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Old January 28, 2010, 03:01 PM   #1
kwikrnu
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open carry black powder pistol detention legal or not ?

Last Saturday 1-23-10 at around 5:15 pm I was detained for walking and carrying a navy percussion black powder pistol openly in my hand. It was a pietta 1851 navy .44 cal. The city was Belle Meade Tennessee. It is the exception to the city ordinance to carry an army or navy pistol openly in the hand. I was wearing reflective clothing as required by law. I was detained 15 minutes and let go. During the detention the cop searched the inside of my pockets. He also ran the serial # on the handgun to see if it was stolen. I think interior search of pockets and seizure of property are both illegal under Terry v Ohio.

I filed a public information request to get the in car video and audio. I filed a complaint against the three officers with the police department.

TCA 39-17-1314 allows cities to regulate firearms if their ordinances were in effect before April 8, 1986. The Belle Meade ordinance has been in effect for over 100 years.

Title 11 Chapter 6 part 602 is the ordinance which governs handgun carry in Belle Meade. Specifically states that the carry of pistols and revolvers is illegal "except the army or navy pistol which shall be carried openly in the hand."
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Old January 28, 2010, 03:10 PM   #2
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OMG! You are just asking for punishment here on this board!

Yes, the interior search of your clothing and the checking of the serial number of your gun were illegal under the 4th amendment.

Put on your fireproof suit, here comes the flaming! Against my better judgement I am going to subscribe to this thread, I know by tonight I will be sorry I subscribed.
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Old January 28, 2010, 03:17 PM   #3
kwikrnu
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I can handle it, and for the people who are going to make fun of my handgun it was the least expensive bp I could find. Pietta calls it a navy even though we all know that navies were .36 cal.

I can't believe I've been a member on the board for over 2 years, that is only seven posts per year.
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Old January 28, 2010, 03:36 PM   #4
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I still think you should have had all six chambers loaded. When you "unloaded" them, did the other five all go off the first time?
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Old January 28, 2010, 03:49 PM   #5
kwikrnu
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They all went off just fine.
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Old January 29, 2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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If I was going to carry a single action black powder revolver

I'd also leave the chamber in front of the hammer unloaded... If I was shooting the revolver for practice I'd load all six.

As for the original question and such... I guess you got a lot of time on your hands.

To throw the question out... and I expect you to 'man up'. were you doing this to attract attention and make a point? I have no knowledge of the specific laws of Tenn or the city you were in or the general attitude of your LEOs but I'm not surprised at what happened... and 15 minutes seems like a very short time... hell a damn traffic stop often takes longer than that.

As I understand it, once an LEO stops you for questioning... and they can do this just to ask who you are... then they can search you 'for their own protection." Yes all this is unconstitutional but I believe these days most judges will give them a pass on it.
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Old January 29, 2010, 12:40 PM   #7
kwikrnu
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Federal judges are usually tougher. It does depend upon the judge though.
Cops are not supposed to stop anyone they see. They may stop if they can articulate RAS. They cannot do an inside the pocket search w/o probable cause for a weapon. I didn't have anything in my pockets so I'm not sure how he had PC to inside my pockets.
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Old January 29, 2010, 12:49 PM   #8
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I fully support what you did. You were, in the end, just expressing your rights. I hope all goes well in your case.
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Old January 29, 2010, 12:52 PM   #9
Gary L. Griffiths
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I didn't have anything in my pockets so I'm not sure how he had PC to inside my pockets.
They had PC to search you because you had a gun in your hand! How were they to know that's the only gun you had?

You were just trying to test an obscure law, but were acting in a manner that I could only describe as bizarre.

Folks, this has been majorly discussed at http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread.php?t=415750 It includes a post by someone familiar with this fellow, who posted links to other questionable "activist" activities he's responsible for.
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Old January 29, 2010, 01:02 PM   #10
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I'm "familiar" with no one in that thread. My behavior was not "bizzare". I behaved as any normal person behaves. I carried in the manner prescribed by law. I didn't go out of my way to invite a confrontation. The cops approached me. Cops can do a terry frisk if they have RAS. To do an inside the pockets search they must have PC that the person has weapons. Since my pockets were empty how did they have pc for an inside the pockets search? How did they get PC to seize my handgun and run the serial number?
I wasn't breaking any law.
Cops can't stop drivers of fast cars and search the vehicle because they think the driver might go fast.
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Old January 29, 2010, 01:03 PM   #11
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You were technically right and the cops were wrong, but under the circumstances I think they did pretty well.

Your best bet IMHO is not to file a lawsuit (what were the damages?) but to continue to carry in the legally proscribed manor, drawing attention to the stupidity of the law -- get the city council to strike or rewrite the law out of embarrassment. (And if they rewrite it, it will be preempted by TN state law)

Quote:
My behavior was not "bizzare". I behaved as any normal person behaves. I carried in the manner prescribed by law. I didn't go out of my way to invite a confrontation.
Admit it, you an exhibitionist (call it a "performance art" installation and the liberal wienies will support you.)

Edit: I apologize for using the words "exhibitionist" and "wienies" in the same sentence. That was unintentional.
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Old January 29, 2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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Perhaps if you'd painted it orange, like you did the AK-47, you wouldn't have had this problem. Sorry you didn't make the evening news this time. By all means, keep trying. I'm sure the good people of Tennessee will thank you.

Quote:
To throw the question out... and I expect you to 'man up'. were you doing this to attract attention and make a point?
To those unfamiliar with this guy, that's exactly why he does it. Do a Google search on the user name.

Kwikrnu, if you're at all interested in changing an unjust law, can you provide documentation that you've been in any sort of contact with Belle Meade legislators? Have you participated in any sort of political activism?
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Old January 29, 2010, 01:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gary L. Griffiths
They had PC to search you because you had a gun in your hand! How were they to know that's the only gun you had?
HOWEVER, that search MUST be limited under the 4th amendment to a frisk of the OUTSIDE of the clothing only to check for weapons for the purposes of OFFICER SAFETY only! They had no RAS to believe that he had anything illegal in his pockets. Had the officer's known the actual city ordinance or if they did know it, chose to honor it, they would have no RAS even for a Terry Stop and thus, no right to even a frist of the outside of the clothing.

Now, if during that frisk for officer safety they feel something that they have cause to believe is a dangerous weapon, then they remove that item from the pocket. And if that item turns out to be a crack pipe, too bad, so sad, it is not admissable as evidence IF they had no RAS to begin with of illegal drug activitiy.
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Old January 29, 2010, 01:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Kwikrnu, if you're at all interested in changing an unjust law, can you provide documentation that you've been in any sort of contact with Belle Meade legislators? Have you participated in any sort of political activism?
The law is not, IMO, unjust. I do not live in Belle Meade and do not think anyone on the City council would listen to what I have to say. The 3000 residents of the town are affluent and make over $100,000/yr each. Carrying the handgun was political activism along with exercise.
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Old January 29, 2010, 09:17 PM   #15
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Ok - we're back. Let's keep it polite!
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Old January 29, 2010, 09:57 PM   #16
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If the recent Norfolk VA cases about arresting persons for open carry when it was not illegal are any indication the police at the most have an interest in stopping you to see if you do indeed have a Navy or Army pistol. Since you were found to be law abiding no further search would be warranted.

At the most your complaints are going to mean the law will be read to local police so they are aware of the law for carrying pistols. You might have some grounds for a suit if they had actually charged you not just detained you for a few minutes. It would have been better if the TN legislature had not left in the grandfather clauses, but legislation is often messy.

If you have the money for lawyers, carrying a Beretta 92 in the hand would be an interesting test case.
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Old January 29, 2010, 10:01 PM   #17
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wally626,

Quote:
If the recent Norfolk VA cases about arresting persons for open carry when it was not illegal are any indication the police at the most have an interest in stopping you to see if you do indeed have a Navy or Army pistol. Since you were found to be law abiding no further search would be warranted.
According to kwikrnu the police searched INSIDE his pockets AND ran the serial number of his gun, both of which WERE unwarranted and unconstitutional searches.
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Old January 29, 2010, 11:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
open carry black powder pistol detention legal or not ?
Dentention legal? Sure, until which time the officer determines that you are carrying a gun that is legal to be carried in such a manner. Without detaining you to determine what your gun is, the gun would appear to be one not allowed to be carried as per 11-602.

So the law states an army or navy pistol may be carried openly in the hand. Were you carrying an army or navy pistol? No, not exactly. You were carrying a Pietta replica of a Colt. The Piettas were never actual army or navy pistols such that are being referred to under the law.
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Old January 29, 2010, 11:26 PM   #19
kwikrnu
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All army and navy pistols were not all made by Colt. Many copies were made by the Confederacy. Since copies were legal in the 1870's copies are legal today.

However, if 140 year old pistols are the only ones allowed to be carried that amounts to a prohibition on handguns. Prohibitions of carry in Tennessee are unconstitutional. That was decided in Glasscock v Chattanooga in 1928.
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Old January 29, 2010, 11:45 PM   #20
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The law is not, IMO, unjust. I do not live in Belle Meade and do not think anyone on the City council would listen to what I have to say.
Then the question remains: why did you do this? What was it you hoped to achieve? You claim that carrying the gun was "activism." To what end?

Quote:
The 3000 residents of the town are affluent and make over $100,000/yr each.
That's 3000 very well-heeled individuals, who probably play golf with legislators and judges, who are now likely to have a less favorable opinion of people openly carrying. Let's not forget Don Ortega's adventures with the Colorado Springs city council, in which they ended up banning guns in public buildings because of his behavior.

There's a larger issue here, one which hearkens back to Chris Broughton and a certain "in your face" attitude at the outer borders of the open carry movement. I've heard it argued, though I find it hard to agree, that open carry is activism in and of itself.

That's one thing. "Pranking," as it were, is not only counterproductive but possibly destructive to what the open carry movement hopes to achieve. I'd be interested to know where the line is drawn and where responsible folks in the open carry movement see it.
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Old January 29, 2010, 11:50 PM   #21
kwikrnu
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
That's 3000 very well-heeled individuals, who probably play golf with legislators and judges...
You forgot former vice president Al Gore who lives there. The governor lives just down the road too.
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Old January 30, 2010, 02:11 AM   #22
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Tom Servo "Perhaps if you'd painted it orange, like you did the AK-47, you wouldn't have had this problem. Sorry you didn't make the evening news this time. By all means, keep trying"

He may make the evening news "MAN SHOT DEAD" carrying an orange AK47 & a black powder revolver "legally" in public...
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Old January 30, 2010, 07:10 AM   #23
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kwikrnu, of course legally you are right... but the problem

is .... is it worth the couple of hours it is going to cost you in court to prove your point... and keep in mind the cops and judge are all going to be getting paid while you argue this point... are you?

Do you think if you win and the cops are proved that they were wrong in detaining and searching you that they will be punished for this?
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Old January 30, 2010, 07:36 AM   #24
kwikrnu
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i think this may be worth my time. i'd also like to show a pattern of abuse.
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Old January 30, 2010, 08:40 AM   #25
m.p.driver
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Its fine to push the envelope and demand your rights,but dont be pis*ed

off when it goes bad.Walking through town with a weapon in your

hand?My reaction as an M.P. would have been to draw down on you with my M16 ,

praying that you do something stupid.After i had you on your belly spread

eagled,and made sure you didnt have any more weapons on you,i would

probably accidentally kick you in the bal*s during my search.Thats how

we used to display our displeasure at a troops unwise actions.

Hiking in the desert,out in the woods ,or camping, go ahead and strap it

on your side,strutting proudly down mainstreet with a 1858 in each

hand,just dont be surprised Mr.Josie Wales.This day and age LEO better safe than sorry.
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