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Old February 27, 2013, 11:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: January 9, 2009
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Utah hb 268

I've been getting emails and Facebook posts asking me to support this.
I'm undecided right now.

Section 3 seems to be a good idea so some guy that decides to open carry can avoid arbitrary harassment.
Sections 1a and 1b (i) bother me some. To me it sounds like too much could be left to interpretation by the officer or complainant. Kinda sounds like a cop could show up because you are open carrying, tell you to leave, and then charge you.

I'm looking for some other insights before I say yay or nay. Any thoughts?
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Old February 28, 2013, 12:40 AM   #2
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Disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace are the modern iterations of the common law offense of going riding armed with dangerous or unusual weapons to terrify the king's subjects.

This offense could be committed in two ways:

Carrying a weapon whose only purpose was to terrify.

Carrying a weapon in such a manner intending to or knowing it would cause fear in a person of reasonably firm mind.

Many courts have misinterpreted this language and offense as prohibiting a large class of very dangerous weapons. On the contrary this was a crime of intent. If carrying a weapon whose only purpose is to terrify this is pretty good evidence that one intends to terrify. The other way of committing the offense requires that the perpetrators intent be proven.

The courts were clear that the mere carrying of arms was insufficient to committ the offense. In affirming a conviction for the common law offense of carrying dangerous and unusual weapons because the defendant displayed malicious intent or purpose the North Carolina Supreme Court cautioned “although a gun is an "unusual weapon," it is to be remembered that the carrying of a gun per se constitutes no offence.” State v. Huntly, 25 N.C. 418, 422-23, (1843).

It seems to me that this bill would adopt and codify a very old common law offense that seems to make sense.
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