First Confrontation While Open Carrying

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Caenus » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:49 pm

Rugger wrote:Ever heard of a guy being charged with a firearms related felony, and having every last bit of his property being returned, after being held over 24 hours and having to post a $25k bail?

This is a related case, but probably not worth starting a whole other thread. Background..... In Texas, we can't open carry a pistol (long story, but no politics), but it's legal to open carry a rifle. It's been like this since forever, and there are no laws restricting it in any way, other than a Disorderly Conduct charge, if it is "displayed with the intent to cause alarm." This has been interpreted by case law to mean pointing it at someone or waving it around, but many LEOs don't know this. They just know that if they get a 911 call, it's game on. I'm a part of a recently formed group, Open Carry Texas, and we regularly do open carry walks/events. They've been around for less than a year, and you can find us on facebook. We do our best to not be confrontational with police, and almost always call them beforehand, usually speaking to the shift leader or chief so we can give them a heads up. If they have any questions, we have info already printed up and available for them to look at and verify if they want. 90% of departments are very cooperative. Right now, we are taking pictures, with our rifle, in front of police stations and sheriff departments around Texas. We go in before hand and let them know what we'll be doing, and answer any questions they might have. Again, we're not trying to be dicks, just educate and work WITH various departments to educate them, and the public.

That being said, we just had a guy arrested in McAllen, TX, on last Wednesday, the 7th. He showed up at the police station, went inside WITHOUT his rifle, let them know what he was going to do, and asked if they had any questions or wanted to come out there with him. Mind you, he had already been to 5 other LEO stations earlier that day, without any problems, and even posing with officers in several pictures. He was promptly searched, without probable cause, and told to leave. He left, spoke to our lawyer, and decided to turn back around so that he could file an official complaint. He called them to let them know that he was returning, why he was returning, and asked who he needed to speak with. When he arrived, he never made it out of his truck. He was greeted at gunpoint by several officers, and promptly arrested. Again, his rifle never left the case inside of his truck. He was first charged with disorderly conduct, but since he never took the rifle out, they dropped that one. Then it was criminal trespass, but since a police department parking lot is public property, this was dropped as well. They settled on A Weapon in a Prohibited Area. This is problematic, since he was never in the building, and the parking lot does not qualify as the building. He was released on a $25k bond and had all property returned (pocket knife, rifle, ammo, truck, camera, and phone).

This past Saturday about 70-90 folks showed up at the police station, all open carrying rifles. It was the most deserted police station I have ever seen. We didn't see a single cop there the whole time. The charges still haven't been dropped, even though all evidence/property has been returned. They are trying to use it as leverage in getting him to agree not to file a suit against the city.

The point of this post..... Some LEOs that don't know the law tend to take it poorly (contempt of cop) when you attempt to educate them. And I'm not talking about screaming at them on the street while you're in the middle of it, but doing it in a way that isn't in public and on their own turf; and when they make a mistake, the way they tend to compound the issue and back each other up in the bad decision. I don't know if the problem just SEEMS more prolific now because of access to the internet; if people are just becoming more informed of their rights and standing up to LEOs; or if officers are really overstepping their bounds this frequently, possibly due to lack of education, or improper education.
I think that is a very relevant story as compared to the OP story. Even though our OP was never actually arrested. What stands out to me is that you said 90% of the police departments cooperate and some even take pictures, then there is a near disaster story like this. Relatively speaking, the OP's story showed that the cop was wrong through lack of knowledge, and made sure to verify the information he was working on before escalating. In your story, obviously the police (whomever was in charge or driving the events) did not care what was legal, they were working off of what they wanted to do. In Ruggers story, I would definately go full lawyer-ed up...that situation is like a golden lottery ticket. No sense having a conversation because in that case the Police went straight to "I am the law...you will submit to my authority" and actually seemed to spring a trap. In my experience with the Officers I know, if they see someone about to do something to get them in trouble, or tell them what they are about to do and the Officer knows there will be potential legal issues...they tell them. It's not just about that "AHA! GOT YA!" It should be about preventing crimes...especially when the act itself is not a crime!
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Rugger » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:36 pm

Caenus wrote:
Rugger wrote: :words:
I think that is a very relevant story as compared to the OP story. Even though our OP was never actually arrested. What stands out to me is that you said 90% of the police departments cooperate and some even take pictures, then there is a near disaster story like this. Relatively speaking, the OP's story showed that the cop was wrong through lack of knowledge, and made sure to verify the information he was working on before escalating. In your story, obviously the police (whomever was in charge or driving the events) did not care what was legal, they were working off of what they wanted to do. In Ruggers story, I would definately go full lawyer-ed up...that situation is like a golden lottery ticket. No sense having a conversation because in that case the Police went straight to "I am the law...you will submit to my authority" and actually seemed to spring a trap. In my experience with the Officers I know, if they see someone about to do something to get them in trouble, or tell them what they are about to do and the Officer knows there will be potential legal issues...they tell them. It's not just about that "AHA! GOT YA!" It should be about preventing crimes...especially when the act itself is not a crime!
Yes, in this case it is exactly a, "I am the law...you will submit to my authority," type of issue. Three reps met with the chief on Saturday, and he was in full damage control mode. Lots of media, both local print and TV, as well as Univision. The guy that was arrested did pretty much get handed the proverbial golden lottery ticket. It'll be at least over a mil if they go to trial. Unfortunately, the pocket book is the only way to really grab the attention of some departments, and cities. Thankfully, most incidents that we see are cleared up with a phone call between the chief and the attorney, and a handshake and literature handed out after the fact. This is only the second bad experience we've had. The first was by the guy that started it, CJ Grisham. His is on youtube. (see video below) The charges with him have been dropped down to walking on the wrong side of the road, and no sign of the city backing down.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by hawk55732 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:10 pm

Rugger wrote:
Caenus wrote:
Rugger wrote: :words:
I think that is a very relevant story as compared to the OP story. Even though our OP was never actually arrested. What stands out to me is that you said 90% of the police departments cooperate and some even take pictures, then there is a near disaster story like this. Relatively speaking, the OP's story showed that the cop was wrong through lack of knowledge, and made sure to verify the information he was working on before escalating. In your story, obviously the police (whomever was in charge or driving the events) did not care what was legal, they were working off of what they wanted to do. In Ruggers story, I would definately go full lawyer-ed up...that situation is like a golden lottery ticket. No sense having a conversation because in that case the Police went straight to "I am the law...you will submit to my authority" and actually seemed to spring a trap. In my experience with the Officers I know, if they see someone about to do something to get them in trouble, or tell them what they are about to do and the Officer knows there will be potential legal issues...they tell them. It's not just about that "AHA! GOT YA!" It should be about preventing crimes...especially when the act itself is not a crime!
Yes, in this case it is exactly a, "I am the law...you will submit to my authority," type of issue. Three reps met with the chief on Saturday, and he was in full damage control mode. Lots of media, both local print and TV, as well as Univision. The guy that was arrested did pretty much get handed the proverbial golden lottery ticket. It'll be at least over a mil if they go to trial. Unfortunately, the pocket book is the only way to really grab the attention of some departments, and cities. Thankfully, most incidents that we see are cleared up with a phone call between the chief and the attorney, and a handshake and literature handed out after the fact. This is only the second bad experience we've had. The first was by the guy that started it, CJ Grisham. His is on youtube. (see video below) The charges with him have been dropped down to walking on the wrong side of the road, and no sign of the city backing down.
I remember this guy. It was discussed quit extensively on another forum I go on. Do you have a link or anything with an update on his story? It would be much appreciated.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by ODA 226 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:08 am

The following is an example of how some police officers try to cloud legal procedure and case law with "concerns", "public safety" and "common practices". This is also a textbook example on how to "shut-down" the officer's bullshit.



Notice as soon as the OC'er in this video quotes US v. DeBerry: "A firearm where legally carried, CANNOT be the only cause for reasonable suspicion to effect a stop.", the supervisor immediately releases the OC'er. Reasoning? They had no LEGAL reason to stop the guy in the first place. The same is true with Whackpack's incident.

A lot can be learned from Whackpack7's experience. If Whackpack had shut the police down the way the guy in the video had, we wouldn't be having this debate.

Ask if you are being detained and why. If the officer says you're not being detained, say "Thank you. Have a nice day." Then LEAVE. Don't engage in casual conversation. The officer is not there to be your friend. Do not consent to searches or seizures. Only present ID when you are legally obligated.

ABOVE ALL, EDUCATE YOURSELF AS TO THE LAW, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and DON"T ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE INTIMIDATED BY THE POLICE IF YOU HAVE NOT COMMITTED A CRIME AND ARE GOING ABOUT YOUR LEGAL BUSINESS.

I'm not posting this to bash police officers. I was one and most of my close friends are police officers. However, it is the few cops that "make the law up as we go along" that I have issues with. That being said, 99% of officers that I worked with are good people that genuinely have the citizenry's best interests at heart.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Spd164 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:56 am

ODA 226 wrote:
A lot can be learned from Whackpack7's experience. If Whackpack had shut the police down the way the guy in the video had, we wouldn't be having this debate.

Ask if you are being detained and why. If the officer says you're not being detained, say "Thank you. Have a nice day." Then LEAVE. Don't engage in casual conversation. The officer is not there to be your friend. Do not consent to searches or seizures. Only present ID when you are legally obligated.

ABOVE ALL, EDUCATE YOURSELF AS TO THE LAW, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and DON"T ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE INTIMIDATED BY THE POLICE IF YOU HAVE NOT COMMITTED A CRIME AND ARE GOING ABOUT YOUR LEGAL BUSINESS.

I'm not posting this to bash police officers. I was one and most of my close friends are police officers. However, it is the few cops that "make the law up as we go along" that I have issues with. That being said, 99% of officers that I worked with are good people that genuinely have the citizenry's best interests at heart.
I can agree 110% wholeheartedly with this. Unfortunately, part of being a responsible citizen is knowing the law as it pertains to what you are doing, because you cannot always count on someone else to know it for you. Cops are people. There are good ones and bad ones sure, but most are just an average mixture of good and bad who are just trying to get through the day and do the right thing as much as possible.

ODA's advice is good here. Educate yourself in the law as it pertains to what you find yourself doing daily. If you find yourself in a situation that you KNOW is unconstitutional, say so. Remain polite and courteous, but firm. I would also add the caveat that should it come down to being issued orders after you have questioned the situation, comply with the orders even if you believe they are unlawful. I would hate to see someone get hurt needlessly based on the advice they received here. Also realize that sometimes things are not always as they seem, and maybe the officer stopping you does have a legitimate reason that he is not at liberty to discuss with you immediately. In other words, as in everything, temper your decisions with common sense.

It is in court, not on the street, where these battles should be fought. In court it will be the burden of the officer to prove that they had a reason to stop you, to prove that they had reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or that their actions were justified. Even if no charges are filed against you after what you feel is an unlawful detention, if you feel strongly enough about it you can consult with an attorney and file a civil suit.

I can honestly say that slowly but surely, the awareness regarding gun laws is increasing, at least in my bailiwick. There have been additions in recent years to the annual legal updates specifically addressing the legalities of open carry, and the proper way of dealing with calls and interactions regarding such. As a result, I get the general (and this is entirely subjective here) impression that OC in at least my area (greater Pittsburgh area) is much more well known about in the minds of officers than it was five years ago. I know that my department, and surrounding agencies, have all had positive interactions with people who are open carrying. Awareness is increasing, due partly to the efforts of people like ODA in raising the issue and spreading the word.

The thing is that I would never advocate carrying a gun in order to make a statement. While admirable in intent, I just can't justify putting one's self at what I believe is a tactical disadvantage in order to do so. More power to those that can justify it, but I just can't get behind the idea, personally.

I'm still interested in hearing what other attorney's say regarding the OP's story. Mostly, I would like to hear specific reasons why the interaction between the OP and the officers would be considered an investigatory detention. I understand that DarkAxel's attorney said that he felt that it was, but I really would like to understand why. The fact that the OP did not feel free to leave is not something I'm missing, it's just that legally speaking, I maintain that there needs to be facts that are presentable in order to cause a reasonable person to feel that way. That's been my only point of contention all along. I just want to understand the why of this encounter being considered a detention, if in fact it is.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by biggcarl » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:24 am

Rosicrucian wrote:I like the open carry idea, it puts the cards on the table. However the less tolerant yet self proclaimed liberals find the practice too spooky for them to handle as it doesn't put them in control while they preach their "everybody deserves a chance and a hand up" rhetoric whie claiming all the tax breaks their little arses can muster........

Sorry, I digress. Like the other posters CC is the best option. No one needs to know, it doesn't need to be a topic of discussion. A true believer prevents the "print" and doesn't find a need to let everyone know that they carry.

But the best, and yes I leave that for last.....You CANNOT beat the pucker effect seen on the face of a zombie when a petite FA enthusiast clears leather and *SUPRISE* brandishes her weapon when said zombie thinks they will liberate this defenseless lass of her possesions. True beauty indeed!

Have a great day all!
Unlike the powers that be here, especially the liberal ones with the sticks up their asses, I find what you wrote refreshing.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by shrapnel » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:44 am

biggcarl wrote:
Rosicrucian wrote:I like the open carry idea, it puts the cards on the table. However the less tolerant yet self proclaimed liberals find the practice too spooky for them to handle as it doesn't put them in control while they preach their "everybody deserves a chance and a hand up" rhetoric whie claiming all the tax breaks their little arses can muster........

Sorry, I digress. Like the other posters CC is the best option. No one needs to know, it doesn't need to be a topic of discussion. A true believer prevents the "print" and doesn't find a need to let everyone know that they carry.

But the best, and yes I leave that for last.....You CANNOT beat the pucker effect seen on the face of a zombie when a petite FA enthusiast clears leather and *SUPRISE* brandishes her weapon when said zombie thinks they will liberate this defenseless lass of her possesions. True beauty indeed!

Have a great day all!
Unlike the powers that be here, especially the liberal ones with the sticks up their asses, I find what you wrote refreshing.

They wonder why posting is down round here, hmmmmm
Congratulations on your oh so brave stance. This is an official warning for politics, because you have been around here for about three years, and furthermore cannot possibly have missed the responses from both Horatio and myself, telling Rosicrucian that such political talk was not suitable for ZS.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by DarkAxel » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:40 pm

Spd164 wrote:Mostly, I would like to hear specific reasons why the interaction between the OP and the officers would be considered an investigatory detention. I understand that DarkAxel's attorney said that he felt that it was, but I really would like to understand why. The fact that the OP did not feel free to leave is not something I'm missing, it's just that legally speaking, I maintain that there needs to be facts that are presentable in order to cause a reasonable person to feel that way. That's been my only point of contention all along. I just want to understand the why of this encounter being considered a detention, if in fact it is.
My lawyer specifically points to this:
Whackpack7 wrote:...Even though I identified one of the officers working in that jurisdiction, he did not take my word and took me outside so that he could radio the dispatch center and inquire as to whether open carry was legal in that area (once again I knowm you are taught to trust no one so I don't blame him.
Emphasis mine

In short, the deputy detained the OP so he could investigate (call dispatch) whether or not OC was legal in that jurisdiction.

I surmise that if the encounter had ended inside the store, then that would've been the end of it (this is my opinion, not my lawyers), but as soon as the deputy asked or ordered (the OP isn't clear on this) him outside, they had detained him.

My lawyer did say that it seems like the officers were acting in good faith, and given what I discovered about West Va's weapons laws I agree.

ETA: I feel it necessary to state that everything my lawyer told me about the specifics of this incident is his legal opinion and not a statement of fact, though I do tend to trust his legal opinion because the guy has been practicing law for 30+ years on both sides of the courtroom.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Spd164 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:11 am

DarkAxel wrote:
Spd164 wrote:Mostly, I would like to hear specific reasons why the interaction between the OP and the officers would be considered an investigatory detention. I understand that DarkAxel's attorney said that he felt that it was, but I really would like to understand why. The fact that the OP did not feel free to leave is not something I'm missing, it's just that legally speaking, I maintain that there needs to be facts that are presentable in order to cause a reasonable person to feel that way. That's been my only point of contention all along. I just want to understand the why of this encounter being considered a detention, if in fact it is.
My lawyer specifically points to this:
Whackpack7 wrote:...Even though I identified one of the officers working in that jurisdiction, he did not take my word and took me outside so that he could radio the dispatch center and inquire as to whether open carry was legal in that area (once again I knowm you are taught to trust no one so I don't blame him.
Emphasis mine

In short, the deputy detained the OP so he could investigate (call dispatch) whether or not OC was legal in that jurisdiction.

I surmise that if the encounter had ended inside the store, then that would've been the end of it (this is my opinion, not my lawyers), but as soon as the deputy asked or ordered (the OP isn't clear on this) him outside, they had detained him.

My lawyer did say that it seems like the officers were acting in good faith, and given what I discovered about West Va's weapons laws I agree.

ETA: I feel it necessary to state that everything my lawyer told me about the specifics of this incident is his legal opinion and not a statement of fact, though I do tend to trust his legal opinion because the guy has been practicing law for 30+ years on both sides of the courtroom.
It makes sense to think of it that way, I guess. I'm tracking on the why of your attorney's thinking here. I guess when I was reading the OP's story I pictured more him exiting the store after paying, and encountering he deputies in the doorway or just outside. One deputy then engaged him in conversation while the other called dispatch. I don't know, it's definitely not a clear cut case of "hey, you with the gun, get over here while I check your info", but then again, the more I think about it the more I can understand how the radio call to dispatch could be construed as part of an investigation. It's a pretty grey area, in my opinion, and I think that had it ended up in court a good prosecutor could have convinced a judge that it was a mere encounter. I also agree that a good defense attorney could have painted the picture appropriately that it was an illegal detention.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Rugger » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:27 pm

hawk55732 wrote:
I remember this guy. It was discussed quit extensively on another forum I go on. Do you have a link or anything with an update on his story? It would be much appreciated.
They've changed charges several times. They just had some pretrial hearings about a month ago, but not the big shin-dig. Right now, the one and only charge is walking on the wrong side of the road, a class c misdemeanor. Not kidding. Lots more happened after the camera stopped. When the Sgt gave the kid a ride home, he wouldn't let the kid call the mom on the way back, and he told the son that he wouldn't let the kid out until he answered his questions. The son and Sgt sat outside of his house for about 20 min, with the kid refusing to answer most questions. The mom saw the cop car outside and came out. That's when the Sgt released him.

ETA: He (CJ Grisham) post regularly on here, and you can scroll through and find the updates. https://www.facebook.com/OpenCarryTexas
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Caenus » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:40 pm

You know, this thread turned out pretty good! It was definitely a lively discussion, almost jumped the shark, but came back around. I feel like Ive learned a lot.

Group hug anyone? :clap:
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:25 pm

Caenus wrote:You know, this thread turned out pretty good! It was definitely a lively discussion, almost jumped the shark, but came back around. I feel like Ive learned a lot.

Group hug anyone? :clap:
Do I have to? Am I free to leave? :lol:
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Blacksheep » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:37 pm

Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Caenus wrote:You know, this thread turned out pretty good! It was definitely a lively discussion, almost jumped the shark, but came back around. I feel like Ive learned a lot.

Group hug anyone? :clap:
Do I have to? Am I free to leave? :lol:
Am I being detained?
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Barnabus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:30 pm

I don't understand the not being allowed to keepyou gun on your belt when driving, and having to have the gun unloaded, with gun and ammo in different areas of the car. The reason I would want my gun in the car with me (besides just carrying it from point A to point b) would be for in case of car jackings. What good is it to own a gun and not be able to defend yourself if someone sticks their gun in your window at a redlight ?
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Blacksheep » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:08 pm

Barnabus wrote:I don't understand the not being allowed to keepyou gun on your belt when driving, and having to have the gun unloaded, with gun and ammo in different areas of the car. The reason I would want my gun in the car with me (besides just carrying it from point A to point b) would be for in case of car jackings. What good is it to own a gun and not be able to defend yourself if someone sticks their gun in your window at a redlight ?
that will vary with state law,

Michigan permits me to "open carry" in a vehicle if I have my conceal license..
( everything is considered concealed in a vehicle, so openly carried or not its still concealed )
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Langenator » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:14 pm

TX doesn't allow any type of weapon in the passenger compartment unless you have a CHL. So if you've been hacking sage brush with your machete, or mesquite with your hatchet, throw it in the bed of your truck.

I open carried (I'm in VA now) all weekend...Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot, gas station...I'm not sure anyone even noticed.
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