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Thread: Harrassed & Threatened by High Point PD

  1. #1
    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Harrassed & Threatened by High Point PD

    Gentlemen, my apologies for not sharing this earlier. I kept on putting it off (I don't know why), and every time I thought of it happened to be when I was browsing the forum on my smartphone - I don't mind a small post via Tapatalk, but I wasn't about to tap this out on a phone. Without further adieu:

    Back in April I had my first negative encounter with law enforcement. I was shopping in my local Food Lion (W. Wendover Avenue, High Point, NC - near the Palladium Cinema for those who are familiar with the area). Prior to this encounter I had been in the habit of OC'ing in this particular Food Lion anywhere from 1-3 times a week for a little over a year without even the slightest problem.

    I was in the frozen foods section, having just placed the final item on my shopping list into my now very full shopping cart when I looked up and saw 2 High Point police officers at the end of the aisle. They were both looking directly at me & they had their hands resting (fingers forward) on the top of their holstered handguns, in such a manner so that it would be very easy to slip their hands back a tad & draw if they felt the need (this is easier to demonstrate than to describe). They immediately took control of the situation by asking in an authoritative manner "Why are you carrying a firearm?" That day I was carrying my Kimber Tactical Custom II in a Serpa. I gave them the basic answer of personal protection against a potential threat, and I asked them if there was a problem. Apparently I was "scaring" people. I told them about how I found that to be puzzling & shared with them about how often & for how long I have been OC'ing in this particular store without incident. Officer 1 tells me that customers (plural) complained to management, and then management called them. All the while, Officer 2 (I swear, guys, I SO want to refer to these guys as Tweedledum & Tweedledee) is hanging back a few feet looking like he's ready to draw on me at a moment's notice. They start telling me about how I should get a permit & conceal it. This opened up another can of worms...

    Upon informing the officers that I do indeed have a NC CHP, however I still choose to OC sometimes, Officer 1 looked like he was going to crap a brick. He demanded to see my CHP immediately, and told me that I was in violation of the law for not telling them that I had it earlier. He said that "As soon as you saw me, the first words out of your mouth should have been 'Officer, I have a concealed handgun permit' ". [Pause the story for just a minute here. I am aware of the need to notify in the event that I was having an official interaction with an officer while concealing, and likewise the need to notify in a traffic stop. Unless I was mistaken, I didn't think I had to notify in that exact situation as it was not a traffic stop, and more importantly, I was not carrying a concealed handgun. In fact, as the first words out of Officer 1's mouth were in reference to the handgun that he could see plain as day on my hip, I didn't think that it was necessary as a legal matter or as a matter of practicality to inform him of my CHP]. I told him that I did not think it was necessary to provide my CHP to him as this isn't a traffic stop and I am not carrying a concealed handgun. Officer 1 continues to tell me that he could confiscate my CHP right there on the spot due to my "violation" (failing to inform him that I am a CHP-holder). I get out the CHP, and this is the first time that any form of ID is given to them. Officer 1 hands it to Officer 2, who steps back again & starts radioing in while looking at my CHP, presumably to check its validity (???). Officer 1 continues to lecture me about how the CHP is a privilege, and there is a reason why they are issued, and since I spent the money to take the class & get the permit, I should just cover up so as to not scare people. Officer 2 hands my permit back to me, and they basically acted like they were doing me a favor by "allowing" me to continue to keep it. All the while, I'm thinking (but definitely not saying) how stupid it would be to confiscate it, seeing as the action they wish for me to stop is OC'ing, and by confiscating the CHP they would be forcing me to do nothing but OC whenever I carry a firearm.

    Of course, they also attempted to enlighten me about this law called "Going Armed to the Terror of the People", and I quickly realized that I knew more about it than either of the two officers who were trying in vain to instruct me on it. Despite their warning (threat?) that if they get multiple MWAG calls about me I would be arrested for GATTOP, I informed them that it is doubtful that the DA would press charges on that, as in order to get a conviction they would have to prove intent, and I didn't think that filling my shopping cart with a 1911 on my hip would qualify as intent to cause terror. Also, I instructed them that NC case law has stated that the mere carrying of a properly holstered handgun does not constitute intent to cause terror. At this point, another shopper happened upon our little pow-wow & correctly ascertained the nature of the problem. He butted-in & asked in the officers why they were bothering me simply for carrying a handgun. He even told them that it is my right according to the Constitution! Officer 1 didn't like this, and began to lecture Mr. Shopper about how the Second Amendment is grossly misinterpreted today, and how it is for "militias" only, and shouldn't really empower john q citizen to be able to carry weapons. Seeing as I wasn't carrying a recorder, and Officer 1 was fully engaged with Mr. Shopper debating the original intent of the writers of the Constitution, AND seeing as it didn't look like I was going to be arrested (or shot ) I asked Officer 2 if I was free to go, and gave him lip-service when he asked me to conceal in the future. I took my groceries & checked out. I noticed a few minutes later that as I was loading my trunk with my newly purchased groceries, the two officers were watching me from a distance [insert warm fuzzy feelings here].

    Two days later, I returned to the store, concealing this time, and also carrying my new voice recorder. The first conversation recorded on it was between me & the manager who was on duty two nights prior. In summary, despite my frequency of shopping at this store, she personally had not noticed my & my gun before. She said she didn't personally have a problem with it or with me, but she did have customers come up to the customer service desk to express their concern. Not knowing the laws regarding OC, she called the police "To inquire as to whether or not this was legal". She was informed by whoever answered the phone that open carry is indeed legal, and the operator/dispatcher asked if the manager wanted officers to be sent on site. The manager told me that she said that is not necessary, but the officers were dispatched anyway. Aixa (the CSM) told me that after the officers were finished with me, they checked in with her, and were "quite rude" toward her. They expressed irritation at what they perceived to be a waste of their time, and told her that if she has a problem then she should call Food Lion corporate & tell them that she wants some "No Firearms" stickers for the doors. In a nutshell, I was reassured by Aixa that she had notified the other managers & employees that if they see me (or anyone else) with a properly holstered handgun on their person, that that is NOT reason enough to call the police. (I guess something good DID come out of this) and that me & my money were still welcome in her store. Obviously she can't control it if some Janet Napolitano worshipping, mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger decides to take it upon themselves to say something when they see something & rat me out, but the call wouldn't come from Food Lion.

    Pardon the pun, but I'll admit I've felt somewhat gun-shy about OC'ing in the months since this incident. No matter how you think you're going to respond, its never the same thing as when you are actually accosted by the law. I have started carrying a voice recorder on the occasions when I do OC, and I am slowly increasing my frequency of OC'ing once again. I guess I'm a little paranoid that I'll run into those same two cops whenever I OC in High Point. Also, as part of my easing back into things, lately the majority of my OC'ing has been when I'm with my wife & 2-year-old. The few times I've OC'd alone since that day in April I've been trying to keep it to short trips in & out of wherever it is I'm going, that way if someone does decide to snitch on me the chances are that I'll be gone by the time anyone with a badge shows-up. I've noticed fewer negative reactions from strangers when I have my little girl with me when I'm OC'ing. If I'm with my family, I guess I'm ok, but if I'm out OC'ing alone, then I must be the proverbial "lone gunman" that folks should be worried about. I am getting back into it, but just slowly.

    On a completely separate note, today I was driving from Yanceyville back to Greensboro, and there were 2 State Troopers parked on the side of the road conducting a license check on Hwy 150 (in the middle of the day, too, strangely). I informed the trooper that in accordance with state law, I must inform him that I have a CHP & that I'm carrying 2 handguns). He didn't bat an eye at it. Just said "Ok, thanks - stay safe!" as he handed my driver's license back to me. It was nice to have THAT interaction go as it should!
    Carry on!

  2. #2
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Thumb's up to Aixa for standing up for her paying customers.
    Put in an Open Records act with the local department, to see what the Computer Aided Dispatch is for the incident.
    Go see their Captain or whoever is in charge of them and politely inform them about the incident. (No 'official action' may be forthcoming but Everybody hates to be negatively called to their boss' attention.)

    Did Officer Tweedledee or Tweedledumb say that you had to inform then even when you're openly carrying?
    Perhaps you should do just that, in a preemptive way. Call Dispatch (non-emergency number only please, you don't want to tie up emergency phones) and inform Dispatch that the Tweedles demanded that you to inform them that you were openly carrying. Ask them to relay to the Tweedles that you're going to be openly carrying at such and such location and that you don't want them to be surprised or anything. You might even have to call on an hourly basis or whenever you're going to someplace new.
    Most of all, be polite (which means only laugh on the inside.)


    I'm not sure about NC's laws, but are you required to carry your permit when openly carrying?
    If not, consider going 'sterile', no permit and since you're walking and not driving you don't Really need that driver's license with you, do you? Go ahead and leave all that in the car unless Officer Friendly is offering to sell you alcohol, cash your check, or sell you an airline ticket.

    Some officers love to play the power game.... until they realize that they're the ones being played.
    It's perfectly okay to tell Officer Friendly to go pound sand, when they're stepping beyond their authority.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 09-20-2011 at 12:27 AM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Considering that this happened 5 months ago, I doubt I'd be taken seriously if I attempted to file any kind of complaint now. Also, regarding FOIA'ing the dispatch call, I would probably need the date & approximate time, and I don't remember exactly, so it would be a needle in a haystack. Both good ideas, but I think its a bit late now.

    Permits are not needed for open carrying here. As for ID, I typically buy some beer and/or wine when grocery shopping, and I'm just shy of 30 & still get carded about half the time, so I need the ID on me.
    Last edited by Ruger; 09-20-2011 at 12:30 AM.
    Carry on!

  4. #4
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I've had great success with the U.S. Passport Card; Picture ID, no Social Security Number, No address.

    I'm heartened that it appears that the officer's didn't attempt to disarm you. If that should ever be the case, I recommend asking to determine the Tier Level of the encounter. If it's not an arrest or detention then they probably lack the authority to disarm.
    If it's a "voluntary encounter, then I'd let them know that, "If we're going to be having a conversation, then I'm going to be At LEAST as well armed as you. I can't make you stay here and talk to me but, we're not having a voluntary conversation without me being armed. You have all the power, so you get to make the decision. ... So, armed conversation, or we aren't having one, which is it?"

    (And yes, I've had that conversation. Officer Friendly decided he'd rather not have the conversation and I went back inside to slay more zombies.)
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 09-20-2011 at 12:42 AM.

  5. #5
    Regular Member smlawrence's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing your story. It really burns me to hear this kind of thing. I might do some shopping at that Food Lion to help increase their "MWAGWASC"(Man with a gun with a shopping cart) numbers. I carry all the time there at the Palladium when we are at Office Depot, Zaxby's, Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds, , Burger King, Bruesters, Coldstone, and CiCi's. I had a few looks at Cici's but nothing said. Keep your head up and hopefully you return to being 100% Comfortable OC'ing soon.
    "God, Guns, & Guts Made America, Lets Use All 3!!!"

  6. #6
    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smlawrence View Post
    Thank you for sharing your story. It really burns me to hear this kind of thing. I might do some shopping at that Food Lion to help increase their "MWAGWASC"(Man with a gun with a shopping cart) numbers. I carry all the time there at the Palladium when we are at Office Depot, Zaxby's, Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds, , Burger King, Bruesters, Coldstone, and CiCi's. I had a few looks at Cici's but nothing said. Keep your head up and hopefully you return to being 100% Comfortable OC'ing soon.
    I've OC'd at that Office Depot a time or two. Cici's 2 or 3 times, and Chic-Fil-A a few times too. Never had any problems there. The nearby Harris Teeter as well, even as recent as Saturday.

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    What stuck out to me is what the one officer said about the 2ND Amendment. Just another bed wetter with a badge, I say its time to do a Fri night OC dinner in Highpoint soon.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wethepeople View Post
    What stuck out to me is what the one officer said about the 2ND Amendment. Just another bed wetter with a badge, I say its time to do a Fri night OC dinner in Highpoint soon.
    We had one across the street at McAllister's Deli a year ago. Chic-Fil-A & CiCi's pizza are both right there too - any of these would be good places. "Preble" had a bad experience with the management of Panera Bread a block away & had to leave.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    To the OP--you handled that situation very well. Kudos to you!

    Under NC law, there is NO requirement to inform an LEO you are carrying OR to produce a CHP if you are Open Carrying--that requirement is ONLY applicable to CONCEALED firearms. The LEOs who confronted you were dead wrong, and would have cited you (or arrested you) if you were actually violating any laws.

    The incident should be files as a formal complaint with their department, so that their Chief can get them up to speed on the CHP laws, and get them cleared up on GAttTotP--both of which they either don't understand, or don't care about. Some serious re-training is in order for those officers--if not the entire department.

    Good luck in the future. Carry on...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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  10. #10
    Regular Member smlawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger View Post
    We had one across the street at McAllister's Deli a year ago. Chic-Fil-A & CiCi's pizza are both right there too - any of these would be good places. "Preble" had a bad experience with the management of Panera Bread a block away & had to leave.

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    I've OC'ed several times at that Panera with no problems. Not sure of his circumstances, probably an absent-minded customer complaint.
    "God, Guns, & Guts Made America, Lets Use All 3!!!"

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    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing RUGER. it helps others to know how to handle situations before they happen. you were right in the fact you don't have to notify if you are open carrying. if he could not have seen the firearm then, how would he have known you were carrying, Duh. the Duh is for the LEO, not you. side note, i have seen this used by a judge in a illegal carry case.

    fallschirmjager, in NC we have the unconstitutional laws that if you are CC then you have to notify an LEO that has engaged you. also on request, if you are CC, then you present your ID and Permission slip. from what i understand, at traffic stops also, (red book source), though most instructors say to, mainly to CYA.

    please don't take this as a criticism RUGER, i ask only for the fact i want to learn. why did this scare you so much? are you in a position were an arrest would have been bad for you? was it because you had doubt in what you were doing? or unsure what the laws were? could it have been the psychological programing that we all have a degree of, put there from our youth?

    i would like to thank the store manager for a good job. i am also impressed by the bystander that stood up for you, most people would not have questioned the LEOs and it is a surprise the LEOs didn't jump down s/he throat for daring to interfere

    glad to have you back and hope to meet you one day. would be glad to come to a meet and greet there.

    carry on
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    "guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
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    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

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    Regular Member ImJustMylan's Avatar
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    Wow, now that is just plain stupid. Im actually thinking about (which I shouldn't have to in North Carolina) the new Scorpion Police Cameras. They are a thump sized DVR camera that records in high def and attaches to where ever you want it. It cost around $100 but I think its better than me reaching into my pocket when police are already ready to draw their weapons on me.

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    I think its a pretty cool way to catch everything via video and sound of whats going on. I dont want to wait until my first encounter with a LEO before I have a game plan to properly document the incident.
    Last edited by ImJustMylan; 09-24-2011 at 02:46 AM.

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    Regular Member dmatting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImJustMylan View Post
    Wow, now that is just plain stupid. Im actually thinking about (which I shouldn't have to in North Carolina) the new Scorpion Police Cameras. They are a thump sized DVR camera that records in high def and attaches to where ever you want it. It cost around $100 but I think its better than me reaching into my pocket when police are already ready to draw their weapons on me.

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    I think its a pretty cool way to catch everything via video and sound of whats going on. I dont want to wait until my first encounter with a LEO before I have a game plan to properly document the incident.
    Most would suggest that you get yourself a good digital voice recorder that is capable of recording hours on hours and have it on and recording your entire day outside of your home. If nothing happened, then don't save the recording. If something did happen then you have it recorded by default. It may take some experimenting on how and where you carry the recorder to get the best audio.

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    Dang, I OC there all the time.....Maybe i should do it more.

  15. #15
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger
    They immediately took control of the situation by asking in an authoritative manner "Why are you carrying a firearm?"
    Probably much the same reason you are... so I can sleep in my own bed tonight.
    Why do you ask?
    And did you ask that shopper (point to some random person who's walking away) why s/he's wearing a cross?

    They start telling me about how I should get a permit & conceal it.
    Thank you for your opinion.
    [WALK AWAY]

    He demanded to see my CHP immediately
    Since I'm not carrying concealed, I don't need to have it on me.
    [don't even mention it to them!]

    since I spent the money to take the class & get the permit, I should just cover up so as to not scare people.
    Since you spent the money to get a permit to drive a car, why are you walking?
    And do you ever ride a bicycle?

    All the while, I'm thinking (but definitely not saying) how stupid it would be to confiscate it, seeing as the action they wish for me to stop is OC'ing, and by confiscating the CHP they would be forcing me to do nothing but OC whenever I carry a firearm.
    Bingo!

    another shopper happened upon our little pow-wow & correctly ascertained the nature of the problem. He butted-in & asked in the officers why they were bothering me simply for carrying a handgun. He even told them that it is my right according to the Constitution!
    Good for him!!

    Officer 1 didn't like this, and began to lecture Mr. Shopper about how the Second Amendment is grossly misinterpreted today, and how it is for "militias" only, and shouldn't really empower john q citizen to be able to carry weapons.
    Another ex-lawyer who has a second career as a cop...
    And he's an ex-lawyer 'cause he couldn't keep up on major developments like Heller & McDonald.
    Maybe he should be an ex-cop, too, since he doesn't know the laws & doesn't respect the Constitution.

    2 State Troopers parked on the side of the road conducting a license check
    What??!?!?! How can they get away with that?
    "Stopping a car for no other reason than to check the license and registration was unreasonable under the 4th amendment."
    Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979).
    Last edited by MKEgal; 10-03-2011 at 01:10 AM.
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  16. #16
    Regular Member ImJustMylan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preble View Post
    Dang, I OC there all the time.....Maybe i should do it more.
    I was actually thinking the same thing.

  17. #17
    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papa bear View Post
    please don't take this as a criticism RUGER, i ask only for the fact i want to learn. why did this scare you so much? are you in a position were an arrest would have been bad for you? was it because you had doubt in what you were doing? or unsure what the laws were? could it have been the psychological programing that we all have a degree of, put there from our youth?
    Well, an arrest would have been bad for a couple reasons:

    1. Unfortunately I have been in the midst of financial difficulties, so coming up with bail money could be problematic. Also, having to miss time from work in order to meet with lawyers (not to mention PAYING a lawyer) and go to court would present a hardship, as I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck.

    2. At the time I had an active application with the Greensboro Police Department, and thought that an arrest, regardless of being baseless, would not look good. Still considering applying with Winston Salem, but haven't done so yet.

    I had no real concern that I had done anything wrong, but unfortunately a couple officers who do not know the laws (or who have their own agenda) can still cause some MAJOR problems for the law-abiding OC'er like myself - problems that can take a lot of time & money to resolve.

    I respect officers. I think that by and large, they are a good group of people who do a lot for us. Unfortunately there are some who seemingly feel threatened at the sight of someone visibly armed without a badge.

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  18. #18
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    The officer should have been reminded that we are the Militia. Every freedom loving American who ownes a gun. And Preble, where have you been?

  19. #19
    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    Thanks for your concise answers RUGER. I have asked others that admit they are nervous about open carry, because of encounters, but i usually get the "oh, i don't know answers". i have often wondered if it was programing instilled in their youth, to submit to authority. good luck with your search
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    "guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
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    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

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    A word of advice. And this is a statement and I am not opsn for debate. Why don't you get a leather ID holder that goes on your belt and place your CHP in it and place it on your belt in front of your firearm, displyed similiar to where an LEO badge would be.

    Now your CHP is only for conceal in NC and a CHP is not required to open carry. Though that is true I do a lot of traveling. I spend a lot of time up and down tbe east coast of the US for work. Of ALL the years I have openly carried, not once have I ever had a stop and chat. I have not had an encounter with an LEO, been asked to cover up, or asked to leave a store. I do nof carry to exucate or prove a point. I carry for personal protection and my firearm is a tool, not a conversation piece.

    Tbough wearing your permit is completely unnecessary, it points out YOU are the good guy. You aren't a felon. You are allowed to have a gun. And for this particular encoumter, yes, you are legal. You can do what you want and carry for your own particular reason. I for one am out and about because I have something to do. I don't like stop and chats. I wear my permit, problem solved.

  21. #21
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    why not put a copy of the bill of rights on your belt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thejax View Post
    And this is a statement and I am not opsn for debate.
    Unfortunately that's not the way internet forums work!

    Quote Originally Posted by thejax View Post
    Why don't you get a leather ID holder that goes on your belt and place your CHP in it and place it on your belt in front of your firearm, displyed similiar to where an LEO badge would be.
    [sic]

    1- The arrangement sounds more cumbersome than I'd be willing to put up with.

    2- I don't want Joe-Blow fellow citizen to look down and read my personal information (DL #, DOB, Address, etc.)

    3- I believe officers, like those described in this case, that are so off the wall they are going to spout off their own opinions on what the 2A means they're still going to find a reason to harass you.

    4- I'm not in the business of appeasing LEO's unwarranted fears or prejudices.


    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

    I don't bother with pragmatic statistics while discussing my constitutional rights. The issue is far less complex, to me. Free men should be able to act like free men.

  23. #23
    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thejax View Post
    A word of advice. And this is a statement and I am not opsn for debate. . I for one am out and about because I have something to do. I don't like stop and chats. I wear my permit, problem solved.
    couple of things ;

    one of the good thing about NC, we don't have to have the government's permission to carry

    And also, this being NC, we do talk to folks.
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    "guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
    - unknown

    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    1 didn't like this, and began to lecture Mr. Shopper about how the Second Amendment is grossly misinterpreted today, and how it is for "militias" only, and shouldn't really empower john q citizen to be able to carry weapons.
    I never understood this. If you hate freedom so much why not move to another country where the government controls your life? Why not go to some communist country and become an LEO?
    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
    [Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. Supp. 486, 489 (1956)]
    “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights.”
    [Sherar vs. Cullen, 481 F2d. 946 (1973)]

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