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Old February 6, 2012, 01:26 PM   #76
pgdion
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If you are afraid of people with guns why are you on a gun board?
There's people with guns here?

... sorry, I couldn't resist. I did want to comment on this though

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When were his rights violated? I have the right to drive down the street, and if a cop pulls me over they are not violating my rights.
Actually they are violating your rights. That just can't pull you over for no reason and even more so, the reason to pull you over must be a primary offense (speeding, running a red light, weaving, reckless driving, ect. Secondary offense can only be addressed if they've pulled you over for a primary offense.

In Minnesota you need a permit to open carry or conceal so open carry can draw you extra scrutiny and hassles that you just don't want. In a state where no permit is required, then to me this is really out of line. There is no justification to detain or even question you. In fact you could argue the opposite is true ... who's going to open carry that isn't legitimate? If it's a bad guy, you can be sure the gun would be hidden. So now your down to he's just giving you a hard time because you are carrying. I'd complain (it's always good to push back).
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Old February 6, 2012, 01:30 PM   #77
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Well the cop certainly did nothing wrong by asking for the permit and ID. Cops are allowed to approach, make conversation, and fish for information. Anything you voluntarily give, whether it is an ID or a search, is on you. A lot of this could have been avoided if you just refused to give your ID over. If he made a fuss and detained you, I would have complied to his commands but made sure as many people as I could were witness to the fact that you were detained. From there, legal action could possibly be taken.

The only thing I saw that the cop did outside of the law was to say you couldn't leave after he said you weren't being detained.
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Old February 6, 2012, 01:31 PM   #78
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Indeed, in Texas we now have "no refusal" drunk driver checkpoints that randomly appear.
The debate about the constitutionality of DUI checkpoints is for another thread.

However I will say, that even at a no refusal DUI checkpoint, a LEO must demonstrate probable cause as to why he believed the suspect to be under the influence. In fact the testing and standard at a checkpoint is even more rigorous than on a regular traffic stop. Before, they can even ask if you want to blow in the breathalyzer, or submit to a forced, court ordered blood sample; certain strict standards must be met.

Also, DUI checkpoints and traffic stops in general are hardly analogous to a man minding his own business in Wal-mart.

Get in through your head people, the act of OCing IS NOT probable cause for anything.
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Old February 6, 2012, 02:08 PM   #79
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Indeed, in Texas we now have "no refusal" drunk driver checkpoints that randomly appear.
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The debate about the constitutionality of DUI checkpoints is for another thread.

However I will say, that even at a no refusal DUI checkpoint, a LEO must demonstrate probable cause as to why he believed the suspect to be under the influence. In fact the testing and standard at a checkpoint is even more rigorous than on a regular traffic stop. Before, they can even ask if you want to blow in the breathalyzer, or submit to a forced, court ordered blood sample; certain strict standards must be met.
Actually...I don't think that is the case at this point. I think PC is there, but they also randomly pull drivers - ala Homeland Security as well.


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Get in through your head people, the act of OCing IS NOT probable cause for anything.
I didn't say it was, but since we're there...
*I saw a person with a loaded firearm in a Walmart. This struck me as being strongly out of place.
*He did not appear to be a police officer, and I was suspicious that this might be incident to a robbery that was occurring or about to occur as has happened in several big box stores recently, so I decided to investigate. Upon further investigation I determined he wasn't. End of story.

I am not saying the OC is right. I was not there, and anything beyond a quick stop should have been sufficient. I could see the above statement being made though.

Last edited by zincwarrior; February 6, 2012 at 02:15 PM.
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Old February 6, 2012, 02:32 PM   #80
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IMHO No harm no foul.
If he is detained, he is out the time he is detained.

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If the LE saw an armed man how does he know he isn't a restricted person??
"If the LE saw a man driving on a Public street, how does he know that person has a license?"

Or, does he just pull over everybody at a whim, instead of having "articulable" probable cause?
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Old February 6, 2012, 07:04 PM   #81
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by zincwarrior
I didn't say it was, but since we're there...
*I saw a person with a loaded firearm in a Walmart. This struck me as being strongly out of place.
*He did not appear to be a police officer, and I was suspicious that this might be incident to a robbery that was occurring or about to occur as has happened in several big box stores recently, so I decided to investigate. Upon further investigation I determined he wasn't. End of story.

I am not saying the OC is right. I was not there, and anything beyond a quick stop should have been sufficient. I could see the above statement being made though.
The OP was in the checkout line. Open carry is legal.

"He did not appear to be a police officer" is devoid of meaning in the case under discussion. To repeat: OPEN CARRY IS LEGAL. One does not have to be a police officer to open carry in WV, therefore the fact the OP was open carrying offered nothing -- zip/nada/zero/rien/nichts/non niente -- to suggest any active or potential criminal activity.
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Old February 6, 2012, 07:43 PM   #82
Single Six
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Where to begin? I'm in my 23rd year of full time LE. I make a point of NEVER getting involved with enforcement activities while on my own time, unless we're talking about a violent felony in progress...and since I also make a point of staying out of my jurisdiction while on my own time, the odds of me feeling compelled to intervene are very low. Another thing: PLEASE don't make the assumption that everyone who wears a badge acts the same way this putz did. Those who do were jerks before they ever put the uniform on! Quite a few of us go out of our way to treat everyone we deal with as we'd like to be treated, and that attitude has served me exceptionally well for all of my career. Meanwhile, I'd make a complaint to his department. If you make enough noise, they'll find out who he is and address what happened.
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Old February 6, 2012, 11:19 PM   #83
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Update From The Sheriff

I fired an email off to the Sheriff today. I pretty much just pasted what I typed in my OP albeit edited for spelling and grammatical mistakes. I also CC'd the mayor in it. The mayor responded back within 5 minutes of me sending the email. She wanted me to call her ASAP. She was very polite and informed me that the city of Ripley (Wal-mart location) had nothing to do with it and that it was the Sheriff's ball game. I did find it interesting to hear her say "Thank God it wasn't one of our officers!"

The email I received is as follows:

"Mr. Speedycat,

Your email is my first notice of this incident. I believe my Chief Deputy has been made aware of the incident by the officer involved. While I am fully aware of the open carry law in West Virginia, I still find it a little unusual for someone to openly display a weapon in a store such as Wal-Mart. All that aside, I will accept a formal complaint about the incident, and deal with it accordingly, when a formal complaint is made. To do that, I will require that you contact my office, set up an appointment with either my chief deputy or me where we can discuss the incident in detail. If you live outside the county and will be unavailable for further discussion, I’ll accept your email as the formal complaint, and deal with it just as it is written. I do not take this matter lightly, and do not agree with the actions of my officer if they are as detailed in your email. However, I will remain open-minded until I can hear both sides of this story. Please advise what further action you request on my part. Thank You.

-Jackson County Sheriff"


I will ask that he accept the email as the complaint. Where this incident took place is a bit of a drive from where I live so scheduling a meeting would be difficult.

Most of you may have noticed I've been rather quiet in this thread. Since this may very well be a pending legal issue, I have decided it best to keep a low profile and keep my mouth shut. It has a history of getting me into trouble. However, I have been reading each response and have taken most of your advice to heart. I look forward to hearing more as to how I should respond and where I should go from here.

Last edited by speedycat; February 6, 2012 at 11:34 PM.
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Old February 7, 2012, 12:10 AM   #84
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I really would not have cared that much to begin with. But since you started it you may as well finish it. I'd be real careful about what you say. The officer in question will certainly have a good story put together by now, unless he was a rookie in which case they might just beat on him a little and let it go.
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Old February 7, 2012, 07:46 AM   #85
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I know I would be tracking down the identity of this deputy, and exploring my legal options against him. What he did appears to be so wrong on so many levels, but then we don't know the whole story.
I think if this had happened to me, in the setting described, I would also contact a lawyer. But I would ask the lawyer to send the Deputy a letter stating it was legal for me to carry, what recourse I could have against the deputy and the department and then ask for an appoligy from the deputy and the sherrif. I really do not think I would try to sue.


I remember a case I was involved with. We were doing searches at the gate of a military installation. I asked a guy "Whats in the bag?" and he showed me what was in the bag. He had a whole lot of things in his bag he should not have had. His lawyer tried to claim illegal search, but the military lawyer said that would not fly, because I asked him "Whats in the Bag?" instead of "Show me whats in the Bag."

Sometimes, how you ask a question is just as important as what you ask.
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Old February 7, 2012, 11:02 AM   #86
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While officers can make contact and engage in "small talk" ("fish for information" as one poster put it), I see nothing that indicates that the officer developed further information which would have warranted extending the contact with the OP. (Granting the fact that I have only seen one side of the story.) It's very hard to make a case for reasonable suspicion, based on clearly articulable facts, when the articulable facts all consist of activities that are entirely legal.
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Old February 7, 2012, 03:16 PM   #87
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I'd recommend getting an android phone or similar. Click an app, record the conversation. If there's any funny business you can nail them to the wall.
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Old February 7, 2012, 05:48 PM   #88
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Great topic. I wouldn't OC. But this topic is very thought provoking! Why do people open carry? Mostly because they "can"? It has to draw lots of attention from other civilians and police as well. I suppose I wouldn't open carry even if I could to not attract negative attention and also not to be more open to an attacker taking my openly displayed weapon. If I could open carry and didn't am I at a loss of losing my right because im not exercising it?
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Old February 7, 2012, 06:08 PM   #89
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The real question here is are you going to stick to your guns and OC to the police station? I can't help but wonder if that is a sound idea.
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Old February 7, 2012, 06:23 PM   #90
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And, we're off topic.

Speedycat got detained for open carry. His detention doesn't pass the Terry Stop smell test. Fortunately, he was not arrested and did not have to retain legal counsel. His communication with the officer's superior appears to be having an effect.

All in all, a bad situation turned into an opportunity. Speedycat, if you hear anything further, feel free to start a new thread. Unfortunately, this one has outlived its usefulness.
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