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Open carrier sues Evansville, IN for removal from zoo

griffin

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
892
Location
Okemos, MI
I usually hang out on the Michigan board, but was recently informed of this story. I came here to see if there was any more information or discussion, but I didn't see any.

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http://global-lit.com/Press_Releases.html
September 16, 2011.

For Immediate Release.

Today, the Law Offices of Guy A. Relford announced the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of Benjamin A. Magenheimer against the City of Evansville, Indiana, and the Evansville Department of Parks & Recreation. The lawsuit is based on the defendants' violation of Ind. Code 35-47-11.1-2, which generally prohibits the regulation of "firearms" and/or the "carrying . . . of firearms" by a unit of local government.

On September 10, 2011, Mr. Magenheimer, his wife and four-month old child were enjoying an afternoon in the petting zoo ot the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Garden, owned and operated by the Evansville Department of Parks & Recreation. Mr. Magenheimer was lawfully carrying a handgun at the time, with his Indiana License to Carry Handgun in his possession. After a zoo employee apparently called police, Mr. Magenheimer was approached by four members of the Evansville Police Department, who first ordered him to conceal his firearm (which he had no legal obligation to do), then ordered him to leave the zoo property. When Mr. Magenheimer attempted to explain to the officers that their actions were illegal, the officers forcibly removed him from the property.

The actions of the EPD and zoo personnel clearly violate Indiana law, by enforcing an illegal policy regulating "firearms" and/or the "carrying . . . of firearms" by a unit of local government. As such, both the City and the DP&R are liable to Mr. Magenheimer for damages, attorney's fees, declaratory relief and injunctive relief.

The suit was filed with the Clerk of the Circuit and Superior Courts of Vanderburgh County in Evansville, Indiana.

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Also some discussion here.
 
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bobcat

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
167
Location
Great Lakes, , USA
Good for him. E'ville police have a reputation for general anti-liberty activity.

SB292, the preemption law is going to be challenged by stubborn city/county governments and the uninformed constabulary. The only choice is to take a brave stand and fight back like this fellow is doing. There needs to be a few of these won in court with significant $$ fines levied on the offending local gov't to stop this crap. Yes, that's taxpayer money, lawsuit insurance or not. That's the beauty of it. The citizens will hopefully be up in arms (pun?) about the stupidity of getting caught violating the law, losing a judgment and paying a sizeable fine. Local governments don't like being sued.

Liberty requires constant vigilance and SB292 gives folks the backing to get it done. Heck, even in OC 'paradise' Wyoming, where there is an iron clad preemption law, local governments frequently will attempt to challenge preemption. Pine Bluffs, Cody, etc.

We probably won't hear much until this goes completely through the court system. Hopefully, it won't be settled out of court. That risks sealed results, and minimizes the obvious victory.
 
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Schlitz

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
1,567
Location
Florida
The local paper has picked this story up, but nothing is reported about the lawsuit.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/sep/19/EV_zoo/

I was born and raised in IN, and frequently travel there, so I am always interested in what's going on in IN.
My favorite comment on that article:

jinxnweeds#5568 writes:

My wife and I both have permits to carry a hand gun. I believe in using discretion and carry it in a pocket, my wife in her purse. Packing it where it can be seen, defeats the purpose of having it in the first place.
LOLWUT!?
 

cce1302

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
270
Location
South Bend, Indiana, USA
Thanks for the info, griffin. Since the law went into effect I have open carried @ south Bend city parks where the local ordinance is still posted. Next summer I plan to OC when I take my kids to the zoo here & I would not be surprised to have an experience similar to the one in this story.



(also thanks for 'splaining your connection to Indiana :) )
 

bobcat

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
167
Location
Great Lakes, , USA
They've picked up on the lawsuit news now.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/sep/19/armed-man-escorted-zoo-police-sues-city-evansville/?partner=popular

Looks like Magenheimer should carry a voice recorder. It's going to be his word against the LEOs on creating a disturbance.
If Magenheimer was doing nothing illegal prior to police contact and that contact resulted in him being arrested, I don't believe the cops can charge him with 'creating a disturbance', as that would be one of those 'under color of law' situations. We know that 'disturbing the peace' or some such trivial charge is frequently used by cops to haul someone off the street when they have nothing else to charge them with, even if that 'disturbance' was actually caused and perpetrated by the cops themselves.

It would be interesting to clearly understand what the cops RAS was in detaining and eventually arresting Magenheimer. That probably won't come out until court...

Just sayin'
 

griffin

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
892
Location
Okemos, MI
There is an ongoing discussion about the case here that is up to 32 pages already. The attorney is also there. From what he has written I get the feeling he doesn't think the "disturbing the peace" thing is going to fly.
 
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cce1302

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
270
Location
South Bend, Indiana, USA
The idiocy of the whole matter strikes me as, well, idiotic.

A guy is walking around a zoo and his holstered handgun happens to be visible. Someone calls the police saying that he and/or she is freaked out (or some lame excuse) so instead of explaining that for many years now it has been legal for licensed gun owners in Indiana to carry firearms in public, and whether you can see them or not, they're still there, the police department sends 4 men with holstered handguns that are visible to anybody around.

Now if the original caller is truly freaked out at the sight of firearms (and not just a politically-driven jackwagon) would he and/or she not be quadruply freaked out when all these scary armed cops show up?
 

Titanium_frost

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
61
Location
Evansville, IN
Hey guys! Just checking in, I used to visit this site all the time when I was just starting to carry but I never joined the forum part of it. I felt like I should stop in and say "Hi!" In case you don't know I was the guy at the Zoo that day and we should know something about the case on Monday so I am very excited. Thanks for the support!

-Ben Magenheimer
 

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
Location
Valhalla
Hey guys! Just checking in, I used to visit this site all the time when I was just starting to carry but I never joined the forum part of it. I felt like I should stop in and say "Hi!" In case you don't know I was the guy at the Zoo that day and we should know something about the case on Monday so I am very excited. Thanks for the support!

-Ben Magenheimer
For some reason I skipped over this thread completely until today. Glad that I did not missout entirely.

From one trouble-maker to another - well met, sir and may good fortune smile upon you. Please come back next week and update us.

stay safe.
 

Titanium_frost

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
61
Location
Evansville, IN
Thanks! I don't even PLAN to be a trouble maker but I always stand my ground when bullied I guess. :lol:

I would be happy to fill you guys in as soon as I know something new.
 

vermonter

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
341
Location
, ,
Liberty requires constant vigilance and SB292 gives folks the backing to get it done. Heck, even in OC 'paradise' Wyoming, where there is an iron clad preemption law, local governments frequently will attempt to challenge preemption. Pine Bluffs, Cody, etc.
Cody is not part of Wyoming, neither is Jackson Hole. They belong to the "People's Republic if Kalifornia" because Wyoming PPL sold them land! Blame your neighbors like I do here in Vermont for selling out to Massachusetts!
 

Hoosierdood

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
4
Location
Lapaz (North Central)
If I'm not mistaken, we should know something within the next week. I believe the court date is set for March 6, although the outcome may not be determined right away. I'm sure Ben is busy with his lawyer right now, but hopefully he will post something soon.
 
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