Skip to comments.Pistol-packers challenge police (NH)
Posted on 10/31/2005 9:43:58 AM PST by neverdem
Police took Michael V. Pelletiers loaded pistol while he browsed in a bookstore; David K. Ridleys mistake was to change jackets in a mall parking lot, and Penny S. Deans encounter happened during a late-night constitutional on a city street.
Because the New Hampshire Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms no license needed, unless the weapon is concealed all three got their guns back within minutes, but the confrontations caused them unease.
The bottom line is that this type of thing shouldnt be happening in a state where (carrying a pistol) is perfectly allowed, said Dean, a lawyer and consulting counsel to Gun Owners of New Hampshire, the gun-rights advocacy organization.
Dean, in a routine followed often in the 10 years she has lived on Warren Street in Concord, was taking a late-night walk on June 16. She was on Pleasant Street out by St. Paul School when state trooper Abbott Presby stopped his cruiser.
He must have asked me six times for a drivers license. Then he proceeded to ask what I was doing there and I kept asking him, Are you detaining me? Dean said.
She didnt have her drivers license. She had a cellular phone, a credit card, her license to carry a concealed pistol and her Glock 23 in a nylon, neon-pink fanny pack.
Dean wrote a letter to state police Col. Frederick H. Booth citing her constitutional rights and complaining of her detention by Presby.
Had I not vigorously, repeatedly and firmly asserted that I wanted to (be) released from this detention I could have been illegally held there indefinitely. I firmly believe that it was only after I explained to trooper Presby that I was an attorney that the impetus to release me awakened, Dean wrote.
Three months later, state police Lt. Mark J. Myrdek responded, writing that a review of the incident had found Presbys actions and conduct were justified, lawful and proper.
On March 27, 2004, at about 9:15 p.m., three police officers in uniform and two detectives in plain clothes converged on Michael Pelletier as he thumbed through a book at Barnes & Noble store in Manchester. Pelletier and his wife had marked their 11th anniversary with dinner, then gone to the bookstore, where his coat stayed in the car. He had forgotten the change in attire left visible the holstered Glock 30 pistol tucked into his belt at his back.
A shopper telephoned police.
Pelletier said the officers basically grabbed me by the shoulder, disarmed me and took me out of the store. They ran my license and registration and the serial number on the gun and stood around lecturing me for 20 minutes. It was irritating, but at least I wasnt arrested.
What boggled my mind was that out of at least seven officers and dispatchers involved not one seemed to know that open carry is legal in New Hampshire and they basically treated this like they would a felony stop. . . . I wasnt doing anything illegal. I was minding my own business and I think they could muster the ability to treat me with courtesy and respect in that situation, said Pelletier, who lives in Merrimack and is a West Coast transplant drawn here by the Free State Projects pick of New Hampshire in 2003 as the place to promote its minimal-government agenda.
Alan M. Rice of Brookline, the treasurer of the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, has been dealing with gun use safety for 10 years. He is certified as an instructor-trainer, qualified to teach even the firearms instructors.
Commenting on what Pelletier has written on the Internet about his bookstore experience, Rice said, I think he exercised extraordinarily poor judgment on that particular night (because) he had an open-top holster in the small of his back in an unconcealed fashion. . . .
Most professionals do not carry a gun there because its hard to access the weapon and hard to retain the weapon if someone wants to take it away from you.
Rice prefers holsters with retention features that thwart efforts to extract the handgun, and he advises students to place the belt holster at their right or left side, where it is protected by the arm.
As a firearms instructor, Rice views concealed-carry as a good way to deter crime because they dont know who is carrying.
Though it is legal to carry a gun in plain view, open-carry is not a bright idea, Rice said. You are a target. If someone comes in with criminal intent, the first thing he is going to do is neutralize any person with a weapon who can hurt him.
Like Pelletier, David Ridleys move to New Hampshire was inspired by the Free State Project. He came from Texas, which he described as having restrictive gun licensing laws.
When you come to a place where the right is recognized by government and youve never had it before, its a right you want to celebrate. At the same time, if you dont exercise the right, I think you will eventually lose it. So for me, open-carry is primarily a political thing, said Ridley, who lives in Keene.
Ridley had changed jackets and was engrossed in lettering a placard on the hood of his car in a supermarket parking lot in Salem on March 21 when five police officers, responding to a citizens call, asked about the holstered Glock 19 on his hip.
They said, You alarmed a person who saw the gun.
When that is the situation, they have to respond to the call. I understand that, but what was wrong was when they started talking about arresting me when I hadnt done anything illegal, Ridley said.
In responding to a letter from Ridley, Salem Police Chief Paul T. Donovan wrote that his officers would continue to respond with an open mind when a complaint comes in about someone carrying a firearm.
In this day and age where people have committed some very violent attacks using firearms, it is understandable that people who do not understand the values of law-abiding firearms owners run scared. We need to work at improving our image with those who dont understand, Donovan wrote.
Later, however, the fashion police cited her for a violation...
IOW, the Officers DIDN'T KNOW the State Constitution permitted law-abiding citizens to OPENLY-carry weapons--including firearms--on their person
She has hot pink business cards too, and I got her an assortment of hot pink binder clips a couple months back. It's sort of her trademark. :D
"He came from Texas, which he described as having restrictive gun licensing laws."
A one page background form that takes five minutes to complete and a five minute wait (if that long) for telephone confirmation is restrictive?
With all of my rifles, I completed the form, had my background verified, paid for my firearms and walked out the store with said rifles in 15 minutes.
DAMN! Or should I have written "duh"?
Did the Union-Leader give you a heads up on running this story?
So what is NH's legal definition of "concealed"?
I don't know. I don't live there.
the problem appears to be NH's location next to MA.
All the pathetic sheep-people that came across the border have completely ruined NH.
In fact, I will takes bets on the geographic origin of the citizen sleuths who called the cops.
I think some "citizens" better start getting used to seeing guns. I carry concealed, mostly because I don't want anyone to know I've got a gun. But sometimes you can "flash" a gun and not be aware of it ... wind blows back a jacket, etc. "Citizens" have got to get educated that there are a bunch of us out here actually "protecting THEM" and not call the cops every time they see a gun. At the supermarket the other day, I was reaching to a lower shelf to get something and "flashed" my 1911. A fellow nearby asked (and very quietly) a minute later ... "Do you have a permit for the gun?" I responded with "Yes sir, I do, and here it is" and I showed it to him. He simply said "thank you ... I should probably carry mine more often!"
Yeah, I'm sure that most criminals look for someone carrying a gun or knife or club as their first choice for a vicitm.
I've had this happen to me, in GA; an open carry allowed state.
I am a reserve police office and a holder of a CCW. I went into a Kroger store without my jacket on, with a .380 in the small of my back, open holster. As I was leaving, two city PD officers made a felony stop of me, throwing me against the wall of the building. I suffered contusions and several small scrapes on the face, hands, and arms.
After IDing myself, I was released.
I promptly went to the city PD and swore out a complaint against the officers involved and threatened a civil rights lawsuit against the city, the department, and the two officers. As a result, the entire city PD had to go through retraining regarding the firearms laws of Georgia.
I make it a POINT now to carry openly when I can do so effectively.
See post # 15
So this alleged "firearms instructor" (not lawyer) seems to think that the law should depend on the type holster you're using?
And whether or not he personally approves of it?
And the bastards are breeding.
But you weren't applying for a permit to carry your rifles concealed, were you?
And normally, when someone refers to firearms "licensing," they're talking about carry permits, not purchasing, which of course does not require any form of "licensing."
Texas is in fact among the more restrictive of the "shall-issue" states, and just a few years ago , was not a "shall-issue" state at all.
Prior to the George Bush governorship, it was practically impossible to get a concealed carry permit here.
Now it is merely difficult and expensive.
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