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Loveland police accused of violating rights of man with holstered pistol (ACLU defends gun owner!)
Loveland Reporter-Herald ^ | July 17, 2009 | Jon Pilsner

Posted on 07/19/2009 2:49:03 PM PDT by AAABEST

The American Civil Liberties Union has sent a letter to the Loveland Police Department alleging that officers illegally searched and briefly detained a man carrying a gun at South Shore Parkway.

On Thursday, the ACLU sent a formal complaint to Loveland Police Chief Luke Hecker and 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office chief investigator Elliot Phelps.

The organization is questioning the way police dealt with Loveland resident Bill Miller at South Shore Parkway on Oct. 7, 2008.

The ACLU has not sued the city but asked in its letter that the Police Department turn over all records connected to the incident, including internal review documents and discipline or training records of the officers involved.

A spokesman for the ACLU said the organization would wait for a formal response from both Hecker and Phelps before commenting.

The Loveland Police Department did not return several messages from the Reporter-Herald requesting comment Thursday.

Miller, 71, said Thursday that he isn’t looking for anything for himself, such as an apology, but rather he wants to teach a lesson.

“I would like to see police officers change the way they approach people with guns,” Miller said in an interview.

“I hope that (police departments) know they need to operate within the law and respect all of the constitutional rights of all the people.”

Miller was carrying an unconcealed handgun in a holster attached to his waistband, he said, when he was approached by Loveland police officers who had received a report of a man with a weapon in the park.

Miller wasn’t carrying the gun to protest or make a point, he said; he was trying out a new holster he had made.

The police officers, according to the ACLU’s letter, seized Miller’s pistol “without consent, and emptied it of ammunition.”

The officers then ordered Miller to give them his driver’s license, over his objections.

After checking with dispatchers, the officers found that both the gun and Miller were clear of any issues, and they returned Miller’s gun and license.

They also “explained our and citizens’ initial concern over the weapon,” the police incident report says.

Miller also said, the ACLU’s letter says, that the officers told him he could expect similar treatment should “similar encounters occur in the future.”

From the time officers first contacted Miller to the time they left was about 16 minutes, according to a police incident report. No charges were filed.

Miller sent a formal complaint to 8th Judicial District Attorney Larry Abrahamson, according to a letter Phelps sent to Miller.

In that letter, Phelps told Miller the office considered the incident an internal matter for the Police Department.

Phelps said residents have a right to possess and carry firearms, but that “there is a fine line between the protection of an individual’s rights and the protection of a law enforcement officer.”


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; carry; open
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Wow, the ACLU is defending this guy. Kudos to them in this particular case.

I guess pigs do fly every now and again.

1 posted on 07/19/2009 2:49:04 PM PDT by AAABEST
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To: Joe Brower; Squantos; Travis McGee; pocat; harpseal; SLB; wardaddy; Shooter 2.5

ping


2 posted on 07/19/2009 2:50:00 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: AAABEST
Phelps said residents have a right to possess and carry firearms, but that “there is a fine line between the protection of an individual’s rights and the protection of a law enforcement officer.”

Yes there is and the COP crossed it.

3 posted on 07/19/2009 2:58:56 PM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: AAABEST

“Phelps said residents have a right to possess and carry firearms, but that “there is a fine line between the protection of an individual’s rights and the protection of a law enforcement officer.”
Now, show me the clause in the Constitution that elevates law enforcement officers above individual rights?
What legal premise do police officers have for confiscating the firearm in the first place? Would they act the same way if you substituted “a radio” in place of “a firearm”?


4 posted on 07/19/2009 3:01:13 PM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (America held hostage - day 163)
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To: AAABEST

A blind hog will find an acorn once in a while!


5 posted on 07/19/2009 3:12:09 PM PDT by LooneyTick (Of all the things in life I've lost, I miss my mind the most!)
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To: LooneyTick
LOL! But the hog is right more often than the ACLU! Obamacare jokes Obama jokes
6 posted on 07/19/2009 3:25:09 PM PDT by tbw2 (Freeper sci-fi - "Humanity's Edge" - on amazon.com)
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To: AAABEST

Way to go Bill MIller! SEasoned citizens rock!


7 posted on 07/19/2009 3:25:13 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: AAABEST
I am not sure the police officer did anything wrong. This quote is from the Texas CHL website.

A trooper may disarm a licensee anytime he or she feels that safety is at risk. The trooper will return the gun at the end of the traffic stop when the threat to safety has passed.

So where is the problem if, after checking, the gun was returned and no voilation cited?

8 posted on 07/19/2009 3:36:49 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If the Average nObama Voter is Anything Like Peggy Joseph, The Next 4 Years Will Be A Hoot!!!!)
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To: AAABEST

I agree, in spades, with the prevailing sentiments expressed so far. But it is a good idea to profile. If a mid east turban is walking down a mid west ‘burban street with a slingshot or an AK I’d like the cops to be preemptive.

How do you do that?


9 posted on 07/19/2009 3:41:14 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature

Congratulations.

You have exposed why the ACLU has taken this case.
Down is always up with them.


10 posted on 07/19/2009 3:42:19 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
So where is the problem if, after checking, the gun was returned and no voilation cited?

The problem, such as it is, would be that the cop pestered the guy in the first place ... assuming that he wasn't presenting any threat to anybody.

The cop is in a tough spot in this situation, though. Somebody had called in, reporting a guy with a gun in a park.

While it's all very well for us to say that carrying a gun is OK (and I do think it is OK, in general), we can't ignore certain realities about our culture, such as the fact that "a guy with a gun in a park" may very well represent a real danger to others.

It is within the cops' purview to ensure that it's not.

11 posted on 07/19/2009 3:45:30 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: MrEdd

Good point. I have read the story two times, thinking about what the CHL site says, and all the officers did was separate the person from the weapon, which you consent to when receiving the permit, for the amount of time it took to verify it was legit. 16 minutes is a little long, but not unreasonable. Just my opinion.


12 posted on 07/19/2009 3:46:24 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If the Average nObama Voter is Anything Like Peggy Joseph, The Next 4 Years Will Be A Hoot!!!!)
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To: r9etb

Trust but verify. That’s all the officer did. Someone else pointed out that the ACLU is so upside down that they are making a case where there is none.


13 posted on 07/19/2009 3:48:00 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If the Average nObama Voter is Anything Like Peggy Joseph, The Next 4 Years Will Be A Hoot!!!!)
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To: AAABEST

I hope the ACLU gets him $5,000,000.00 plus lawyers’ fees. I also hope the cops get tried and convicted of violating his civil rights under color of law and do time in a federal pen.

This crap has to stop.


14 posted on 07/19/2009 3:55:16 PM PDT by SUSSA
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To: AAABEST

Loveland, Ohio?

Where?


15 posted on 07/19/2009 3:57:26 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus)
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To: AAABEST
Wow, the ACLU is defending this guy. Kudos to them in this particular case.

I guess pigs do fly every now and again.

I see an opportunity for the ACLU to lose and set precedent unfavorable to carrying. No cheers from me.

16 posted on 07/19/2009 4:00:17 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
This quote is from the Texas CHL website.

This incident took place in a Colorado city park. You might want to check out what the local laws say.

17 posted on 07/19/2009 4:01:08 PM PDT by mollynme (cogito, ergo freepum)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger
What legal premise do police officers have for confiscating the firearm in the first place? Would they act the same way if you substituted “a radio” in place of “a firearm”?

That kinda depends on what channel you're tuned to. Listening to right wing radio?

18 posted on 07/19/2009 4:03:11 PM PDT by umgud (Look to gov't to solve your everday problems and they'll control your everday life.)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
A trooper may disarm a licensee anytime he or she feels that safety is at risk. The trooper will return the gun at the end of the traffic stop when the threat to safety has passed. So where is the problem if, after checking, the gun was returned and no voilation cited?

What was the "threat" to the tooper's safety? Please explain to me how it is any more "safe" to remove and handle a firearm (which I'll bet dollars to donuts most cops are unfamiliar with having mostly handled and used their own duty weapons only), than to leave it "safely" secured in a holster?
Or have you been watching too much TV with quick draw shootouts?
19 posted on 07/19/2009 4:03:12 PM PDT by rickomatic
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
I am not sure the police officer did anything wrong. This quote is from the Texas CHL website....

You're referring to laws governing conceal carry holders and state troopers during a traffic stop in Texas, not laws governing open carry and local police at a public park in Colorado - as is clear in the article.

Would it be too much to ask for you to buy a clue before posting?

20 posted on 07/19/2009 4:07:24 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: mollynme

My bad. MollyNMe, I thought it was Lovelland, Tx.


21 posted on 07/19/2009 4:13:07 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If the Average nObama Voter is Anything Like Peggy Joseph, The Next 4 Years Will Be A Hoot!!!!)
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To: AAABEST
Sure thing CluePimp I assume your the local dealer?

I replied to another poster that I thought it was Levelland, Tx.

Ease up on the thread and take a relaxant.

22 posted on 07/19/2009 4:14:32 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If the Average nObama Voter is Anything Like Peggy Joseph, The Next 4 Years Will Be A Hoot!!!!)
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To: AAABEST
"The police officers, according to the ACLU’s letter, seized Miller’s pistol “without consent, and emptied it of ammunition.”

The officers then ordered Miller to give them his driver’s license, over his objections.

After checking with dispatchers, the officers found that both the gun and Miller were clear of any issues, and they returned Miller’s gun and license."

Sooo; what happened to the ammunition?

23 posted on 07/19/2009 4:27:19 PM PDT by Dust in the Wind (Mid July = Days of sun fried dirt...)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
Sure thing CluePimp I assume your the local dealer? I replied to another poster that I thought it was Levelland, Tx.

If I was dealer, it's obvious that you'd be a lousy customer.

Even if it was Levellend and not "Loveland," the Texas law you cited applies specifically to procedures governing a state trooper dealing with a conceal carry holder during a traffic stop, not a local cop dealing with a pedestrian in a public park.

Apparently your reading comprehension issues aren't limited to simple internet articles.

24 posted on 07/19/2009 4:36:57 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: r9etb
While it's all very well for us to say that carrying a gun is OK (and I do think it is OK, in general), we can't ignore certain realities about our culture, such as the fact that "a guy with a gun in a park" may very well represent a real danger to others.

It is within the cops' purview to ensure that it's not.

R9,

What you're putting forth here is philosophy, which can be agreed with or disagreed with. Personally, I disagree with it as I do with most (though not all) preemption arguments.

That said, in a nation of laws, it doesn't matter what you, I or anyone else thinks about law. It is either legal or it's not for Colorado cops to approach someone not bothering anyone, take his gun, empty the ammo and interrogate him.

25 posted on 07/19/2009 4:45:51 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: r9etb

“While it’s all very well for us to say that carrying a gun is OK (and I do think it is OK, in general), we can’t ignore certain realities about our culture, such as the fact that “a guy with a gun in a park” may very well represent a real danger to others.”

True which is why I carry a gun when in public. To protect myself and family against those other guns.


26 posted on 07/19/2009 4:47:54 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: AAABEST

The police had no right to even talk to this man on the basis of him having a firearm. Terry V. Ohio makes it clear that an anonymous MWAG call is not RAS for a terry stop. Those police officers should be fired, as should anyone who harasses a man with a firearm who is not engaged in unlawful activity.

If the police are so concerned about their own safety then maybe they shouldn’t have approached him in the first place.


27 posted on 07/19/2009 5:28:50 PM PDT by Dayman (My 1919a4 is named Charlotte. When I light her up she has the voice of an angel.)
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To: driftdiver

“True which is why I carry a gun when in public. To protect myself and family against those other guns.”

Sounds like ‘division of power’ to me. Good enough for the Founders is good enough for me.


28 posted on 07/19/2009 5:32:53 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: AAABEST

Yawn. work on the delivery AAAWorst. You’re boring me.


29 posted on 07/19/2009 5:37:02 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If the Average nObama Voter is Anything Like Peggy Joseph, The Next 4 Years Will Be A Hoot!!!!)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
"So where is the problem if, after checking, the gun was returned and no voilation cited?"

He was technically under arrest, and the invasions were unreasonable. It's not always about how a sensitive, socialist, civilian official "feels." And most likely, considering the current, hysterical, left-leaning police putsch to dishonestly convince other citizens of un-American falsehoods, many more thoroughly trained men are lawyering up to do the same.

IMO, we should all calm down and simply avoid buying things that we don't need and get much more self-sufficient. Bloated, busybody government can't continue without big and ever-increasing revenues. But do find good lawyers, because they're already getting mad about losing the funds.


30 posted on 07/19/2009 6:05:59 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
"...and all the officers did was separate the person from the weapon, which you consent to when receiving the permit,..."

A permit shouldn't be necessary for a good person to carry a weapon in plain sight. The risk of chatting to assess an armed person's competence is the kind of risk taken by men. I'm taking this position, because after having quite a few years of training with many different firearms for various, more difficult duties, I've been treated like an incompetent criminal by Mob cops (not to mention their jealousy and contempt for my prior service and security work).

...capisca?


31 posted on 07/19/2009 6:13:21 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: AAABEST
It is either legal or it's not for Colorado cops to approach someone not bothering anyone, take his gun, empty the ammo and interrogate him.

What you're putting forth here is philosophy, which can be agreed with or disagreed with.

The thing about philosophy, however, is that although it can be very neat and tidy in our brains, real life has a way of mucking with even the very best philosophies.

That's why common sense is so important -- it's our way of dealing with the imperfections of real human behavior, as opposed to the ideals our highly limited philosophies espouse.

In the real world, it is far from unknown that guys in parks openly carrying guns can represent a real hazard. You have the advantage of hindsight. The cop who got the call, however, only knew that there was a guy with a gun; he had no knowledge of the guy's intentions. Possibly he had serious unpleasantness in mind, and the cop would have been a fool to assume otherwise.

The cop seems to have exercised a great deal of common sense in this case: render the weapon harmless until he's sure there's no threat, and then let the guy go.

32 posted on 07/19/2009 6:16:55 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
"...16 minutes is a little long, but not unreasonable. Just my opinion."

According to what I was taught at an academy and while doing that work long ago, that would've been a minute too long.


33 posted on 07/19/2009 6:19:39 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: AAABEST

http://www.opencarry.org/co.html


Colorado has become a little tricky as it appears some changes in attitude, and some laws, have occurred...

As far as the Texas CHL forum website discussion on this issue...That website has some of the best discussion on pro-gun and gun-control issues I have seen in many years...The knowledge base is second to none...Texas may have some interesting things and conditions per the carry law in our state, but there are many from out of state that come in and participate in a very constructive manner...

Many on Free Republic know this already...


34 posted on 07/19/2009 6:47:08 PM PDT by stevie_d_64
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To: r9etb

What is the RAS for approaching a guy open carrying in an area where open carry is not restricted? No RAS = no stop. Anything else is a violation of the victim’s rights and is legally actionable.

Some guy with a gun is no reason to interogate him beyond a consentual stop which the victim is free to refuse and walk away from without further repercussions.


35 posted on 07/19/2009 6:57:37 PM PDT by Dayman (My 1919a4 is named Charlotte. When I light her up she has the voice of an angel.)
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To: AAABEST
Phelps said residents have a right to possess and carry firearms, but that “there is a fine line between the protection of an individual’s rights and the protection of a law enforcement officer.”

That "fine line" BS must be part of the instruction manual on how to respond to a complaint about open carry harassment. I got it from Manchester, NH police and the NH attorney general too.

36 posted on 07/19/2009 7:15:37 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: familyop
Mob cop mentality, yes i see your valid point. If you follow my thread posts i has this event happening in a different state than it did, but as you say, a good person is not a threat to a LEO, and should/would consent to acknowledge that he/she has the weapon (in this case its obvious) part with it for LEO safety, and should/will have it returned when said encounter is completed. Again, that's all textbook assuming the officer is capable and knowledgeable.
37 posted on 07/19/2009 7:39:00 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If the Average nObama Voter is Anything Like Peggy Joseph, The Next 4 Years Will Be A Hoot!!!!)
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To: familyop

I defer to your experience. It would seem that communication by the officer to proper channels to verify said person and the CHL verificaiton could be done faster. I’ll go back and check but i cannot recall if this person was placed under arrest.


38 posted on 07/19/2009 7:41:10 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If the Average nObama Voter is Anything Like Peggy Joseph, The Next 4 Years Will Be A Hoot!!!!)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature

...agreed. But if precedents and Code haven’t changed, and a person is held for a certain length of time, they’re arrested whether explicitly notified of that or not.

[Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney. If you need legal advice, seek a properly licensed attorney.]


39 posted on 07/19/2009 8:05:50 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
"...and should/would consent to acknowledge that he/she has the weapon (in this case its obvious) part with it for LEO safety, and should/will have it returned when said encounter is completed."

Well...except for that part, considering that most LEO members of lobby organizations are pushing against the Second Amendment and trying to convince citizens that they have no Second Amendment rights. It's an antagonistic environment.

Here are more unlicensed opinions and experiences, for what it's worth.

Most police were a different breed during the '60s and before--more often with prior combat training and more often married with kids. ...tough, when they needed to be but very respectable. Some in my extended family (very clean men) earned their retirements in some rough neighborhoods, where nearly every resident carried concealed weapons. Generally, even in an anti-Second-Amendment legal climate, they only confiscated weapons while arresting perpetrators of crimes other than firearms laws. They had no more general regard for wealthier citizens than poorer ones.

That has changed. Certain local merchants in many locales can indeed order police to confiscate weapons from particular individuals, where no violation has occurred. I saw that in person too many times and did something about it in one area.

Our nation was not founded on ancient Roman technical laws, although terminology and some ideas from those are used. It was founded by Puritans, Huguenots, and the like, on moral Law. We have gradually fallen from that since the middle of the 1800s (revival of Romanticism), and of course, police are not solely to blame. We Baby Boomers and subsequent generations are to blame for the latest and worst degeneration.


40 posted on 07/19/2009 8:22:01 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature

What permit? Permits are not required in Colorado to purchase, possess, or openly carry a firearm.

A permit is required only for concealed carry.


41 posted on 07/19/2009 8:40:45 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Made from The Right Stuff)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature
Texas doesn't yet have open carry.

Hence the stop.

I agree, though, that people ought to be able to carry openly. Concealed carry, maybe license that. Or not.

42 posted on 07/19/2009 9:38:48 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: AAABEST
Hmmmm, no indications in the story, as to where this took place. "Loveland" where?
43 posted on 07/19/2009 9:46:14 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: MrEdd
You have exposed why the ACLU has taken this case. Down is always up with them.

Call me dense, but I don't follow your logic.

The ACLU took this case in order to try to muff it and muddy up the contactee's right to open carry, by creating "reasonable" exceptions by argument, by "backing in" to exceptions to his right?

44 posted on 07/19/2009 9:52:22 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: AAABEST
Would it be too much to ask for you to buy a clue before posting?

So where's the clue? Or do we have to follow links to get the rest of the story?

45 posted on 07/19/2009 9:53:23 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus
So where's the clue?

For whatever reason, this thread has become FR's version of deciphering the Dead Sea scrolls. We even sent one archaeologist into a non-existent town in Texas.

46 posted on 07/19/2009 11:05:06 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: lentulusgracchus; IllumiNaughtyByNature

The posted article is from Loveland, Colorado. The law itself on open carry in Colorado is not bad (except for Denver), but some of the people from states like California and New York would like to disarm ranchers and other rural residents in isolated and very sparsely populated areas (sparsely, except for large and sometimes dangerous predators). It appears that many of those folks from heavily populated neighborhoods of other states are wanting more services near their houses—examples being more police than people in remote counties and snow removal everywhere. It is practically impossible to fulfill their desires (revenues, strange intrusions, etc.).

Here’s a link for interested Coloradans.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners
Colorado’s No-Compromise Gun Rights Organization
http://www.rmgo.org/


47 posted on 07/19/2009 11:20:13 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature

The “Mob” experience was in another state, BTW. There’s corruption in CO, as is the case everywhere. ...not physically rough in CO, for the most part, though, and due mostly to ignorance, indoctrination and demands from liberal constituents.


48 posted on 07/19/2009 11:28:07 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: AAABEST

“I guess pigs do fly every now and again.”

A lie succeeds best when she baits her hook with a little truth.


49 posted on 07/29/2009 4:44:04 PM PDT by dsc (The "t" in the word "often" is silent.)
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To: familyop

“It appears that many of those folks from heavily populated neighborhoods of other states are wanting”

Liberals must be shorn of all power and influence, and their “wants” assiduously ignored.


50 posted on 07/29/2009 4:48:38 PM PDT by dsc (The "t" in the word "often" is silent.)
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