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Thread: First time being stopped for OC

  1. #1
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    First time being stopped for OC

    I've been OCing for a year now. I started in WA and I immediately checked AL state law upon being stationed at Fort Rucker. I haven't had any trouble at all until tonight. It wasn't a huge deal, but with some of the other cases going on around here lately, I've been kind of skeptical about any confrontations with LEO. I guess it's time to get a voice recorder and print off some literature. Anyhow, here's what happened:

    I was on my way from Enterprise to the Dothan airport to pick up a buddy coming back from leave. I had my 92FS in my Serpa on my hip, so I went around Fort Rucker and ended up heading through Pinckard. I stopped to get gas at a rinky dink little gas station. I went to put my card in the pump and realized that the pumps didn't take cards so I headed inside to pay.

    When I got inside I noticed two young girls (probably the cashier's daughters, about 14 years old maybe). I wanted to fill up, so I asked if I could leave my card inside and have her unlock the pump. As I'm handing over my card, one of the girls says, "Oh, it must be eleven O'clock, the po-po are here."

    I head out to go pump my gas and the officer stops me on my way to my car. The conversation goes like this:

    (O) Officer- Hey buddy, are you carrying a gun?
    (M) Me- (Looking down at my obvious full size beretta in its Serpa) Umm... Yes Sir, I am.
    O- Ok, do you have a permit for that pistol?
    M- Yes sir
    O- Can I see it?
    M- Yes sir (I hand it over)
    O- (reading the permit) License to carry a revolver or pistol concealed on the person.....
    M- Sir, a permit is not required to openly carry a pistol in the state of Alabama
    O- If you're in your own house. Did they (pointing to the clerk) tell you that you could carry in their store?
    M- They did not ask me to leave Sir, and I don't see any signs on the door restricting firearms.
    O- What would you have done if they had asked you to leave?
    M- I would have left Sir, otherwise I would've been trespassing
    O- Are you in the Army?
    M- Yes Sir
    O- What unit are you with?
    M- I'm in flight school Sir
    O- Oh? How far along are you?

    The discussion goes into my Army training and how he used to be an instructor at Rucker for a short time. He hands me my back my license, tells me to be safe, and I pump my gas. Then I go inside to get back my debit card and pay. He doesn't really say much to me after that.

    Now, I have reasons for why I gave him my CPL and why I didn't push the OC issue with him.

    1. My buddy was waiting for me at the airport and I didn't want him to be waiting all night.
    2. I was trying to remember the codes that covered firearms in AL, but all I could remember were the ones from Washington.
    3. With the recent cases of people being arrested, I wasn't willing to take the chance. An arrest for me (whether lawful or not) would not bode well for my career as a pilot, or Army Officer in general.

    This reinforced that I don't know the law as well as I should otherwise I would've been able to cite them. I also should start carrying a voice recorder. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the whole thing. Nothing really came of it, but he had no reason to stop me in the first place. When I left I had to stop my self from relativizing it. I thought to myself "well, it went ok I guess. I'm not in handcuffs and he didn't take away my pistol or my permit." I had to remind myself that just because I wasn't arrested it doesn't mean that the stop was warranted.

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    No one can fault you (or, at least, no one should) for whatever level of cooperation you chose to show the police.

    That officer was either ignorant of the law or hoping you were. When he found out that you knew the law (and that he probably did not), he wisely chose to change tack.

    You may not know the code numbers, but you know the law. If an officer thinks he knows the law and you don't, having it on paper won't help you make the case. Several officers in Alabama have expressed the notion that they won't believe what a citizen has to say about the law, even if they have printed up citations. Having printed up literature would be a good memory-jogger for you as to section numbers and names of decisions, but not worth much else.

    Definitely get a recorder. I don't mind letting the officer know that I am recording the encounter. To me, the open recorder is like an OCed firearm. It is designed to prevent trouble, not so much to deal with trouble after it happens.

    Shame on the officer for starting off confrontationally, even if he ended well.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. You represented well.

  3. #3
    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    I think you did just fine. I also know you will get some comments about how you handled it.

    This old soldier knows you are in a rather delicate situation as trouble with the civilian authorities will cause you a ton of grief with the military even if the civilian charges are dismissed. You would automatically be labelled by the brass as a "troublemaker" and probably been offered nonjudicial punishment for "conduct unbecoming" or some other BS charge. Were I still AD, I would probably have done much the same as you did.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Sounds like you did good. Thank you for your service! I agree with eye about getting a recorder. I just use an app on my iPhone that works really well. The recorder givea you an extra level of protection in any encounter you might run into with an LEO or another citizen.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Anytime you don't get arrested or handcuffed you have correctly chosen how to behave. I don't even think the LEO was in the wrong at all, being at a gas station it is very obvious that you were driving with a pistol or were about to be in a vehicle with a pistol thus requiring a permit. LEOs are not required to fully explain themselves.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    Anytime you don't get arrested or handcuffed you have correctly chosen how to behave. I don't even think the LEO was in the wrong at all, being at a gas station it is very obvious that you were driving with a pistol or were about to be in a vehicle with a pistol thus requiring a permit. LEOs are not required to fully explain themselves.
    • Whether or not one is arrested is a poor measure of whether or not he acted correctly. Often, someone acting correctly is arrested. More often, someone acting very badly is not.

    • The LEO was in the wrong to approach KSelig in any way that was not simply a citizen-to-citizen contact. The stop was definitely under color of law and without foundation. I am not saying that the officer needs to be flogged. Just that he was wrong in his initial action. Eventually the situation morphed into a citizen-to-citizen chat, but encounters should not morph into something harmless; they should start that way.

    • Unless the officer knew that KSelig had been in an automobile while armed, he had no RAS. When KSelig gets back into his vehicle with his firearm, maybe there is RAS. That is unsettled law. If Alabama courts view having the license as a defense against illegally carrying a firearm in a vehicle, then he has RAS, once he knows that KSelig is in a car armed. If Alabama view the not having a license as an element of the crime of being armed in a vehicle without a license, then the officer has to know that KSelig has no license before he can formulate RAS.

    • Yes, the officer need not explain his actions to KSelig, but he must be able to do so at the time of the stop. That is the reason behind the A in RAS. The officer has to be able to put his reasonable suspicion into words at the time of the stop--even if he doesn't actually have to put it into words. I just don't see any way the LEO could possibly A the Rness of his S.

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    I've been bouncing around the forums (both here and ALOC) for awhile (albeit not posting) and I tend to agree with the points you make eye, as I do here.

    The original 'stop' was unwarranted. I didn't feel as if I was free to go, even during the 'chat' portion of our conversation as he still had my license in his hand. He was polite for the most part and obviously didn't see me as a threat, but politeness does not equal good policing. Do I think he was wrong for stopping me in the first place? Yes. Do I think he realized I knew the law? Yes. Do I think things would have turned out differently had I refused to show my CPL? No, probably not. It likely would have ended much the same way. I just wasn't willing to take the chance.

    I wish I would've been in a better position to assert my rights, but I'd be playing with fire. I do commend those who do stand up for their rights and refuse such requests, however. I'm glad to see that there are still many people who aren't taking their rights for granted and who are standing up for them.

    On a side note, I mainly CC'd in WA and only OC'd occasionally. When I moved here I quickly realized that, well, its way too damn hot to conceal all the time. My preferred method down here is definitely OC. I've never had a problem in Enterprise and I OC here almost every day.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Seems like it went well to me. You handled the situation with firm confidence that let the officer know you knew what you were doing. He chose not to push the issue, and it turned out for the best.

    I second (third?) everything eye95 has told you. Being able to rattle off code sections and shove paper in their face isn't nearly as important as handling yourself with confidence.

    Edit to add: Did you post this yet on ALOC? I was going to cross-post it there, but if you're already signed up there I'll leave it up to you.
    Last edited by Brimstone Baritone; 08-03-2011 at 05:23 PM.

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    I've been browsing over there ever since I moved here, I've just never really had a reason to post anything, so I hadn't signed up yet. I guess nows as good a time as any to register. I'll do that and cross post.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    • Whether or not one is arrested is a poor measure of whether or not he acted correctly. Often, someone acting correctly is arrested. More often, someone acting very badly is not.

    • The LEO was in the wrong to approach KSelig in any way that was not simply a citizen-to-citizen contact. The stop was definitely under color of law and without foundation. I am not saying that the officer needs to be flogged. Just that he was wrong in his initial action. Eventually the situation morphed into a citizen-to-citizen chat, but encounters should not morph into something harmless; they should start that way.

    • Unless the officer knew that KSelig had been in an automobile while armed, he had no RAS. When KSelig gets back into his vehicle with his firearm, maybe there is RAS. That is unsettled law. If Alabama courts view having the license as a defense against illegally carrying a firearm in a vehicle, then he has RAS, once he knows that KSelig is in a car armed. If Alabama view the not having a license as an element of the crime of being armed in a vehicle without a license, then the officer has to know that KSelig has no license before he can formulate RAS.

    • Yes, the officer need not explain his actions to KSelig, but he must be able to do so at the time of the stop. That is the reason behind the A in RAS. The officer has to be able to put his reasonable suspicion into words at the time of the stop--even if he doesn't actually have to put it into words. I just don't see any way the LEO could possibly A the Rness of his S.
    Just because you don't see how a LEO could have a RAS does not mean a judge will agree with you. LEOs don't have to be able to quote code to be justified in a stop.

    Its not very nice to encourage others to be test cases to develop new law.
    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.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    Just because you don't see how a LEO could have a RAS does not mean a judge will agree with you. LEOs don't have to be able to quote code to be justified in a stop.

    Its not very nice to encourage others to be test cases to develop new law.
    I did not encourage anyone "to be a test case." Those are YOUR words, not mine. I'll thank you not to place words in my mouth. It is dishonest.

    I merely took issue with your incorrect contentions. That some judge would come to the same incorrect conclusion does not make it correct.

    Moving on. If you cannot respectfully debate the issues without getting personal in a dishonest way, I don't wish to discuss with you right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    ... That some judge would come to the same incorrect conclusion does not make it correct. ...
    "correct" or not matters little. Alabama judges have shown recently that it is not a safe practice to rely on what is "correct".
    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.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    I'll just leave this here.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
    Oh, I'm sorry. By all means, don't let my idealism get in the way of your despondency.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    "correct" or not matters little. Alabama judges have shown recently that it is not a safe practice to rely on what is "correct".
    City judges have shown that, not county or state judges. I've been in a courtroom enough in my life to know that the county judge is on the Alabama State payroll, and if you don't believe that's so, go type someone's name into the treasury system and look at their payroll warrant. Go talk to the magistrate at the county courthouse and note that he's carrying a badge that identifies him not as a county employee but an employee of the State of Alabama.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Under the circumstances, you did fine. Should it happen again, you have learned some valuable information. As a former AF Officer and Aviator I can understand you're not wanting to rock the boat in Flight School. But consider the oath you took to uphold and defend the Constitution. That includes defending your own rights--which were violated by this cop. And no one ever received an Article 15 for having their rights violated. To me, conduct 'becoming" an officer includes the affirmative defense of the oath we took. Good luck in flight training.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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