Skip to comments.Openly carrying gun not a crime
Posted on 03/30/2008 12:35:05 PM PDT by buccaneer81
Openly carrying gun not a crime Sunday, March 30, 2008 3:43 AM By Bill Bush THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
In the political tussle over Ohio's concealed-carry gun law, one fact seems to have been overlooked by many: You never needed a permit to carry a gun in public, and you still don't --- you just can't conceal it.
As long as you haven't been convicted of a felony, if you want to wear a pistol on your belt or walk around town carrying a shotgun, Ohio has no law against it.
But if you do, don't be surprised if you get some unwanted attention from police officers.
Philip Turner, 30, discovered that in July when he walked from his Hilliard apartment to his parked truck wearing a gun on his belt. At the time, Turner worked protecting banks' ATMs as they were serviced and delivering diamonds to jewelry stores.
An undercover agent with the Ohio Investigative Unit -- the police agency that enforces the state's alcohol, tobacco and food-stamp laws -- saw the gun and quickly ordered him against his truck with his hands on his head.
"He came up and treated me like a felon for absolutely no reason at all," Turner said. "There wasn't even a suspicious action on my part to warrant him taking this action against me. Had I been out waving a gun around the parking lot, (then) yeah."
After being detained for about 30 minutes, and after Hilliard police arrived at the agent's request, Turner was released without charges. An internal investigation that concluded this week found that neither Agent Timothy Gales, who had stopped Turner, nor his partner, Betty Ford, did anything wrong.
However, it also revealed that Gales did not know it was legal for Turner to carry a gun openly, said Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety. As a result, more than 100 agents in the unit are to attend a mandatory refresher course on Ohio's gun laws over the next couple of months, she said.
They might be surprised at what's legal.
The investigation report said that, weeks before Turner was stopped, agents stopped a 13- or 14-year-old boy who was carrying a rifle in public. They called his mother, who retrieved the gun. Then they called a supervisor to figure out what charge to file against the boy.
The answer: nothing. The supervisor advised them that "it was their right to carry a gun openly and they were allowed to do this," according to the report.
Ohio law says you can't sell a gun to people younger than 18 or provide them with one, except for "hunting, sporting or educational purposes," said Lt. Shawn Davis of the State Highway Patrol. A child must take a gun-safety course before going hunting, Davis added.
It's not illegal "that we see" for a juvenile of any age to carry a gun in public, said Jennifer Brindisi, a spokeswoman for the Ohio attorney general's office.
Turner, who has a license to carry a concealed gun, said he was carrying his gun openly "because it's my right. I choose to exercise my right to protect myself." He doesn't know whether the two agents pulled their guns; he was instructed not to face them. The agents told investigators they didn't.
But it wouldn't be unreasonable for officers to draw their guns until they know what the situation is, said Sgt. Rich Weiner of the Columbus Police Division.
"The first thing we need to address: This man has a gun," Weiner said. "We're going to pull our guns.
"As a police officer, we also have the right to protect ourselves and protect the public, so we do have the right to disarm him momentarily. Now everybody is a little bit more at ease. We don't have a potential weapon being used against an officer or anybody else."
If your open display of a firearm is causing panic, you could be charged with inducing panic, Weiner said. If you carry it onto private property, you could be charged with trespassing, he said.
Komlanc of Public Safety wouldn't say why the agents and a police dive team were at Turner's apartment complex last July because the case is continuing.
Imagine! LEOs who don't know the law! I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you! /s
O-BS. They get you with disturbing the peace and a host of other hassles. This is how the left and government works. They tell you hey, there is no law against it specifically but , they have a list of other laws and policies to stop it.
As a police officer, we also have the right to protect ourselves from the public.
So basically you posted this to bash law enforcement officers. Golly you are cool.
Considering that it takes two and half 53 foot trailers to load one copy of all the federal laws,regulations and codes that have the force of law, this should be no surprise. Then if you add on the state,county and city laws, regulations and codes that have the force of law you can start to understand why the people feel so oppressed by law enforcement and the taxes required of them to pay for it all.
Given the specifics of this case and the fact that Mr. Turner was doing nothing but minding his own business at the time, this is the most assinine statement that one could possibly make about this case. There was no need to protect anyone from anything, until they instantly decided to escalate it and CREATE the situation in the first place.
But it wouldn't be unreasonable for officers to draw their guns until they know what the situation is, said Sgt. Rich Weiner of the Columbus Police Division.
“The first thing we need to address: This man has a gun,” Weiner said. “We're going to pull our guns.”
Hard to believe we have fallen this far in America.
Oh, that's an easy one. They are going to keep digging until they find something, anything, to arrest him for to "prove" they were "right" in the first place.
And as a member of the public, I have the right to protect myself from you should you ever intentionally violate my rights.
See US v. Cruikshank.
Have a pleasant day, Officer.
Wrong. In Ohio you have the right to open carry. The LEO violated the man's rights. ONE officer. Not all.
Read the OP’s comments in the first post.
I have a CCW in Ohio and I won’t carry in the open, it’s just asking for trouble.
Please see post # 6. It sums up my position as well as the poster’s.
Hoplophobic policemen. Why would a ne’er-do-well appear in public with a holstered pistol?
Please see YOUR OWN commentary in your OP.
I’m with you, Marktwain—I don’t see any police bashing here. Looks like a straight forward news story to me-—and an educational one at that. Whoever read this in OH now knows for sure that he can openly carry a gun without a license.—(as long as he’s not a felon)-And that’s a good thing!
I’ve seen good cops, bad cops and ignorant cops. This ONE particular officer is definitely the latter. I’m not tarring the entire profession. Your thin skin and lack of objectivity make me fervently hope that you do not possess police powers.
I think it’s cool to carry openly in Georgia, too. Obviously, it should be. It is legal. I don’t think you can carry a weapon openly in certain environments, same as w/ a concealed permit.
I am less certain of the wisdom, if not legality, of a minor carrying a weapon under the same circumstances in which an adult can. A 14 year old walking around town with a rifle is a little scary. Maybe I am missing something. In the woods, hunting, yeah. On a subway, I might avoid the yout.
"The first thing we need to address: This man has a gun," Weiner said. "We're going to pull our guns."
Um, no, it would not be reasonable. And it would be use of excessive force at the least and possibly a felony on the part of the police. Felony? Yup, try assault with a deadly weapon (just pointing a gun at someone is an assault), and there is no applicable privilege or immunity because the person is NOT breaking the law and there is no reasonable cause to believe that he is.
Mr. Weiner is a moron. He needs to either get a clue RIGHT NOW or BE FIRED.
/the foregoing is not legal advice, just my understanding
Growing up in the NE part of Canton there was a nice old man that lived in our neighborhood that had been robbed at gunpoint at a corner store only two buildings away from my house. Now, the neighborhood I grew up in was not a bad neighborhood at the time (mid-80’s to early-90’s), and this was an isolated incident. (The neighborhood started going to hell about three years after I moved out)
The robbery spooked the old man, and from that point on he carried a .38 Special in a holster whenever he walked the nearly three blocks from his house to the store. The store owner allowed him to carry it in the store. Police had no problem with it, either.
Another old man carried a walking stick in one hand and a 12 guage across his back on his daily walks.
My whole neighborhood learned early on that even though there was no concealed carry law, openly carrying a weapon in Ohio was perfectly legal.
” it also revealed that Gales did not know it was legal for Turner to carry a gun openly”
ignorance of the law is no excuse ! /s
While it is no longer common knowledge as it should be, there is what could be called “Old West” gun culture, which is how to be openly armed in public in a manner to reduce apprehension and misunderstandings.
More than anything else, it is a set of common sense behavior, such as do not casually brandish your weapon, and avoid making sudden motions that look like you are drawing your weapon. I imagine there was a variant to this when people commonly carried swords as well.
Even living in the southwest, where it is more common for people to openly carry, guns do attract the eye and call for instant value judgments about who is carrying them. And not just for the guns’ sake.
You automatically ask yourself in rapid succession: “Undercover cop? Biker? Criminal? Type gun? Behavior? Activity? Location? Threat?” A spur of the moment judgment call.
Yes, it is a right to carry a gun in public, and a good one. Though I like the extra advantage that comes from having a concealed weapon as well. Why advertise?
I agree. And it would certainly seem to expose the parents to a great deal of liability should an incident take place.
Law enforcement officers are armed public employees with the power to use deadly force. Therefore, it is in the interest of public safety that they follow the law as they enforce it. Pointing out a transgression of the law by a policeman is not "bashing."
So it's your position that you have the right to draw down on a bank security guard just because he is carrying openly? Or a regular Joe doing the same? How about a 14 year old in a field who is deer or duck hunting?
If you answered "yes" to any of these, I REALLY hope that you aren't a police officer in Ohio, because if you are, you are a walking lawsuit and/or tragedy waiting to happen...
“As a police officer, we also have the right to protect ourselves from the public.”
True. What exactly in this article leads you to believe the officer needed to protect himself from the citizen?
I have what may be a stupid question. If you carry it in a see-through handbag or a clear plastic raincoat, is it concealed or open?
Because in a police state, only the police are allowed to have guns.
That is an EXCELLENT question. I have no idea, but am willing to bet that a prosecutor would charge you with carrying concealed if you didn't have a permit.
i gues now we will see printed on the doors “to serve and protect (ourselves from) the public”
We don’t have laws against open carry in Colorado, either.
They snuck in ordinances to cover that.
You can twist all you want, but tell me how this comment is about one, singular law enforcement officer. Own up to your own comment, it's right there for everyone to see. Heck, even if you pretend it isn't there, it's still there. LOL.
Good post; good story. I wonder how many people are smacking themselves in the forehead going “DOH”.
And: Kings is mostly rapscallions.
I was going to get plates for my farm tractors at the state facility. I know some states don’t require them but here in NH, we do. Or so I thought. The lady at the counter told me that I really didn’t need plates for my tractors.
Well then, says I, why does everybody seem to have them?
Her answer, because it’s easier than getting hassled by cops who don’t know the law.
Good answer, thought I. They only cost a few bucks anyway.
No government should pass laws that ban or allow concealed carry rights. Because of the 2nd Amendment, it’s obvious that every American has the right to carry guns.
New Mexico has always had an open carry law, as long as the firearm is visible from three sides. Along with that, a firearm can be carried concealed, providing it is empty, but the clip can be handy. A firearm can be carried concealed in an automobile, since your car is regarded as private property, like your house. We also have concealed carry now, so everyone is covered, with or without a permit. I would feel much safer, if everyone exercised their right to carry, open or concealed.
Actually there were two officers involved. If you'd actually read the article you'd know that.
And apparently the actions of these two abysmally ignorant LEO's uncovered a serious departement wide training defect.
But why let a couple of facts spoil a good knee jerk reaction on your part.
Some guy tried to challenge it by announcing that he was going to walk to the State Capital and go around the block with a pistol in it’s holster. He was arrested for violating the ordinance. He later ran for governor and lost.
I wish I was on that jury.
Interesting. You've gotten several responses from other posters asking where the bashing is. You've had posters tell you that you're wrong. As I said. This ONE cop was ignorant of the law. Ever heard that old saying? "Ignorance of the law is no excuse?" Well it should apply to everyone, including LEOs.
You're just making yourself look foolish here, and frankly, you don't have the intellectual honesty to admit that you're wrong.
Cops aren't saints. As I said, there are good and bad, as in any line of work. What this ONE did was wrong, and a violation of a citizen's rights, because the cop was ignorant. Period. Not any other cop. Not his entire agency. HIM.
Whereas I see it as "open carry" that is just a little harder for a pickpocket or mugger to snatch. Sort of open with some (dis)assembly required; a layer of safety, no? In a busy city you might not want to be TOO open.
Anyhoo, if people can easily see it, how can they call it concealed?
An undercover agent with the Ohio Investigative Unit — the police agency that enforces the state’s alcohol, tobacco and food-stamp laws — saw the gun and quickly ordered him against his truck with his hands on his head.
I would sue this state. I would sue this man so hard that his descendants 100 years from now would STILL tell the story of how the family became permanently destitute.
There was an idiot Homicide detective who decided to play hero with me
while I was doing body work on my bosses Corvette. He pulled his
.45 and stuck it in my face after sneeking up behind me. I had no idea
this guy was a cop and I reacted by disarming him in an instant.
His supervisor was a good friend of mine, and he was desked until he received
training that they said would probably save his life. His career didn't go far.
“reasonable cause” should be “probable cause” PIMF
I agree with you. But I've seen examples of prosecutorial "interpretation" up close and personal. Some prosecutors are as low as some defense attorneys.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.