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Old October 12, 2011, 07:53 AM   #1
johnbergsing
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Did I Do Right?

I'm honestly not sure what the laws are regarding this but I didn't want any trouble. We got a visit from a city cop earlier regarding an altercation between my 5 y/o and a neighbor. (The neighbor kid threw dirt into the back if my daughter's head and she turned around and kicked his rear end. The problem came after that when she threatened to shoot him with one of my guns.) Anyway, when I opened the door I immediately informed the officer I was carrying, I am going to cooperate and asked how he wanted to proceed. He asked me to unload it while he was there. My question is should have even said anything? I didn't want to find out how he'd react if he saw the weapon printing thru my shirt.
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:19 AM   #2
2damnold4this
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I think it's best to tell him upfront that you are carrying.
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:29 AM   #3
shortwave
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My question is should have even said anything
Legally...that depends on your state laws.

In Ohio,for now, if an LEO approach's you, you must inform.

At any rate, I've never been treated rudely for informing and would probably inform if it wasn't 'a must'.

Course, I don't live in Canton, Ohio.
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:33 AM   #4
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Wow, someone called the cops on that! Pretty cheesy. 5yo girls, the next big threat...
IMHO, you did the right thing. If the cop is there to deal with you on an issue, it's probably best that your concealed handgun not become a surprise to him at a later point. Opinions vary of course.
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Old October 12, 2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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Should have told him that next time, you will call them to charge the kid and claim SD by your daughter. And do it!
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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In the few interactions that I've had with LE, I've always told when I'm carrying and it's never been a problem. Idaho isn't a "must inform" state, but I figure that I'd rather have them know up front than have them catch a glimpse and be surprised. Speaking up early, I think, gets everybody's expectations set properly - the officer knows that I'm armed, but probably not dangerous and I know that the officer isn't going to react poorly to seeing a firearm.

Each time I've informed them, the officer asked if I had a CCW permit. None have actually asked to see it, they've just asked.

As far as calling the cops on your child, that sure seems like a case of overreaction. I remember that when I was a kid, if I came home complaining that somebody hit me, the first question was, "What did you do to make them hit you?" Funny thing, as I recall, nobody ever took a swing or a kick right out of the blue. There was always a reason.

I suppose that it's worth mentioning to your daughter that she shouldn't threaten to shoot anybody over something petty, but raising your children is your business, not mine.
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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johnbergsing,

No one can try to answer your question unless they know what state you live in. Just add it to your profile and it will show up.

What I can say: good for your daughter for standing up for herself. You do need to educate her, however, on how and when to talk about guns. I suspect you have already done that.
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:57 AM   #8
C0untZer0
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I've talked to my kids about this because I had an incident generated from my daughter' school.

My daughter was talking about guns at school and I got a call from the school nurse who lectured me on the dangers of having firearms in the home... whatever crap she read and bought into from whatever the brady camp put out.

How you handled the situation with the police officer is one aspect of this, but training our kids - not just the rules of safe firearms handling, but things you do and don't say concerning firearms (like threatening to shoot someone).

The school my kids attend have a very broad and very strict ZERO tolerance policy concerning weapons, and if a child threatens to shoot or stab another student - they are automatically suspended, pending a decision to reinstate.
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Old October 12, 2011, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
My daughter was talking about guns at school and I got a call from the school nurse who lectured me on the dangers of having firearms in the home... whatever crap she read and bought into from whatever the brady camp put out.
countzero

So you told the nurse about the Freakanomics article that showed that the statistical fact was it is safer to have guns in the house than to have a swimming pool in your back yard... Sorry, that's how I see that episode ending if I ever have that conversation.

Quote:
What I can say: good for your daughter for standing up for herself. You do need to educate her, however, on how and when to talk about guns. I suspect you have already done that.
motorhead

Yeah, I've had that conversation with my 5 year old also, but she'll still be 5 for, well, the rest of the year and I subscribe to the age of reason being 7--I am never sure what instructions take hold and when. Just gotta keep repeating.

I think you did fine. If I didn't know why an officer was paying me a surprise howdy-do, I would probably tell him/her if I were carrying and ask them how to proceed.
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Old October 12, 2011, 11:59 AM   #10
johnbergsing
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Believe me, my daughter got a lecture about not threatening anyone with any weapon. (But I am proud of my girl for kicking that boy's butt!)

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Old October 12, 2011, 01:33 PM   #11
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How old was the neighbors kid?

Too bad cops had to be involved...but thats this brave new world of ours.
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Old October 12, 2011, 01:41 PM   #12
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You did right to inform.
Cops are generally polite & civilized... unless surprised.

You also did right to "unforgetably educate" your daughter re firearms threat.
It will pay great dividends to you both downstream.
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Old October 12, 2011, 01:51 PM   #13
csmsss
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You didn't do wrong, but you were under no obligation to inform the cop you were armed, nor to unload your firearm nor to disarm yourself. You were in your own residence, and would have been well within your rights to tell the police officer to shove off, since he had neither a warrant, exigent circumstances, nor probable cause to enter your home.
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Old October 12, 2011, 03:40 PM   #14
WANT A LCR 22LR
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The OP did just fine. He established he was a calm, even tempered law abiding citizen willing to cooperate with a investigation. If the OP comes across as more even tempered than the person who made the call, he now has more credibility.

Doing what post 13 suggests just ramps up the situation with a combative attitude. What the cop asked for isn't extreme and isn't trampling anyone's rights.
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Old October 12, 2011, 03:51 PM   #15
hermannr
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The only problem I have is, if the officer is in my house, I would definately NOT unload my gun or disarm myself.

I would explain to him that as long as my firearm is in it's holster it is a danger to no-one. As soon as it is removed from it's holster, it becomes dangerous to everyone, loaded or unloaded.

If he insisted I unload, I would insist he disarm himself. After all, it is MY property he is on.
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Old October 12, 2011, 03:56 PM   #16
aarondhgraham
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Quote:
What the cop asked for isn't extreme and isn't trampling anyone's rights.
Well,,, Maybe,,,,,
The OP was in his own home after all.

Personally I believe John handled the encounter correctly,,,
If a cop came to my door in the same circumstances I too would want establish myself as cooperative.

But never forget that LEO's often assume authority they really do not have,,,
They get away with it because they are rarely challenged,,,
That Obstruction of Justice law is very open ended.

It's entirely possible that in a different type of situation,,,
I might have smiled and asked him to unload his pistol as well while he was in my home.

But overall I will second all thoughts that John handled himself well,,,
And made a good decision in a very unusual situation.

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Old October 12, 2011, 04:01 PM   #17
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Overall, I'd say that was the right move. Did you have to inform in your own home? Probably not. but best to err on the side of caution, especially due to the nature of the call.

Had you informed or had he noticed printing and you refused to disarm, how long until social services showed up you think?

Quote:
I might have smiled and asked him to unload his pistol as well while he was in my home.
I would pay to see the look on one's face if you asked that
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Old October 12, 2011, 05:58 PM   #18
csmsss
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FYI...a clarification. I thought I made this clear in my preface to the OP that he did nothing wrong, but apparently not.

My point wasn't to recommend that he treat the officer with hostility or even coldly. My point was and is that none of us is bound to supplicate ourselves before police officers - and especially not IN OUR OWN HOME just because they are police officers.

The OP acted with restraint and moderation and good judgement - and I commend him for that. But he wasn't obligated to do so. He had every right to tell the cop to scram.

I AM troubled by the cop asking him to unload his firearm in his own home. A better decision/request by the officer would have been to ask him to secure his firearm and meet the officer outside, which is where all of this should have taken place. The cop had no reason to enter the domicile other than to snoop around.
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Old October 12, 2011, 06:16 PM   #19
Aguila Blanca
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Some states require informing an officer if you are carrying whenever there is an official "contact." This would qualify, I think. If the OP does not live in a "must inform" state, I see no reason to do so when in your own residence.
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Old October 12, 2011, 06:18 PM   #20
csmsss
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I don't consider possessing a firearm in one's own home to be carrying.
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Old October 12, 2011, 06:23 PM   #21
Aguila Blanca
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If it's on your person, it's being "carried." If it's covered by clothing, it's being carried "concealed."

I have not read the laws of all those states that require notification, but those I have read did not differentiate between being in the carrier's home and being outside of ones own premises. The purpose of those laws is to protect (supposedly) the officers against a sneak attack by someone carrying a concealed weapon. The fact you are in your home doesn't invalidate the purpose and intent of the law.

If you ever have to try that argument in court, be sure to let us know how it turns out for you.
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Old October 12, 2011, 06:33 PM   #22
csmsss
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I don't agree with your logic - it implies that one needs a carry permit to possess a firearm in one's own home. That's absurd on its face.
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:28 PM   #23
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Some thoughts on rights, law, and moral authority...

Given the situation described by the OP, did he do right? Sure. Everything was handled, with neither escalation of the situation, nor hostility.

Was he right to do as he did? That's a different question. Lets look at it this way, cop comes to the door, investigating a complaint. You answer the door armed (As is your right). And (unless the law requires), out of courtesy you inform the officer you are armed. That is just simple common sense.

The officer cannot be certain just what he is walking into. He probably expects something ranging from calm discussion to an angry parent. Surprising him with a gun is a rather poor idea.

But you are in your own home, doing nothing illegal, and you don't have to do xxxx! True, under the law, BUT somethings are just good ideas, even when not required by law.

By asking the officer how he wanted things to proceed, the OP implies he will do as the officer asks, without objection. THis places the officer in control of the situation. Its a good way to avoid misunderstandings, BUT the officer may want you to do something you object to, or that you feel violates your rights. If he does, what then? You have already indicated that you agree he is in control, and refusal to obey instructions can trigger an undesirable reponse on the part of the officer, as he takes what steps he feels needful to retain, or regain control of the interaction.

There's no reason not to discuss things like adults, you do have rights, after all. BUT, after you indicate you will comply, not doing so is a very poor choice.

One can be respectful of the officer, and still be firm in asserting your rights. But there are limits to everything. Behaving as a calm rational individual gets you a lot further than anything else. If you get confrontational, and push things to the point of action/reaction (and you can do that verbally with some people) then you will lose more than you could gain. Possibly everything.

Sure, you have the right to tell the jack-booted thug in uniform he can't come in without a warrant. You can even tell him you will disarm when he takes it from your cold dead fingers. But if you go that route (even mildly) you are going to regret the outcome, most likely.

I know, I'm using extremes to illustrate my point, but really, how does it damage our rights and liberties to be reasonable and courteous. even if (or perhaps especially if) they are not being as well mannered as you are?

The officer may not have a choice on his reaction, there may be a dept policy about what he is required to do, when you inform him you are armed. Ever think of that? He might not be out to humiliate you and deny your rights, he might be just doing his job the way he is trained and required to. And most assuredly, thats the way he's viewing it, just doing his job.

There are all kinds of shades of grey involved, just as there are all kinds of individuals involved.

If you think an officer has gone overboard in his handling of a situation, complain to his supervisor, and on up the bureaucratic chain, if you need to. But do it afterwards, when everyone is calm, and (hopefully) rational.
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Old October 12, 2011, 09:02 PM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss
I don't agree with your logic - it implies that one needs a carry permit to possess a firearm in one's own home. That's absurd on its face.

Your over-thinking this a tad, says I.

If I said to you, "Are you carrying your wallet?" Would you say no? I wouldn't. You'd get a weird look and I'd say, "Yeah, why?"

Common usage of the word suggests that having your gun on your person is "carrying" your gun. I've never heard of any reason why it would be considered "carrying" in one place and not another.

Moreover, logic would seem to indicate the same.... If you're "carrying" while you walk up the sidewalk, and as you unlock your door and step inside, what sort of change has occurred that what WAS "carrying" is no longer "carrying"?

Whether or not you need a permit is irrelevant. I would suggest that you shouldn't need a permit at all, ever. That doesn't change the fact that "carrying" a gun is, literally, "carrying" a gun, permit or no, necessary or not.
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Old October 13, 2011, 07:30 AM   #25
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Don't know what state you are in and that probably gets into the legalsleeze of this all... so, I'll step around it.

No, I don't think you should have informed him you were carrying and I would not have complied with his request to unload the firearm... You were in your home.... you can actually legally (I think) ask him to disarm much more than he you... in your own home. If he shows up with paper work from a court, that's different.

Now, the thing to do in this kind of case is to be polite and cooperative... and assure the officer your daughter has no access to a gun. I'm sure he/she was doing their job and following up on a complaint.
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