be just as bad or worse, it can end a career.
    Don't believe any facts that I say! This is the internet and it is filled with lies and untruth. I invite you to look up for yourself the basic facts that my arguments might be based upon. This way we can have a discussion where logic and hints on where to find information are what is brought to the forum and people look up and verify facts for themselves.

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    Reply to Grapeshot, xd shooter, and eyes95

    @ Grapeshot,

    I agree about what you said, a permit should NOT be required to carry openly and it would be a step backwards. I'm not trying to advocate requiring a permit to carry openly, just expressing my frustration with with the situation on the disputed legality of open carry amongst LEO's here in (north) Alabama. I just miss the clarity of the law in TN.

    @ xd shooter,

    Well yes unwise IF illegal, but one officer made that statement in regards to saying when off-duty that he doesn't want people to know he has a gun on him because it's tactically wiser to carry concealed and that he didn't want anybody to suspect he is a police officer when off-duty. I guess I didn't get arrested because I was 100% polite and cooperative and did not argue with them. Plus I'm sure being a Civilian Police Officer myself (even though it's for the Dept. of the Army), that helped. Plus they saw my TN DL and Gun Permit when I told them I had recently moved down here and that from my understanding of the law you could carry openly. So they probably just chalked it up as a honest mistake and probably gave me some professional courtesy as well.

    @ eyes95,

    I plan on writing a letter to the Chief of Police later on possibly. It's just I've seen other posts on this website where people have written the sheriff, Police Dept., and so on and the few people that have gotten replies have said they Sheriff and others stated OC was illegal. Plus I'm considering applying to HPD in the future (where maybe I could help make a real positive change) and don't want to ruffle too many feathers just yet...

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO! Sorry your first encounter here in Alabama was negative, even though it turned out okay.

    The polite part certainly helped, and the "Just moved here" part couldn't have hurt, but I would bet money that the real reason you weren't arrested was because they knew it was legal. They were just giving you a hard time to see if they could talk you out of exercising your rights. We have been making too much noise in Alabama this past year for them to truly claim ignorance of OCs legality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBLW View Post

    [snip]

    I plan on writing a letter to the Chief of Police later on possibly. It's just I've seen other posts on this website where people have written the sheriff, Police Dept., and so on and the few people that have gotten replies have said they Sheriff and others stated OC was illegal. Plus I'm considering applying to HPD in the future (where maybe I could help make a real positive change) and don't want to ruffle too many feathers just yet...
    Try the Madison PD. I know for a fact that the Madison City Police Chief (Chief Muncey) knows and publicly acknowledges that OC is legal.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBLW View Post
    I was stopped by Huntsville Police Department when I was eating at a Taco Bell in Huntsville. They said someone had called because I was carrying my pistol openly. I'm sure it was some liberal, whiny, big government loving, freedom-hating, "concerned citizen." You know the type... Anyways, I had just moved from TN and have permit from the state of TN to cover me (within 30 days, so I was good.) Anyways, I told them I was a "Civilian Police Officer," with the Department of the Army and from my understanding of Alabama law it was legal to carry openly. They told me it was not only illegal to carry openly, but unwise to carry openly as well. They temporarily took my gun during the encounter and returned it to me by placing in my vehicle and told me from now on, if I wanted to carry, it would HAVE to be concealed. Though 2 of the 3 officers that showed up were polite and mostly friendly after they started talking to me and checked me out, it was still a little embarrassing.

    The really ironic thing is that my wife talked to some of the Huntsville Police Officers that work extra security jobs at her bank, and they said Open Carry was legal. It makes me really miss TN, where though you need a permit to carry period, at least it's a Shall Issue state and there's NO CONFUSION about HOW you can legally carry, open or concealed, it's up to you. Though you still get the liberty-hating "concerned citizen," MWG call, the Police just show up, check your permit, and say they wish you'd carry concealed since the world is full of whiny complainers.
    It's legal. They just don't know.

    Welcome to the 'Springs.

    And congrats. Ana Franklin's pistol license is one of few in the state that's completely unlimited. But they will print your social and employer on the license unless you elect to have the social hidden. I'm sure you can tell them you're DoA or DOD and they'll hide your employer as well.
    Last edited by Kirbinator; 08-26-2011 at 01:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirbinator View Post
    It's legal. They just don't know.

    Welcome to the 'Springs.

    And congrats. Ana Franklin's pistol license is one of few in the state that's completely unlimited. But they will print your social and employer on the license unless you elect to have the social hidden. I'm sure you can tell them you're DoA or DOD and they'll hide your employer as well.
    Thanks I appreciate it. Yeah, I've heard good things about Ana Franklin from some neighbors, haven't heard much about her other than that. Supposedly even as a DoA Police Officer I can legally carry (concealed) off-duty (according to S. 1132), so I don't know how big of a rush I'll be in to spend money on another CCW Permit. But I probably will eventually just to be on the safe side. Hopefully things will clear up soon with OC here in Alabama. What's frustrating are the Cops who are against it, I thought we all took an oath to uphold the constitution. But I've learned, there are a lot of immoral cops and hypocritical police officers out there, so that's a huge part of the problem.

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