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Thread: Please explain this "Going armed to the terror of the people" law.

  1. #1
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    Please explain this "Going armed to the terror of the people" law.

    I am a Georgia resident with a gun permit. I've been researching NC gun laws because I own land in Macon Co. & my wife's parents own a cabin in Franklin. I currently CC my handguns when in NC, but am considering OCing as well. This "terror to the people" law seems vague enough that I can see it being abused by over-reaching LEOs. It has me wondering if I want the hassle of possibly being detained and threatened with this law. I did a search on this subject & found where some gun owners have been detained & threatened with it but not actually charged. Just the thought of being detained while doing something perfectly legal seems a bit heavy handed to me. Is this something I should be concerned about, or am I just being paranoid?

    I'm new here so please be gentle...
    Last edited by ET.; 02-22-2011 at 10:26 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum. I have been OC for about a tear now and OC about 80 percent of the time and I haven't had any problems yet. I live harnett county

  3. #3
    Regular Member REDFIVE48's Avatar
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    Welcome to the NC forum

    I constantly struggle with GATTOP, but have never had anyone give me a problem while OCing and have not had any LEO encounters while OCing

    Here is the NC flyer (direct link), there is a thread for this flyer that got unstickied for some reason.
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&p...fjnl_dbj&hl=en

    The flyer has a section on GATTOP, but mainly they have to prove intent, which peacefully carrying a weapon in a holster is not as proven by case law specified.

  4. #4
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    That link helps a lot. I'm with you though, I struggle with it too. The mere fact that it is on the books and can be cited by the police when they want to detain me makes me pause. Yes, the link states that courts have ruled that the authorities have to have a suspicion that you are about to commit a crime, but that leaves a tremendous amount of power with the local police to detain me and say I looked like I might be getting ready to commit a crime. Then I'd need a lawyer to defend me & get them to drop the charges.

    Thank goodness that Georgia doesn't have a law like this. Yes, sometimes people get stopped and asked questions by police who don't necessarily like the public armed, but they don't have this law to fall back on to justify their actions. I might be over reacting, but then again I haven't lived with this law until now. It's new to me. It seems that it would only take one person lying about my actions to really get me in trouble & then I'd find myself in a court of law defending myself against said lie. I know, a person can lie in any situation but this law makes me nervous.
    Last edited by ET.; 02-23-2011 at 09:55 AM.
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  5. #5
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    It's a holdover Jim Crow law that was for arresting blacks who were open carrying--then when they would carry concealed they'd be violating the law by carrying concealed without a license which naturally they couldn't get.

  6. #6
    Regular Member REDFIVE48's Avatar
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    There are a couple good threads that talk about GATTTOTP, here is a good one that may bring you some comfort

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...-sheriff-issue

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    Thanks, I went to this thread & it only partially makes me feel better. What I saw was that the NC AG office doesn't really understand this "Going armed to the terror of the Public" law since they kept citing it as a viable reason as to why the sheriff could stop a forum member from OCing in a bank when he called in to complain that his sheriff's department didn't truly understand that it is legal to OC in a NC bank. I know this isn't just a NC problem. In Georgia we have some officers of the law who have no understanding of what rights OCers have & it's left up to us to educated them. But there is a part of me that just wants to hide my gun and forget about it. After all, I am one of those CC guys who think I have an advantage over the BGs when they don't know that I am armed...but that is another argument for another day.
    Last edited by ET.; 02-23-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Here is the case law stating that OC is not GATTTOTP.

    http://www.guncite.com/court/state/25nc418.html


    1. The offence of riding or going armed with unusual or dangerous weapons, to the terror of the people, is an offence at common law, and is indictable in this State.
    2. A man may carry a gun for any lawful purpose of business or amusement, but he cannot go about with that or any other dangerous weapon, to terrify and alarm, and in such manner as naturally will terrify and alarm a peaceful people.


    But although a gun is an "unusual weapon," it is to be remembered that the carrying of a gun, per se, constitutes no (p.423)offence. For any lawful purpose--either of business or amusement--the citizen is at perfect liberty to carry his gun. It is the wicked purpose, and the mischievous result, which essentially constitute the crime. He shall not carry about this or any other weapon of death to terrify and alarm, and in such manner as naturally will terrify and alarm a peaceful people.

  9. #9
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    This POC is rapidly making it's way to the top of my list of things that we in North Carolina can well do without. With the success we are experiencing with this new crop of politicians it would seem that someone should suggest that eliminating this hold over from the dark (no pun or disrespect intended) ages would be to the advantage of everyone.

  10. #10
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    never mind! lol.. didnt finish reading the poster!! printing out 40 now.
    Last edited by JC_Biggs; 02-28-2011 at 09:54 PM.

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