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Thread: From the Mouth of Richard F'in Pfeiffer...

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    Regular Member usamarshal's Avatar
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    From the Mouth of Richard F'in Pfeiffer...

    This comes from Richard Pfeiffer, Attorney for the City of Columbus. He writes monthly legal updates for CPD officers and this was the one for this month!!! Funny thing is just a few weeks ago (last month) I had emailed CPD about OCing. Looks like he answered my question and then some!!!


    I. The Tough Issue of “Open Carry” - Tough? I guess CPD is a bunch of **** *****? WTF is tough supposed to mean? Its in our constitution!!!

    This is a really hard issue for the public and officers. Open carry of a firearm in Ohio is not illegal by itself. No laws in Ohio prohibit a citizen from openly carrying a firearm in a public place unless there is some sort of a specific prohibition against carrying in that place (School Safety Zone, Courthouse, private business which prohibits firearms etc…). Obviously many citizens find it disconcerting to see a person walking down the street openly carrying a pistol on their side. However, this activity by itself is not illegal for a citizen to do as long as they are not under a disability that would prohibit them from carrying a firearm, or are not in a prohibited place. Citizens also do not need a concealed carry permit to openly carry a firearm on their person in a public place – citizens do need a CCW permit to carry openly on their person in a motor vehicle.

    Many citizens who see a person openly carrying a firearm in public will understandably be alarmed and call 911 to report this activity. The citizens in these situations likely will indicate this activity caused them fear or that they found it suspicious. However, the fact a citizen called 911, and reported this activity as frightening, or suspicious, does not by itself support an investigative detention of the person who is openly carrying the firearm. You would have to assess the totality of the facts and circumstances in order to determine if you had reasonable suspicion for an investigative detention in this situation. The fact of open carry by itself would not be enough to support a stop/detention. However, the presence of an openly carried firearm combined with other facts might support a stop/detention. We are not going to go into hypothetical fact patterns that might support a stop when a citizen is engaging in open carry. There are too many different possible fact patterns, and variables, and each situation has to be looked at on a case by case basis. We also know that you are trained officers who know how to assess the totality of the circumstances.

    Open carry by itself also would not support a charge of Disorderly Conduct or Inducing Panic. There must be additional facts beyond the open carry of the firearm to support such charges. The bottom-line is that if someone is openly carrying the firearm in a legal manner, the fact that this by itself causes others alarm does not support a charge. We also want to caution officers against charging such people with violations of the Stop and I.D law (ORC 2921.29). In order to charge someone for failing to give you their personal information (name, DOB, and address) you first must have reasonable suspicion that person has, is, or is about to commit a criminal offense. In other words the stop and I.D. law does not apply unless you have a valid investigative detention of the person – as we have discussed open carry by itself does not support an investigative detention. Citizens do not have to give you their personal information during a consensual encounter so you cannot charge a citizen with a violation of 2921.29 unless they are legally detained.

    Private businesses or property owners may prohibit all firearms on their property. They may post signs prohibiting firearms or they may order a person to leave for such behavior. If a person was on private property in violation of such a prohibition the proper charge would be criminal trespass.

    Open carry is a controversial issue around the country and officers are understandably concerned about how to interact with citizens who are openly carrying firearms. We certainly have no desire to adversely impact officer safety, but the law is what it is. Several courts have found that open carry by itself is not illegal, and will not support an investigative detention. Officers also have faced, and lost lawsuits, in relation to these detentions. There are individuals who are currently testing officers in these situations to see what will happen.

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    Thumbs up

    Any chance that you can get an original copy of the memo with the letterhead and post it somewhere?

    This would be a good one to go along with the Akron memo and a few others that have been made available.

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    Regular Member usamarshal's Avatar
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    Nah...it was actually emailed to me by the chief of police where I live.

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of OC and CC, have permit and so forth, BUT there's a problem.

    We know that criminals won't OC and we are fairly sure anyone OC is aware of themselves, being safe and is knowledgeable, but we can not weed out the nuts and insane people. They can and will OC and sometimes blend right in. So it makes sense to be wary even if you are a fan of the Constitution and rights.

    I've been around OC individuals whom I just get a bad vibe from, and some whom I almost instantly dislike (maybe they're a bit too full of themselves). It does make me uncomfortable. IOW, if there's an a-hole and he is OC, his a-hole-ness is sometimes intensified.

    In such cases, though, I don't dispute his or her right to carry. I will, at most, leave the location.

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    very good read

    TY for posting this

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    Quote Originally Posted by usamarshal View Post
    Nah...it was actually emailed to me by the chief of police where I live.
    OK. Tomorrow I'm going to send an open records request for a copy of the original document.

    I'll post here in this thread when I hear something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by w8new View Post
    OK. Tomorrow I'm going to send an open records request for a copy of the original document.

    I'll post here in this thread when I hear something.
    Awesome, would love to see it

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Was a record request ever done?
    Last edited by BB62; 08-04-2012 at 05:44 PM.

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