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Thread: My first 12031e check. Menlo Park, CA

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    My first 12031e check. Menlo Park, CA

    Hey guys, just had my first e check and figured I would post it. Im new to open carry but I have been open carrying every day since I started. Ive carried quite at bit in Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Los Altos. Im not sure if "the movement" has spread down to these cities, ive never seen anyone else open carry. I sort of feel like the first. So far no one seemed to care too much. I guess this night an employee or customer called in a 10-32(man with a gun), or maybe it was just a coincidence that they showed up. I tried to be as polite as possible and be a good "ambassador" for open carry(I figured LEO around here maybe havent seen open carry in person, only in videos)while at the same time not handing over all my rights.

    Im pleased to report that Menlo Park PD seems to have received training in regards to open carriers. The encounter went pretty smoothly i think. No guns out and screaming I will admit I was a bit nervous, so I rambled a bit talking about the firing pin spring and such. I meant to say one thing, and something else came out Either way here it is, audio only.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0swZ7e-b2wI
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 08-31-2011 at 01:42 PM.

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    Regular Member JBolder's Avatar
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    Good job, you handled it well in my opinion. Kept it civil, no consent to e-check, they still don't know your name and it was all recorded. Well done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBolder View Post
    Good job, you handled it well in my opinion. Kept it civil, no consent to e-check, they still don't know your name and it was all recorded. Well done.
    Thanks! If one does give their name though, do you think they keep some unofficial record that you had a open carry encounter? I figure its best not to just in case, but I am curious.
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 08-31-2011 at 02:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    Thanks! If one does give their name though, do you think they keep some unofficial record that you had a open carry encounter? I figure its best not to just in case, but I am curious.
    You name will be in their incident report.
    A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundude View Post
    You name will be in their incident report.
    I see, and they keep a record of all those I presume. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    I see, and they keep a record of all those I presume. Thanks!
    They keep a record of it until you try and request a copy, then suddenly there's no record of it.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Not bad first police encounter. Looks like you lucked out with a professional officer who didn't feel the need to lecture you (but he did feel the need to 12031(e) check you...). You were friendly but preserved your rights. Well done.

    My only suggestion is that if you are not consenting to an (e) check that you shouldn't say, "go right ahead" when the officer says he is going to check. That sounds like consent and would be argued as such.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hgreen View Post
    They keep a record of it until you try and request a copy, then suddenly there's no record of it.
    haha! Thats bad, but very funny at the same time

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoe416 View Post
    Not bad first police encounter. Looks like you lucked out with a professional officer who didn't feel the need to lecture you (but he did feel the need to 12031(e) check you...). You were friendly but preserved your rights. Well done.

    My only suggestion is that if you are not consenting to an (e) check that you shouldn't say, "go right ahead" when the officer says he is going to check. That sounds like consent and would be argued as such.

    Thanks for the advice! I figure since they are authorized to check it anyhow, it doesnt matter if I give consent or not. I just say I do mind, and dont give consent to make a point, and I do mind. I dont know why most LEO all act like these checks are mandatory! At the same time I make sure I let them know I wont resist or go crazy if they do decided to disarm me

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    Regular Member Firemark's Avatar
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    I think you did a great job. Couple of things you could do if you want feedback.

    -Giving your first name only is fine, ask the officer what their name is as well, and offer to shake their hand. Cordial and being civil goes a long way. If they have a card ask for it be sure to get there full names. if the interaction goes well, (your subjective opinion) ask for supervisors info so you can send a letter of appreciation. This does several things, puts them on notice they are gettin an ada boy letter, that they did something correct and should have positive reinforcement, the letter will most likely be used by supervisors as a training tool to reinforce lawful and legal contact with OC'rs.
    -yea replace "go right ahead" with "I dont consent, but I wont obstruct you" you sort of said it but could hear your nervousness in your voice, it sounded more like granting permission. Dont sweat it, you will be able to do even better next time.

    Realize that officers attempt at conversation was an attempt to lower your guard and make the contact fall in the consensual type rather than stop and detain. They then tried to get info from you afterwards. Verbal Judo technique, you did great not falling into the trap.
    If this happens again, reverse it on them and ask them questions about their OC training, was it adequate enough, do they feel they got enough education, do they understand the movement objectives, do they have any questions, do they know the relative case history pertaining to OC, the biased and racism based history of gun control. etc... You may have an opportunity to educate and inform with facts.

    Most officers have never in their career had to deal with armed law abiding citizens, at least in California, they have all been taught from the first day that guns are evil, control all guns, seize all guns. They have never stopped and thought about lawfully armed citizens, so they have this minimal training that they just fall back on--(uh-oh its an open carrier what do we do? oh yea we are suppose to E check them). To them they just cant ask "is it unloaded?" and be ok with it, they are used to criminals lying to them ALL the time, and in their minds they have to know for sure. Thats what we have to deprogram out of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemark View Post
    I think you did a great job. Couple of things you could do if you want feedback.

    -Giving your first name only is fine, ask the officer what their name is as well, and offer to shake their hand. Cordial and being civil goes a long way. If they have a card ask for it be sure to get there full names. if the interaction goes well, (your subjective opinion) ask for supervisors info so you can send a letter of appreciation. This does several things, puts them on notice they are gettin an ada boy letter, that they did something correct and should have positive reinforcement, the letter will most likely be used by supervisors as a training tool to reinforce lawful and legal contact with OC'rs.
    -yea replace "go right ahead" with "I dont consent, but I wont obstruct you" you sort of said it but could hear your nervousness in your voice, it sounded more like granting permission. Dont sweat it, you will be able to do even better next time.

    Realize that officers attempt at conversation was an attempt to lower your guard and make the contact fall in the consensual type rather than stop and detain. They then tried to get info from you afterwards. Verbal Judo technique, you did great not falling into the trap.
    If this happens again, reverse it on them and ask them questions about their OC training, was it adequate enough, do they feel they got enough education, do they understand the movement objectives, do they have any questions, do they know the relative case history pertaining to OC, the biased and racism based history of gun control. etc... You may have an opportunity to educate and inform with facts.

    Most officers have never in their career had to deal with armed law abiding citizens, at least in California, they have all been taught from the first day that guns are evil, control all guns, seize all guns. They have never stopped and thought about lawfully armed citizens, so they have this minimal training that they just fall back on--(uh-oh its an open carrier what do we do? oh yea we are suppose to E check them). To them they just cant ask "is it unloaded?" and be ok with it, they are used to criminals lying to them ALL the time, and in their minds they have to know for sure. Thats what we have to deprogram out of them.

    Wow! Fantastic post! Thanks, that is some great advice and I will be sure to try and incorporate those suggestions next time. The only problem is i find it hard to remember what to say when im in the moment. I either want to say a million things at once and get tied up(as what happened here) or I forget everything I wanted to say.

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    Regular Member Firemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    Wow! Fantastic post! Thanks, that is some great advice and I will be sure to try and incorporate those suggestions next time. The only problem is i find it hard to remember what to say when im in the moment. I either want to say a million things at once and get tied up(as what happened here) or I forget everything I wanted to say.
    Yea happens to me all the time, it just takes time, getting used to the adrenaline rush and nervousness to think and speak. Just take deep breaths, smile on the inside and keep saying to yourself in your mind "Im a law abiding citizen, Im obeying the law, I have nothing to fear".

    It will get easier, just remember your practicing and strengthening your skills for the possibility of a bad LE encounter that we hope never happens.
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    Regular Member Gundude's Avatar
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    There is another approach you can use if the officer wants to come down on you like a storm trooper.
    Fold your arms across you chest and say...."I decline to answer any questions and I do not consent to a search of my person or my belongings.
    Keep your recorder going and then close your tater trap no matter what he/she says.
    Last edited by Gundude; 08-31-2011 at 11:15 PM.
    A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.

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    Regular Member Firemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundude View Post
    There is another approach you can use if the officer wants to come down on you like a storm trooper.
    Fold your arms across you chest and say...."I decline to answer any questions and I do not consent to a search of my person or my belongings.
    Keep your recorder going and then close your tater trap no matter what he/she says.
    Yea I concur with that, the more stormtooper like they behave the less you talk or help them. dont be rude, in fact always strive to be more cordial and respectful then they are, it serves to make your recording more powerful in the court of public opinion (youtube). Keep asking if your detainment is over and leave when they say yes or dont answer you anymore. If they have a point to prove, dont be the proving ground, end the contact quickly and move out of there. Dont argue with anyone who has their mind made up your a POS and they want to teach you a lesson. The more you engage the more you make yourself sound like a trouble maker when your not. Fight on your battleground not theirs.
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    I figure if they are nice and respectful with me, then I will be the same. If their nasty, they wont get my cooperation.

    I wish all encounters just went like:

    Officer: Are you open carrying?

    Me: Yes

    Officer: Is it unloaded?

    Me: Yes

    Officer: Awesome.What gun is that? What range do you go to? What ammo do you carry? etc

    Happily ever after

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    Regular Member Firemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    I figure if they are nice and respectful with me, then I will be the same. If their nasty, they wont get my cooperation.

    I wish all encounters just went like:

    Officer: Are you open carrying?

    Me: Yes

    Officer: Is it unloaded?

    Me: Yes

    Officer: Awesome.What gun is that? What range do you go to? What ammo do you carry? etc

    Happily ever after

    like this one we had.
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    "Gun owners in California in 2011 are like black people in the south in 1955. If you don't understand that then your concepts of fighting for gun rights is just tilting at windmills." Gene Hoffman.

    "Why do you need to carry a gun?" ...Because it not a Bill of Needs, its a Bill of Rights!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemark View Post
    That's great! I wish I knew people that open carried in my area. The closest meet ups I know of are like 80 miles away I did have an old guy who I later found out was a NRA member thank me for carrying and enhancing his safety That was pretty cool.
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 09-01-2011 at 12:34 AM.

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    OC in Palo Alto has been great. Doing it for over two years, no problems! We even successfully challenged the Palo Alto muni code against OC last year. Going through the city council meeting minutes I even found support from citizens for our carry action. Great times!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    I figure if they are nice and respectful with me, then I will be the same. If their nasty, they wont get my cooperation.

    I wish all encounters just went like:

    Officer: Are you open carrying?

    Me: Yes

    Officer: Is it unloaded?

    Me: Yes

    Officer: Awesome.What gun is that? What range do you go to? What ammo do you carry? etc

    Happily ever after
    Even better is: Hiya! (as he walks by...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tall_tree View Post
    OC in Palo Alto has been great. Doing it for over two years, no problems! We even successfully challenged the Palo Alto muni code against OC last year. Going through the city council meeting minutes I even found support from citizens for our carry action. Great times!
    What code was the city trying to pass? Thats great that you guys made a difference!

    Where have you guys been hiding! Ive been around here for 7 years and I have yet to see someone OC. Its very possible I just didnt notice. A lot of people dont notice when I OC. How many people do you know that OC and do you guys have regular meet ups?
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 09-01-2011 at 02:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    What code was the city trying to pass? Thats great that you guys made a difference!

    Where have you guys been hiding! Ive been around here for 7 years and I have yet to see someone OC. Its very possible I just didnt notice. A lot of people dont notice when I OC. How many people do you know that OC and do you guys have regular meet ups?
    Here is the muni code that is on the books:

    9.08.010 Firing and possession of guns and firearms.

    Except as otherwise provided in this chapter no person shall have in his possession within this city, and no person shall fire or discharge, or cause to be fired or discharged within this city, nor shall any parent, guardian or person having the care, custody or control of any minor permit such minor to have in his possession within this city, or to fire or discharge or cause to be fired or discharged within the city, any firearm, cannon, fireworks, gun, pistol, revolver, anvil, firecracker or explosive of similar nature, rifle, air rifle, air-gun, BB gun or pellet gun or any instrument of any kind, character or description which throws or projects bullets or missiles of any kind to any distance by means of elastic force, air or any explosive substance, all referred to in this section as "firearms."


    9.08.020 Exceptions.

    (a) The provisions of Section 9.08.010 as to the use of any of the firearms mentioned therein shall not apply to any of the following cases:

    (1) To police, peace officers or persons in military service in the discharge of their duties and using reasonable care;

    (2) To persons using firearms in necessary self-defense;

    (3) To the possession of such firearms for keeping at the place of residence or business of the person otherwise in lawful possession thereof, or while traveling to or from a legal firing, shooting or target range or hunting ground;

    (4) To the discharging or firing of such firearms or causing them to be discharged or fired at a legal firing, shooting or target range or hunting ground;

    (5) To the discharging or firing of fireworks after permit therefor has been issued by the fire chief;

    (6) To the use of a gun firing .22 caliber shot-cartridge only, upon a written permit applied for and granted by the chief of police to protect life or property against animals, birds or rodents;

    (7) To the discharging or firing of a pistol incapable of projecting any bullet or missile (a) for the sole purpose of starting an organized athletic event, by an official who has charge of the competitors at the start of the athletic event; or (b) for use as a theater prop in a bona fide theatrical production.
    State pre-emption, FTW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tall_tree View Post
    Here is the muni code that is on the books:



    State pre-emption, FTW.
    Seriously....I wonder how they got that one in the books. Maybe open carry falls into the necessary self defense part

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    almost had another encounter at the same safeway :)

    So, I went back to the same safeway tonight(yes I know, its technically morning). As I finish double checking my weapon was clear I stepped out of the car and what do I see? A cruiser with a LEO starring me down. She looks for a bit, drives to the end of the parking lot, turns all her lights off and proceeds to try and sneak up behind me. She parks about 40 feet away while being inconspicuously stopped in the middle of the parking lot I start gathering some trash to recycle. I figure shes sitting there calling in for backup. Finally I just turn around and give her the "Yea, yea, I see you, you see me. Yes I have a gun, get over it" look and continued with my business. Maybe the watch commander asked if the person in question was a 6"3 guy in his early 20's and when she said yes he said forget out it, dont waste your time Who knows, but she left shortly after. I wish I would have remembered to use my iphone scanner app to see what they were saying. Oh well. Either way, I was rather amused.
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 09-02-2011 at 06:58 AM.

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    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    Finally I just turn around and give her the "Yea, yea, I see you, you see me. Yes I have a gun, get over it" look and continued with my business...
    Did you just smile and wave in a friendly manner?
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    Regular Member Firemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    So, I went back to the same safeway tonight(yes I know, its technically morning). As I finish double checking my weapon was clear I stepped out of the car and what do I see? A cruiser with a LEO starring me down. She looks for a bit, drives to the end of the parking lot, turns all her lights off and proceeds to try and sneak up behind me. She parks about 40 feet away while being inconspicuously stopped in the middle of the parking lot I start gathering some trash to recycle. I figure shes sitting there calling in for backup. Finally I just turn around and give her the "Yea, yea, I see you, you see me. Yes I have a gun, get over it" look and continued with my business. Maybe the watch commander asked if the person in question was a 6"3 guy in his early 20's and when she said yes he said forget out it, dont waste your time Who knows, but she left shortly after. I wish I would have remembered to use my iphone scanner app to see what they were saying. Oh well. Either way, I was rather amused.
    Lots of supposition here, did she see you? was she concerned, did she call in for back up or direction? did she get specific direction not to act?
    I would say odds are your previous actions were passed on and is now part of the beginning of the shift line up and debrief
    "So we had an Open Carry advocate contacted at Safeway the other day by officer X, here is his description, here is how he acted, refused to give his name, dont forget here is the policy with Open Carry....yada yada yada.

    My guess is the officer saw you and the weapon, tried to remember what was said in debrief, maybe called in for advice or direction until she determined you were NOT a criminal, probably because since she saw the gun, then thought you must be criminal first until proven a law abiding citizen.

    Your comment "and give her the "Yea, yea, I see you, you see me. Yes I have a gun, get over it" look" I might suggest a different approach, not everyone likes it but I have had tremendous success with it. Shooting a look with the proposed attitude you describe might be more hurtful to Open Carry then helpful. Got to look at it from the LE point of view, how did they take that look you just shot them? did they pick up on the attitude? did they miscontrue it? did they now just formulate perhaps a first impression of an Open Carrier that is negative??
    If while open carrying I notice LE observing me from a distance, I dont play the pretend I dont see them game, that is what criminals do, (hey its the cops, quick act natural, dont make eye contact, maybe they will go away.) If you play this game then LE plays the game too and automatically assume you are nefarious and up to no good and need to be monitored. Also it gives them time to come up with some sort of lame or weak excuse reason to stop and detain.

    Remember your a LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, act like one, wave at the officer be friendly, say hello. request they come over, or make your way towards them in a non threatening manner. Be outgoing and friendly, offer to shake their hands, thank them for all the hard work they do. Make it absolutley clear you are not afraid of them or what you are doing, that you are the good guy, not the potential criminal. Give them a first impression that is 100% positive.

    If your interested I suggest, contact the police chief in the area you will be carrying and request a meeting, invite him or her to lunch, sit down with them talk about all the research and knowledge you have done about the Open Carry movement, that you WILL be open carrying, its your right and you want to be proactive with Law Enforcement, insure they have the right info regarding penal codes and current cases and legal findings. Impress upon them you are not some redneck rambo wanna be but an intelligent, well educated, well informed, civil rights practitioner and an ally not an adversary.

    JMHO. FWIW.
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    "Gun owners in California in 2011 are like black people in the south in 1955. If you don't understand that then your concepts of fighting for gun rights is just tilting at windmills." Gene Hoffman.

    "Why do you need to carry a gun?" ...Because it not a Bill of Needs, its a Bill of Rights!!

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