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Thread: OC Story from Lynchburg, VA

  1. #1
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    OC Story from Lynchburg, VA

    I was thrilled to find this forum as I researched OC laws in VA after what happened to me tonight...

    I stopped by a Food Lion on the way home from an event and wanted to purchase some cold brews, I open carry pretty much everywhere I go (although I'm just now learning I could open carry in restaurants if the hearsay is correct).

    So as I'm pondering beer selection, the rent-a-cop slowly makes his way over to me and says, "hey buddy, I'm gunna make this easy on you... you can't buy alcohol carrying a firearm."

    I said, "Is that a store policy?"

    He said, "No that's Virginia law."

    I "Oh really? I've walked in and out of ABC stores buying liquor for over a year now while open carrying and they've never said anything, in fact I've asked them if they're ok with it and they haven't cared."

    He "Well sorry they've all been wrong, I'll just make this easy on you and let you know you won't buy beer here with a firearm on your hip."

    I start to leave at that point and see the store manager who was a former client of mine when I was just a banker, "Hi (store manager)!" He/She says "Hi FA with SR9c, how are you!?"

    Anyway, rather than putting my gun in my car and coming back in I came straight home to research the subject. I've read the letter from ABC about Open Carry in Restaurants and it's the closest thing I've found, all of the concealed carry law doesn't address whether open carry applies when concealed doesn't etc etc.

    So my new friends, does anyone have a link to open carry only law? or does anyone have a letter relating to just buying beer or liquor while open carrying?

    I hope this isn't a repeat, I tried to search before being a member and found a lot of articles- on that note, Well Done Skid and User! I'm curious what Judge handled that case, my uncle handles cases in that area on certain levels, I'd be interested to see if he was the one that ruled on the case. He's about as neutral as they come, most of the posts I read along the process represent a fair and balanced judge like him.



    EDIT See Post 42 for the start of resolution
    Last edited by FA with SR9c; 09-18-2011 at 11:07 PM.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO!!! Stick around and you will learn a lot!!! Sorry to hear about your negative experience. There is no open carry law in VA, meanin you won't find a law that explicitly allows OC. If a law does not prohibit it then it is legal. I have bought alcohol many times at the grocery store while carrying. The store employee is flat out wrong. Have you contacted management at Food Lion yet? My guess is that their official policy will be at odds with wht the employee told you. I believe the judge in Skid's case was Judge Zepkin. If you are not already a member you should Check out the Virginia Citizens Defense League. It is a great group dedicated to gun rights in VA. If you go to their website you can sign up for VA-ALERT (on the right side of the page) which is a free email system that will keep you informed about everything gun-related going on in the state. The website is http://www.vcdl.org. Good luck with everything.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 09-15-2011 at 12:16 AM.
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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Buying alcohol while carrying is perfectly legal...sounds like you ran into another one of those "I know its illegal" stories.

    In case you're interested, we offer a class on the carry laws that can bring you up to speed.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Another "rent-a-cop" that needs to rent-a-brain. I've had similarly endowed security guards tell me that it was against Virginia law to carry in a hospital too. My suggestion that they seek a refund from their "rent-a-cop" school was not well received...

    TFred

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    This could be fun. I'd start by challenging him to cite the VA Code Section that outlaws purchasing off-premises alcohol while armed. Once the blank stare starts to get old, I'd then offer that he could arrest me once I complete my purchase. Then pick up the beer and head for the register. Note he has NOT trespassed you at this point. If he sticks around, I'd suggest that the store ABC manager might have a better grasp of ABC law, and for 'dessert' I'd offer that he contemplate the civil and criminal consequences of enforcing a non existent law.

    BTW unarmed security = No Arrest Power.

    Or plan B: "No, let me make this easy for YOU. I'll cut you some slack just this once. Go away and learn the law before you make the biggest mistake of your life."
    Last edited by paramedic70002; 09-15-2011 at 02:33 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Several folks have given basically good explanations of what the law is and how one interprets its silence on a subject. You have also been given some nuggets of good advice but that is where I'd like to stick my nose in and add a comment.

    It is hoped that your desire is to get the security guard and the store management to stop threatening you with arrest for acts that are not illegal, and to determine f store policy might be that they do not allow purchase of alcoholic beverage for consumption off premises to anybody who is lawfully open carrying - a situatio that the ABC Board might want to look into under a general complaint of discrimination.

    My recommendation, while recognizing that it is unsolicited, it to call the store manager and set up a face-to-face meeting. Tell him something happened last night that you want to discuss with him, but don;t go beyond that detail till you get there. Remember that when you meet with him you want to problem-solve, not beat him over the head with accusations and threats of lawsuits or boycots Bring a recorder and use it. You probably want to be discrete in doing so, but most work very well while remaining in your shirt pocket.

    Do not accuse the rent-a-cop of being anything but most likely mistaken about what the law actually says. Were it me, I'd start off by suggesting the rent-a-cop had a mistaken desire to ensure no foul was committed and was not trying to place the store in a bad position by citing a policy that probably does not exist. (See how you get the manager to either confirm such a policy exists or deny one is in place - and you will have it on tape.)

    If the manager agrees with you that the rent-a-cop was misinformed/misunderstood then start asking how he and you can solve the problem. Be cooperative and helpful, but let him know you will be returning to check and see if the situation has been resolved satisfactorily by making a purchase in the near future.

    If the manager says there is in fact a policy that you cannot buy beer while armed please do not start arguing or complaining about violations of your rigts. Thank the manager and end the interview. Then go contact the ABC Board with a discrimination complaint. Let them straighten out the store or lift their ABC license. (But do follow up on your complaint and monitor th progress of its resolution.)

    If you find that there was/is no policy but the manager was not able to straighten out the rent-a-cop, go back to the manager again but this time complain that whatever they did as not sucessful.

    If there was a policy and your complaint to the ABC Board did not resolve things you will need to decide if you want to return and see if the rent-a-cop will arrest you/order you out-try to get a trespass notice served/call the real cops to get you arrested. You can at that point ask organizations like VCDL or ACLU for assistance.

    This situation might be fixed in half an hour or less by meeting with the manager, or it might take several months (or longer). Just remember that your objective is to correct the situation, not stir up controversy. Let the manager and store do that if it is going to happen.

    stay safe.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for your story and welcome to OCDO. I'm a Lynchburger as well, but don't shop the FoodLion stores all that often. If I may ask, which store was this? I can't recall even buying beer in a FoodLion, but I know I've never had any issue buying at any of the Krogers or the ABC stores as you indicate.

    * Here's a good place to start to get familiar with the various carry laws in Virginia. This is a .pdf document so be sure to have Adobe Reader or greater. http://www.vcdl.org/pdf/VCDL_Carry_Card.pdf

    **If you're up for it, let us know when you might have availability for an OC dinner some time. I've tried to put them together but always get about the same crowd and I know there are others who could join in on the fun!

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    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    Thanks for your story and welcome to OCDO. I'm a Lynchburger as well, but don't shop the FoodLion stores all that often. If I may ask, which store was this? I can't recall even buying beer in a FoodLion, but I know I've never had any issue buying at any of the Krogers or the ABC stores as you indicate.

    * Here's a good place to start to get familiar with the various carry laws in Virginia. This is a .pdf document so be sure to have Adobe Reader or greater. http://www.vcdl.org/pdf/VCDL_Carry_Card.pdf

    **If you're up for it, let us know when you might have availability for an OC dinner some time. I've tried to put them together but always get about the same crowd and I know there are others who could join in on the fun!
    I am curious about which FoodLion as well. I have purchased beer while OCing at the local FL and the only thing security did was to nod at me and continue complaining about his soon-to-be ex-wife to the cashier. Shop more often at Kroger's, and just went to the ABC two weekends ago for a different whiskey to try out.

    If you will tell me which Food Lion I will go buy a sixpack and be sure to point my finger a lot...
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuc65 View Post
    I am curious about which FoodLion as well. I have purchased beer while OCing at the local FL and the only thing security did was to nod at me and continue complaining about his soon-to-be ex-wife to the cashier. Shop more often at Kroger's, and just went to the ABC two weekends ago for a different whiskey to try out.

    If you will tell me which Food Lion I will go buy a sixpack and be sure to point my finger a lot...
    have you got User on retainer? lol

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    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    As much as I'm entertained by some of the ideas here .. esp paramedic70002's 'plan B' .. I have to say it's truly a great thing that Skid was found not guilty this week. His advice, every time I've read it in various posts, shows level-headedness and a willingness to try to educate those who may just not know what is right or wrong. I advise anyone looking for a reasoned answer to any question here to read Skid's comments if they exist on that thread.
    Skid .. thank you for all the well thought out responses you've given to those who asked the questions

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Welcome to OCDO!!! Stick around and you will learn a lot!!! Sorry to hear about your negative experience. There is no open carry law in VA, meanin you won't find a law that explicitly allows OC. If a law does not prohibit it then it is legal. I have bought alcohol many times at the grocery store while carrying. The store employee is flat out wrong. Have you contacted management at Food Lion yet? My guess is that their official policy will be at odds with wht the employee told you. I believe the judge in Skid's case was Judge Zepkin. If you are not already a member you should Check out the Virginia Citizens Defense League. It is a great group dedicated to gun rights in VA. If you go to their website you can sign up for VA-ALERT (on the right side of the page) which is a free email system that will keep you informed about everything gun-related going on in the state. The website is http://www.vcdl.org. Good luck with everything.
    I'm excited to be here, too bad I joined under the possible discriminative circumstances, but oh well either way. Thanks for your reply! I know the management personally, I used to be their banker, he/she trusts me and knows me by name. I'll be checking out the VCDL for sure. My uncle was not the judge then as his and my last name are not Zepkin, but I won't be surprised if my uncle knows him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    Buying alcohol while carrying is perfectly legal...sounds like you ran into another one of those "I know its illegal" stories.

    In case you're interested, we offer a class on the carry laws that can bring you up to speed.
    I need to get my concealed carry anyway, it's one of my excuses why I still open carry everywhere, I'll contact you when the time comes. Thanks for your reply!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Another "rent-a-cop" that needs to rent-a-brain. I've had similarly endowed security guards tell me that it was against Virginia law to carry in a hospital too. My suggestion that they seek a refund from their "rent-a-cop" school was not well received...

    TFred
    Yes, I believe he was wrong as well. He could however been sincerely mistaken, which I have been myself in the past about certain things. That's why this isn't a vendetta against the rent a cop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    This could be fun. I'd start by challenging him to cite the VA Code Section that outlaws purchasing off-premises alcohol while armed. Once the blank stare starts to get old, I'd then offer that he could arrest me once I complete my purchase. Then pick up the beer and head for the register. Note he has NOT trespassed you at this point. If he sticks around, I'd suggest that the store ABC manager might have a better grasp of ABC law, and for 'dessert' I'd offer that he contemplate the civil and criminal consequences of enforcing a non existent law.

    BTW unarmed security = No Arrest Power.

    Or plan B: "No, let me make this easy for YOU. I'll cut you some slack just this once. Go away and learn the law before you make the biggest mistake of your life."
    I was close to plan B in a polite way, but since I know the store manager didn't want to make a scene. If I could have bluffed on my knowledge of the state code, I would have

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Several folks have given basically good explanations of what the law is and how one interprets its silence on a subject. You have also been given some nuggets of good advice but that is where I'd like to stick my nose in and add a comment.

    It is hoped that your desire is to get the security guard and the store management to stop threatening you with arrest for acts that are not illegal, and to determine f store policy might be that they do not allow purchase of alcoholic beverage for consumption off premises to anybody who is lawfully open carrying - a situatio that the ABC Board might want to look into under a general complaint of discrimination.

    My recommendation, while recognizing that it is unsolicited, it to call the store manager and set up a face-to-face meeting. Tell him something happened last night that you want to discuss with him, but don;t go beyond that detail till you get there. Remember that when you meet with him you want to problem-solve, not beat him over the head with accusations and threats of lawsuits or boycots Bring a recorder and use it. You probably want to be discrete in doing so, but most work very well while remaining in your shirt pocket.

    Do not accuse the rent-a-cop of being anything but most likely mistaken about what the law actually says. Were it me, I'd start off by suggesting the rent-a-cop had a mistaken desire to ensure no foul was committed and was not trying to place the store in a bad position by citing a policy that probably does not exist. (See how you get the manager to either confirm such a policy exists or deny one is in place - and you will have it on tape.)

    If the manager agrees with you that the rent-a-cop was misinformed/misunderstood then start asking how he and you can solve the problem. Be cooperative and helpful, but let him know you will be returning to check and see if the situation has been resolved satisfactorily by making a purchase in the near future.

    If the manager says there is in fact a policy that you cannot buy beer while armed please do not start arguing or complaining about violations of your rigts. Thank the manager and end the interview. Then go contact the ABC Board with a discrimination complaint. Let them straighten out the store or lift their ABC license. (But do follow up on your complaint and monitor th progress of its resolution.)

    If you find that there was/is no policy but the manager was not able to straighten out the rent-a-cop, go back to the manager again but this time complain that whatever they did as not sucessful.

    If there was a policy and your complaint to the ABC Board did not resolve things you will need to decide if you want to return and see if the rent-a-cop will arrest you/order you out-try to get a trespass notice served/call the real cops to get you arrested. You can at that point ask organizations like VCDL or ACLU for assistance.

    This situation might be fixed in half an hour or less by meeting with the manager, or it might take several months (or longer). Just remember that your objective is to correct the situation, not stir up controversy. Let the manager and store do that if it is going to happen.

    stay safe.
    I'm on board with all of your post, I haven't gone back with anything in hand to get the guard fired or wanting to press charges. I know the manager personally, I'll sit down with her and advise her on the situation and I'm sure it will be relayed to the firm she contracts, and if not, I'll take the liberty in pursuit of liberty. Congrats on your win, I was pleased to see justice prevailed! It inspired me to start this thread to see what people had experienced in similar situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    This could be fun. I'd start by challenging him to cite the VA Code Section that outlaws purchasing off-premises alcohol while armed. Once the blank stare starts to get old, I'd then offer that he could arrest me once I complete my purchase. Then pick up the beer and head for the register. Note he has NOT trespassed you at this point. If he sticks around, I'd suggest that the store ABC manager might have a better grasp of ABC law, and for 'dessert' I'd offer that he contemplate the civil and criminal consequences of enforcing a non existent law.

    BTW unarmed security = No Arrest Power.

    Or plan B: "No, let me make this easy for YOU. I'll cut you some slack just this once. Go away and learn the law before you make the biggest mistake of your life."
    Oh and I forgot to mention, he was armed, S&W M&P if my eyes serve me correct, so I wasn't up for a who's balls are bigger contest at the moment without being more confident in the law. Not to mention he had his hand over the gun in the holster most of the time, not that I felt threatened.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    Thanks for your story and welcome to OCDO. I'm a Lynchburger as well, but don't shop the FoodLion stores all that often. If I may ask, which store was this? I can't recall even buying beer in a FoodLion, but I know I've never had any issue buying at any of the Krogers or the ABC stores as you indicate.

    * Here's a good place to start to get familiar with the various carry laws in Virginia. This is a .pdf document so be sure to have Adobe Reader or greater. http://www.vcdl.org/pdf/VCDL_Carry_Card.pdf

    **If you're up for it, let us know when you might have availability for an OC dinner some time. I've tried to put them together but always get about the same crowd and I know there are others who could join in on the fun!
    It's the Oakley Ave and Memorial Ave intersection food lion. I know that the store manager had a former security guard transfer to appomattox and shoot up that location a year or two ago so I know he/she may be weary about security, however that being said, I'm convinced based on this altercation that it was the particular rent a cop not the store itself. I've purchased beer there many times and other guards have asked "So what do you carry?" and the conversation has ensued about 9mm vs .40 as a self defense etc so again, it's not the store. I've OC in Graves Mill food lion, all the Krogers, the Graves Mill, Fort Ave, Boonesboro, Timberlake, and even Madison Heights ABC.

    I'd love to attend some OC dinners, problem is, I might want a beer... but if it's Panera or Moes or something that won't tempt me- like that buffet on Wards that has everything I'm in!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuc65 View Post
    I am curious about which FoodLion as well. I have purchased beer while OCing at the local FL and the only thing security did was to nod at me and continue complaining about his soon-to-be ex-wife to the cashier. Shop more often at Kroger's, and just went to the ABC two weekends ago for a different whiskey to try out.

    If you will tell me which Food Lion I will go buy a sixpack and be sure to point my finger a lot...
    Memorial and Oakley FL, the guard that did this was kinda stout but still about 6ft tall, buzz cut from what I remember.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by scouser View Post
    As much as I'm entertained by some of the ideas here .. esp paramedic70002's 'plan B' .. I have to say it's truly a great thing that Skid was found not guilty this week. His advice, every time I've read it in various posts, shows level-headedness and a willingness to try to educate those who may just not know what is right or wrong. I advise anyone looking for a reasoned answer to any question here to read Skid's comments if they exist on that thread.
    Skid .. thank you for all the well thought out responses you've given to those who asked the questions
    I agree Skid has logic, not every online board has that. There's logic to the other posts as well, take them with a grain of salt or understand some suggestions are in jest, and they're well informed as well.
    Last edited by FA with SR9c; 09-15-2011 at 11:13 PM.

  20. #20
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Another "rent-a-cop" that needs to rent-a-brain. I've had similarly endowed security guards tell me that it was against Virginia law to carry in a hospital too. My suggestion that they seek a refund from their "rent-a-cop" school was not well received...

    TFred
    Quote Originally Posted by FA with SR9c View Post
    Yes, I believe he was wrong as well. He could however been sincerely mistaken, which I have been myself in the past about certain things. That's why this isn't a vendetta against the rent a cop.
    Oh, there is no doubt she was wrong (it was a lady security guard). Apparently one of my "pet peeve" buttons is when someone tells me incorrect information in the context that it is the law, or the authority of the state dictating whatever incorrect information they are trying to sell me.

    That particular conversation was based on what I firmly believe should be an illegal sign displayed at a local hospital which states, "It is unlawful to carry a handgun in this facility." The sign is 100% wrong, and it is a blatant attempt to wield the authority of the state of Virginia to enforce what is simply a private property owner's desire to influence the behavior of those utilizing the public services of their business. This almost literally infuriates me.

    Off the soapbox now.

    TFred

  21. #21
    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FA with SR9c View Post
    Oh and I forgot to mention, he was armed, S&W M&P if my eyes serve me correct, so I wasn't up for a who's balls are bigger contest at the moment without being more confident in the law. Not to mention he had his hand over the gun in the holster most of the time, not that I felt threatened.
    Welcome to OCDO.

    You were right to not press the issue. However, this guard needs to be counseled about appropriate techniques when talking to customers. Placing his hand on the gun while telling you not to attempt to purchase beer could actually be taken as brandishing. I don't think he was taught that this is a proper "interview stance". Even if you didn't feel threatened, you sound as though you wern't completely comfortable either. Ask your uncle about it.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FA with SR9c
    Oh and I forgot to mention, he was armed... Not to mention he had his hand over the gun in the holster most of the time, not that I felt threatened.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all
    ...this guard needs to be counseled about appropriate techniques when talking to customers.
    ... Even if you didn't feel threatened, you sound as though you weren't completely comfortable either.
    That certainly changes the tone of things!
    Definitely bring this up w/ the manager, & potentially the supervisor of the RAC.
    I mean, I've seen people who just naturally rest their hand on their hip & holster, or tuck their thumbs into their belts & their hand happens to be near the grip, but this sounds more deliberately threatening.

    I'm curious why you didn't talk w/ the manager about the problem when she said hi to you on your way out?
    Were you not comfortable in your knowledge of the laws?
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  23. #23
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    I think I would have said:

    1. You're armed and your hand is on your gun - in Virginia that's brandishing. Perhaps you'll let me videotape this 'interview' you're doing and then call 911 and see who is in the wrong?
    2. You have no arrest powers being a private security guard, correct? I suggest you go guard the twinkies and let grownups shop legally. I don't drink beer and am buying it for my brother/friend.

    ...or would like to have said, lol.

    Good thread.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Oh, there is no doubt she was wrong (it was a lady security guard). Apparently one of my "pet peeve" buttons is when someone tells me incorrect information in the context that it is the law, or the authority of the state dictating whatever incorrect information they are trying to sell me.

    That particular conversation was based on what I firmly believe should be an illegal sign displayed at a local hospital which states, "It is unlawful to carry a handgun in this facility." The sign is 100% wrong, and it is a blatant attempt to wield the authority of the state of Virginia to enforce what is simply a private property owner's desire to influence the behavior of those utilizing the public services of their business. This almost literally infuriates me.

    Off the soapbox now.

    TFred
    I'm there with you man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    Welcome to OCDO.

    You were right to not press the issue. However, this guard needs to be counseled about appropriate techniques when talking to customers. Placing his hand on the gun while telling you not to attempt to purchase beer could actually be taken as brandishing. I don't think he was taught that this is a proper "interview stance". Even if you didn't feel threatened, you sound as though you wern't completely comfortable either. Ask your uncle about it.
    I didn't want to push it, knowing the store manager. I knew I could leave and come back with beef if needed. I'll be with my uncle in 2 months at the beach for thanksgiving, I'll give him the full story then, since as a judge he can't give legal advice anyway (technically). I felt it wasn't proper stance, I wasn't sure what private contractors can represent vs brandish.

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