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Thread: 8 tips on contacts with 'open carry' citizens

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    8 tips on contacts with 'open carry' citizens

    The PoliceOne Firearms Corner with Ron Avery

    In the end, we have to look at what the law allows and be able to deal with a legal activity, regardless of our personal feelings on the matter.

    http://www.policeone.com/off-duty/ar...arry-citizens/

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I really wish when folks post something that is published, they would use the actual title, then add their own spin on it.........

    Let this thread die..............................

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    What portions do you object to?

    Practical Tactics & Strategies
    So, what can you do as a law enforcement officer or, as a citizen who will read this article on various forums nationwide? Here are some thoughts to ponder as well as tips to go by.

    1.) Open carry is a legal right. Regardless of where personal beliefs may lie, it carries the weight of law and cannot be ignored, pushed aside, or worked around.
    2.) Understand that — as with any belief that people feel strongly about — open carry is a form of political protest. While the majority will do what is asked of them without a lot of fuss, there will be extremists who are willing to be political martyrs by doing whatever it takes to push their agenda and raise awareness to their cause.
    3.) Targeting open carry by finding ways to charge people with other violations and then ticketing or arresting them may backfire and could be very expensive in the long run. One of the universities in Utah apparently tried this approach and it was leaked to the press. Now we run into civil liberties violations, etc.
    4.) Know the letter of the law and the interpretations of the law in various districts. Have a written document that can be referred to online or given to those parties interested in them.
    5.) Even if you don’t agree with open carry, stay objective and keep your feelings to yourself. It is the behavior of the person — not the gun — that we key on. If they get annoyed and start protesting you, remember that unless they are threatening you with harm, they have a right to voice their opinion, even if they raise their voice at you.
    6.) It still takes time to draw and load the firearm. It can be done in around two seconds for well trained individuals. As with any contact, watch the hands and body language.
    7.) Follow good judgment. IF THERE IS PROBABLE CAUSE to treat them as an armed criminal, by all means do so. However, when you make contact with someone carrying openly without good probable cause, the strategy of “when in doubt, prone ‘em out” would not be my first choice. Keep your distance if you can, and ask questions so you can get some indicators of the mental/emotional state of the contact prior to moving in closer.
    8.) From a officer safety perspective, at least you KNOW that they are carrying a weapon! That knowledge alone will keep you from becoming complacent. Think of it as an opportunity to practice your officer safety tactics.
    Last edited by BigDave; 04-27-2011 at 07:55 PM.
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    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Good post NavyLCMDR.

    I agree the officer is just plain wrong better than some but wrong in his assertions and matter of law.

    I also agree that it isn't a form of political protest it can and often is an expression of free speech.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Good post NavyLCMDR.

    I agree the officer is just plain wrong better than some but wrong in his assertions and matter of law.

    I also agree that it isn't a form of political protest it can and often is an expression of free speech.
    We may say that it's not a form of political protest, but I think that right here now, today, in 2011... that is how it is perceived by the vast majority of people, even those who support it. Perhaps "protest" isn't the right word, maybe "statement." Either way, it is conveying a certain message. But I'll follow that right up with, there are plenty of acts today, now considered "normal," that were once political statements. Like sitting whereverthehellyouwant on the bus.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    It actually is pretty spot on with the climate or how a great deal of people view this today.
    I feel we need to keep this in mind if there is going to be a chance to change public perspective and isn't that what are are talking about?
    Last edited by BigDave; 04-28-2011 at 01:54 AM.
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

  7. #7
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    "Open carry doesn’t fit into the hunting or sporting use of firearms."

    Anyone who hunts in bear country and does not openly carry a back up is asking for trouble, esp when a bear can close 50 feet in seconds.

    "For the law enforcement officer, any type of weapon being carried, openly or concealed, appears as a threat to their well being and is therefore regarded as a hazard."

    How many citizens are accidently shot or shot unjustified by police compared to how many police are shot by citizens? Who is a threat to who?

    Sounds to me like he has a problem.
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Well from some other posters on this forum, they feel we need LEO help in our cause. (usually from LEO or LEO apologists)

    I whole heartedly disagree, we don't ask permission and don't need or require any help/support to engage in a rightful legally protected method of carry.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    We may say that it's not a form of political protest, but I think that right here now, today, in 2011... that is how it is perceived by the vast majority of people, even those who support it. Perhaps "protest" isn't the right word, maybe "statement." Either way, it is conveying a certain message. But I'll follow that right up with, there are plenty of acts today, now considered "normal," that were once political statements. Like sitting whereverthehellyouwant on the bus.
    That's what I was getting at it does make a statement. The same way two lovers do when they hold hands in public. They are making a statement they love/care for each other. They are not purposefully protesting anything all though they be fully aware that some prudish/puritanistic purists find those actions distressing.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  10. #10
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Everyone can pick their parts of his 8 tips and point out how they are wrong in their view but consider his tips 1, 5, and 7.

    With these he is showing a balance, not a bias against open carry.

    His very first "tip"

    1.) Open carry is a legal right. Regardless of where personal beliefs may lie, it carries the weight of law and cannot be ignored, pushed aside, or worked around.

    He then continues to merely point out the folly of various positions on both sides.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

  11. #11
    Regular Member Batousaii's Avatar
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    .. And...

    ... And all sports cars parked in parking lots should be lazed and inspected to make sure they are not currently speeding...

    - This seems to be a common mentality amongst authority, citizens are guilty until proven innocent if they apear anything less than 100% sheeple, and even then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    We may say that it's not a form of political protest, but I think that right here now, today, in 2011... that is how it is perceived by the vast majority of people, even those who support it. Perhaps "protest" isn't the right word, maybe "statement." Either way, it is conveying a certain message. But I'll follow that right up with, there are plenty of acts today, now considered "normal," that were once political statements. Like sitting whereverthehellyouwant on the bus.
    BIG +1!

    Comfort, deterrence, meeting other 'gun people', and pissin' off liberals by exercising my rights... ("YOU RUINED MY CHEESEBURGER!!!" -Pick Quick, 2010)

    Saying OC is not a statement or some form of "silent protest" doesn't make sense to me.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    are there any statistics about people who open carry/ concealed carry committing crimes? it seems to me that these people are the least likely to cause problems
    The article is what it is. I was more interested in the comments by other LEOs and the attitudes they displayed. It took a bit to read them all, but it seemed to me the common thread was "us against them", not supporting Law.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    1.) Open carry is a legal right. Regardless of where personal beliefs may lie, it carries the weight of law and cannot be ignored, pushed aside, or worked around.
    How can their be an argument about this statement? The very first thing in this list was to acknowledge the legal right to open carry and should set the tone for the following items.

    2.) Understand that — as with any belief that people feel strongly about — open carry is a form of political protest. While the majority will do what is asked of them without a lot of fuss, there will be extremists who are willing to be political martyrs by doing whatever it takes to push their agenda and raise awareness to their cause.
    What is incorrect about this statement other then some beliefs it should be different, the statement is still true as written. A form of political protest hmmn is this not what you do everytime there is a gathering in support of open carry? Is there not also vary degrees of people who will handle different situations depending upon their own views, some of light to radical?

    3.) Targeting open carry by finding ways to charge people with other violations and then ticketing or arresting them may backfire and could be very expensive in the long run. One of the universities in Utah apparently tried this approach and it was leaked to the press. Now we run into civil liberties violations, etc.
    A clear Warning in trying to find different ways to harass the open carrier and a good chance they will be found out, True.

    4.) Know the letter of the law and the interpretations of the law in various districts. Have a written document that can be referred to online or given to those parties interested in them.
    In support of knowing the gun laws as well as possible, not a bad things huh?

    5.) Even if you don’t agree with open carry, stay objective and keep your feelings to yourself. It is the behavior of the person — not the gun — that we key on. If they get annoyed and start protesting you, remember that unless they are threatening you with harm, they have a right to voice their opinion, even if they raise their voice at you.
    Again supporting putting personal bias aside and respects citizens rights, this is good also right?

    6.) It still takes time to draw and load the firearm. It can be done in around two seconds for well trained individuals. As with any contact, watch the hands and body language.
    This is good advice be in law enforcement, military or the law abiding citizen.

    7.) Follow good judgment. IF THERE IS PROBABLE CAUSE to treat them as an armed criminal, by all means do so. However, when you make contact with someone carrying openly without good probable cause, the strategy of “when in doubt, prone ‘em out” would not be my first choice. Keep your distance if you can, and ask questions so you can get some indicators of the mental/emotional state of the contact prior to moving in closer.
    Again good advice for all, follow good judgment, if there is probable cause.
    And this is where some really get their panties in a bunch, when making contact with someone not having probable cause, officers make contacts with citizens when in search for information related to a recent crime or in a response to a call.

    8.) From a officer safety perspective, at least you KNOW that they are carrying a weapon! That knowledge alone will keep you from becoming complacent. Think of it as an opportunity to practice your officer safety tactics.
    Yet again good advice.
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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    If one is OCing to make a political point, that should only strengthen one's legal protections under the state and federal constitutions.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    Tip 7 is implying that the officer is to immediately assume that the open carrier is dangerous and/or mentally unbalanced until proven otherwise. If the open carrier is doing nothing suspicious, then why ask any questions at all, even from a distance? Just because they are lawfully carrying a gun?
    I don't see how it is read that way. The very first part of the statement is "Follow good judgment. IF THERE IS PROBABLE CAUSE to treat them as an armed criminal, by all means do so."

    He is not saying "assume" anything, merely to "Use good judgement". He even made a point of saying the axiom "when in doubt, prone them out" ISN'T his universal choice.

    Can't see where this guy deserves the rubber stamp all seem so willing to use. His tips were pretty neutral, that is unless read by someone not willing to view them as such.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Hmm. I thought it was an excellent article. I thought it addressed the issues facing LEO and us fairly, and I thought his conclusions were valid and his recommendations pretty well thought out. All in all I thought it was well written. Then I read all the comments. Now I am doubting myself.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olypendrew View Post
    If one is OCing to make a political point, that should only strengthen one's legal protections under the state and federal constitutions.
    Good point Drew, BerrettaLady had started a thread in Social Lounge on this subject and I feel even in areas where they out right ban OC, (assuming they have the legal/constitutional right to do so.....I don't assume that) I feel open carry as a protest would be legally protected.

    A woman protesting a law in a Florida town about women being topless was arrested, and her case was dropped, even though they upheld the law, because of her first amendment right.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olypendrew View Post
    If one is OCing to make a political point, that should only strengthen one's legal protections under the state and federal constitutions.
    Excellent point, unproven in Constitutional law at this point but I would agree that strong arguments can be made and equated with current case law.

    The article as written is excellent and a good place for us the OC crowd to understand the LEO point of view.

    First seek to understand, then be understood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Good point Drew, BerrettaLady had started a thread in Social Lounge on this subject and I feel even in areas where they out right ban OC, (assuming they have the legal/constitutional right to do so.....I don't assume that) I feel open carry as a protest would be legally protected.

    A woman protesting a law in a Florida town about women being topless was arrested, and her case was dropped, even though they upheld the law, because of her first amendment right.
    In California we used to ride helmetless on July 4th and had orange t-shirts made up that said "I dressed myself today" on the front and had various bits of the Constitution on the back. No one ever got arrested or charged that I remember but the premise was that if we were charged we would argue that it was a political protest and covered under free speech.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heresolong View Post
    In California we used to ride helmetless on July 4th and had orange t-shirts made up that said "I dressed myself today" on the front and had various bits of the Constitution on the back. No one ever got arrested or charged that I remember but the premise was that if we were charged we would argue that it was a political protest and covered under free speech.
    You ought to check out the Freemont Solstice Parade held in June in this Seattle neighborhood. Lots of "bikers" expressing their political right to free 'speech' too.

    http://nebel.smugmug.com/Events/Frem...63776353_U3kbZ

    Caution: nudity. At least most are safety conscious and are wearing helmets.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    Their parents must be so proud.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajetpilot View Post
    Their parents must be so proud.
    There are many parents in Seattle that probably swell with pride when their kid does something like this. After all, Seattle prides itself in being one of the centers of the universe of "Free Thinkers".

    Certainly you remember the 60's and 70's and Seattle was right there leading the charge.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

  24. #24
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heresolong View Post
    In California we used to ride helmetless on July 4th and had orange t-shirts made up that said "I dressed myself today" on the front and had various bits of the Constitution on the back. No one ever got arrested or charged that I remember but the premise was that if we were charged we would argue that it was a political protest and covered under free speech.
    Id partake in a similar event done here in Washington.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  25. #25
    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Just say when! That's not an arrestable offense here is it?


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