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Old August 15, 2010, 05:05 PM   #1
DarkRayz
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Carrying rifle into retail store open to public

Dude walked into a retail store carrying an AK. Store is auto parts store. His demeanor was not overtly threatening....no mask, etc. He just walks in holding the gun casually (not indexed on trigger). Before anyone reactss he sets it on the counter and asks for brake fluid. Belatedly folks realize there is no mag in the weapon. When asked he says he had stuff stolen from his car before, and decided he'd bring it inside so no one would pinch it from his door-less jeep.

Granted not having a case for it is totally incorrect on many levels....but my q was, if this chap strides into a store like that, what is legal response? Do you wait to judge his intentions. Is there law to address his or an armed citizen in the store? Kinda easy in an open carry state to agree a holstered pistol is a non-issue. But an AK in hand walking into store?

Riding buddy describes this happening in NM years back...

Thx

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Old August 15, 2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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In many states (TX being one I believe), it's perfectly legal to carry a rifle in public, loaded or not. HOWEVER, there may be other ordinances wherein the carry of a longarm constitutes making a public disturbance - so it really depends upon the laws of the city, county and state, and, to a lesser extent, on the degree of public nuisance/apprehension you caused.
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Old August 15, 2010, 06:23 PM   #3
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IMO if the guy doesn't want to buy a lock box or at least some doors for his jeep then he should spend a few bucks for a sling so he doesn't carry it in his hand. Seems like a bad situation waiting to happen.
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Old August 15, 2010, 06:34 PM   #4
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That's a pretty poor excuse for what he did...

Put the gun in a locked Pelican case and lock the case to the roll bar of the Jeep. It'll only take you 5-10 mins to get what you need in the store and get out...

Or he could just put some doors on his ride...
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Old August 15, 2010, 06:59 PM   #5
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All in all.... Probably not the brightest idea. For any reason.
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Old August 15, 2010, 07:14 PM   #6
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Guys,

Now it's no biggie to walk into a gun shop, heck lots of people bring rifles and hoglegs there, but an auto-parts store?

Here in Texas, walking into a store that is NOT a gun shop, or pawn shop that carries guns, with an AK-47 and you at the minimum will see a few cops shortly.

And if someone with a CHL is there they will be eyeing you just to make sure you are not a nut job about to go postal. Just way many good people have CHLs here in Texas, unlike say New York, and waving a AK will start the ball rolling.

And what will the cops say? A) distrubing the peace, B) A psychological examination is in order, C) they need to hold your for questioning.

Unless you are well known in that store, and known to bring in that AK, I'd say you are in for a free ride to jail. And if you do start waving that AK around, it may be the last time you do.

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Old August 15, 2010, 07:59 PM   #7
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San Antonio has a local law against rifle carry. It may not be constitutional under the state constitution but hasn't been tested to my knowledge. It was designed to bust gang members who cruised around with cheap SKS guns.

The police spokesman says they will enforce it.

Walk into a store with a long arm or a business, and a competent gun carrier will not go - Hurrah, hurrah for the RKBA. They will be going to Condition Orange to shoot you.
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Old August 15, 2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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Legal or not...

My personnel belief is that a sling should be used. Hands free, or "Safe let it hang" is not a threatening demeanor.
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Old August 15, 2010, 09:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for the thoughts. Sounds the answer to the question "is that legal?" is it depends. I've gotten skittish hearing about nut jobs showing up at their former job and smoking everyone in sight. So, when my buddy described this he pointed at me and said "Okay, Mr. Just-Got-Your -CCW, what is your response? Draw and scream at him to put the rifle down? Shoot him where he stands? Ignore him? "

I figured the two extremes were wrong answers...ignoring him or shooting outright. .my buddy fancies himself the guru on the mountaintop sometimes, but here I admit I didn't know what I'd do, so the what if game is educational.

Sounds like the scenario as over-simplified has no clearcut right or wrong, but knowing the local law about carrying rifles would be good to know.

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Old August 15, 2010, 11:50 PM   #10
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Legal? In GA, yes. Foolish? Assuredly.

As a Jeep Wrangler owner for 14 years, I understand the man's dilemma. There is just simply no good way to lock a soft-top jeep.

It does become a problem sometimes if the Jeep is your only ride. As much fun as Jeeps are, they do present some unique problems. At least with a regular convertible, you can always just lock something in the trunk.

When carrying any valuables, but especially firearms, I plan my trips so as to avoid having to stop anywhere. It's a pain, but it's the responsible behavior.

If it was unavoidable to stop (suddenly needed brake fluid, for instance) I would either just risk it for a few minutes, or walk into the front of the shop, remain where I could see my vehicle, and ask if an employee could grab a can of brake fluid for me because I have some valuable items in an open vehicle that I need to watch.

I certainly wouldn't just walk into an auto-parts store carrying a rifle.

If I was in an auto parts store and someone walked in carrying a rifle, the next sound you heard would be the alarm on the fire exit going off. I would also hope that the employees had tripped the silent alarm if so equipped.

Having said that, I was in a gun store this afternoon when a man walked in carrying a shotgun... no alarm went off in my mind, it's an expected behavior.

Drawing on the guy would not be defensible unless you felt your life was in danger, and may well result in jail time for you.
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Old August 16, 2010, 07:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Put the gun in a locked Pelican case and lock the case to the roll bar of the Jeep.
I would reccomend a metal case not plastic. Hacksaws and hacksaw blades are very common in a car thief's tool belt. They cut through plastice pretty derned fast.
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Old August 16, 2010, 08:38 AM   #12
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I think you are close to where I am...
In Arizona, yep, perfectly legal, but I certainly agree, the guy needs a sling. Tell him to drive over to I-10 where the WalMart is and grab a $10 sling while he's out and about.
I have a covert rifle case I can use if I don't want to leave my rife in the car. It looks nothing like a gun case, and doesn't alarm the Calirefugees we get flooding through here. Heck, with the law change, AK man should get a folding stock plus a tennis racket bag, and stuff it in there. Might look odd carrying a tennis racket bag in AutoZone, but it beats having someone get highly nervous.
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Old August 16, 2010, 08:38 AM   #13
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In Indiana, we are very "gun relaxed"; though we, as a general rule, don't suffer fools well, especially if they are armed.
Some time ago, probably a year or two, I went home to see my family. I stopped for gas in the single gas station located in town. I went inside for a drink and saw a customer walking the aisles with a shotgun slung rearward on his shoulder (perfectly legal here). I walked up to him and asked him in a friendly tone, "What'cha got there?"
He heard, "I noticed you have a gun. It has interested me for both intrinsic and carnal reasons. Please tell me more."
"Stoeger 12 guage. Going deer hunting. Buddy's picking me up in a minute."

Perfectly reasonable in my neck of the woods. He wasn't scaring anybody. He was just picking up a case of Mtn. Dew and a few cans of chew. We had a nice conversation about shotguns and he went on his way. Turns out he had walked there to buy some drinks and didn't have a car of his own.


DarkRayz:
You are very correct. Extremes are, well, extremes. There is always a middle ground and it's most often the path you should tread. From the sound of it, you're well on your way to doing all you can to debunk your buddy's extreme firearm attitude.
The only real answer to this question is that it depends on where you are and the climate you are in. If I told my story to someone in Manhattan, they'd lose their minds. Chicago... !

But here in the midwest, people tend toward a little different attitude. I don't advocate carrying AK's around with you everywhere, but I'm not going to freak if I see one where I live, if the person is behaving civil, has proper muzzle control, and has it slinged like they should. I may speak to them about it to ensure there is no malice intended, but I'm worlds away from "Shoot on sight." I am somewhere between my usual "condition yellow" and my elevated "condition orange"... we'll call it "Condition Macaroni and Cheese". If that muzzle comes down or I see a lowered brow or hear a raised voice thought, my hand is clearing my garment while I come along to "Condition Burt Sienna".

The correct answer to just about any practical firearms question involving action, reaction, tactics, selection, or attitude should be and will always be...
"It depends".

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Old August 16, 2010, 08:41 AM   #14
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Legal or not is not the issue. It can shake up a lot of people.
Juging demeanor is not possible for the average layman.
Looking calm means nothing.
What he did was just plain stupid.
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Old August 16, 2010, 08:53 AM   #15
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Legal or not is not the issue. It can shake up a lot of people.
Juging demeanor is not possible for the average layman.
Looking calm means nothing.
My views differ. Legal is clearly the issue. If someone is within their rights... then they are within their rights. You are therefor NOT within your rights by refusing them. Granted the auto store is private property and if the proprietors don't like the behavior, they can refuse him service and insist that he leaves, but they sure can't call the police and expect to charge him if he has the right to do so.

And judging demeanor is one of the most natural and basic skills that every human possesses; layman or not, not to mention nearly every other species in the animal kingdom. It's evolutionarily relevant. Ask a psychologist, it is something we learn when we are infants. If you can't tell that someone is threatening or welcoming with their demeanor, speech, actions, and/or body language, then you aren't paying close enough attention. Or any attention. We aren't talking about profiling a person at first glance, we are looking for situationally obvious intent, which most of the time should be completely benign. Take an image of someone intimidating you with a gun, then take away the gun. Chances are, they still appear intimidating. Take someone completely benign that's shopping for soda, and sling a shotgun over their shoulder, do they suddenly become intimidating and frightning? Logically they shouldn't, unless you have an irrational assumption about the kind of people who are inclined to possess weapons, or simply are not acclimated to seeing them in everyday environments.

Just some thoughts, no malice intended.
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Old August 16, 2010, 10:37 AM   #16
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I disagree - as a psychologist - carrying an open weapon in a position easily convertible to a firing one - is a prime warning cue for aggressive action.

The action was stupid.
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Old August 16, 2010, 11:22 AM   #17
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My opinion "Bad Idea"!
Who knows what the person is up to, could be a nut job, how could anyone tell?
I would have been quite alert to anything he was doing, and I do not think it is a good image for gun rights!!!
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Old August 16, 2010, 11:37 AM   #18
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Nope

Just because he can doesn't mean he should.

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Old August 16, 2010, 11:41 AM   #19
chris in va
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Quote:
Riding buddy describes this happening in NM years back...
Keep this in mind before posting guys. No need to 'correct' his action like it happened yesterday.
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Old August 16, 2010, 01:17 PM   #20
Onward Allusion
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my thoughts?

...So much potential grief could be avoided by a $20 soft case.

Quote:
DarkRayz
Carrying rifle into retail store open to public
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Old August 16, 2010, 02:35 PM   #21
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Only a real dumbass would do something like that. I don't care if its an AK or a Remington 700. This guy needs to get the Darwin Award.
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Old August 16, 2010, 02:50 PM   #22
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This reminds me of another rights usage. It is legal to stroll around here as long as you cover your butt and weenie. Thus, a guy put on a flesh colored thong and rode his bike through the affluent neighborhoods for shock value.

If Mr. Thong rode up to the school yard, would you be concerned or congratulate him on his application of the First Amendment?

What if Mr. Thong slung an AR on his back and started to stroll down your street? Call the cops or have a Constitution party!

Are we now convinced that our guy in the OP was foolish?
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Old August 16, 2010, 03:03 PM   #23
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I often take my AR when I drop by ernies auto and gun emporium.....

parts is parts

brake fluid? was it stuck or jammed up? what is the best brake fluid for an AK anyway?
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Old August 16, 2010, 03:59 PM   #24
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I agree with Glenn Meyer. Carrying a loaded combat-style rifle that is not locked in a case into a store or other building where you would normally expect to interact with strangers is legal in many places. It's also a *bleep* fool thing to do. "Legal" and "smart" are unrelated attributes.
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Old August 16, 2010, 04:03 PM   #25
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As much as I respect the right of anyone to defend themselves, walking into a retail establishment with a rifle at the ready is not an appropriate action. He picked his weapon, and he picked one that cannot be readily concealed. He picked his car, and he picked one that could not secure a firearm. He could have decided to purchase a lock box, cable, or other device to secure his firearm, but he chose not to. So as a result of all his choices he expects me to welcome him onto my private property where I am responsible for the safety of myself, my staff, and my other clients.

Nope. I have some freedoms, too. I am not responsible for the consequences of another's poor decisions. The answer, at my firm, is that he would be refused service and asked to leave. Any hesitation on his part to comply will result in a call to 911. All communication with him will take place with a handgun in hand and held discretely so as not to be seen. Why? This guy already has shown extremely poor judgment, and I have to wonder what he is going to do next.

What would happen if the guy stopped at a bank with the same story?
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