Skip to comments.Learning our way on open carry(OK)
Posted on 06/18/2012 4:31:22 AM PDT by marktwain
Sean Michael Combs is probably like a lot of 18-year-old young men, except maybe for the M-1 rifle slung across his back.
The Troy High School student was arrested April 13, according to the Detroit News, after strolling down the street in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham with the weapon strapped on his back. He now faces three misdemeanor charges, according to the newspaper, "for brandishing a weapon, resisting and obstructing police, and disturbing the peace - each punishable by up to 93 days in jail."
After the arrest, Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt acknowledged Combs had a legal right to carry his gun, but added, "this guy was creating a disturbance and he wouldn't cooperate."
Fellow gun enthusiasts, all of them openly carrying weapons, gathered together last week and marched to City Hall to rally behind the teen. Advocates called for the charges to be dropped and for more training of law enforcement on gun rights, among other things.
Though there were no incidents arising out of the protest, and though it was certainly their right to protest, there still was something unsettling, even kind of frightening about seeing a parade of gun-toting people marching down the street.
We're being watched Is this kind of thing in store for Oklahoma when our new open-carry law goes into effect on Nov. 1? Are conflicts between police and gun-carriers inevitable? Are protests, lawsuits, and other such ramifications on the horizon for us?
Even before the law has become effective, gun-rights advocates have made it clear they'll be keeping an eye on Oklahoma. Reacting to comments from some members of Oklahoma law enforcement, advocacy leaders have declared they "will be watching the police" and will take appropriate actions they deem necessary to protect the right to open carry.
After several failed attempts, Oklahoma lawmakers last session passed an open-carry law that essentially allows anyone who has a concealed-carry permit to also openly carry their weapon.
The legislation prompted a welcome note from OpenCarry.org, a national advocacy group claiming to have more than 28,000 members, which joined with the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association (known as OK2A) to also issue a warning.
"Though we are disappointed that the Oklahoma Legislature saw fit to require a license to open carry, this reform is still a great step forward for freedom and self-defense rights. But we are also alarmed that some Oklahoma law enforcement officials seem ready to hijack the license requirement as an excuse to violate gun owners' Fourth Amendment rights," said a joint press release from the two organizations.
The statement cited published comments attributed to Midwest City Assistant Chief Sid Porter: "Midwest City police will check for permits when they encounter someone openly carrying a gun. ... If we see someone carrying a weapon in a holster, they have to have a permit on them and would be asked to show it. Anybody with a weapon on their side is considered a suspicious person."
OpenCarry.org co-founder and spokesman John Pierce had this response: "Earth to Oklahoma police: In the United States, guns are not contraband, and gun ownership is not suspicious."
The two advocacy groups called on Attorney General Scott Pruitt and law enforcement leaders to "ensure that all Oklahoma law enforcement officers are reminded that gun, or no gun, the Fourth Amendment requires at least 'reasonable articulable suspicion' of crime afoot before they may seize any person. And this goes for license checks as well."
Police may not seize or detain someone openly carrying a weapon "just to demand production of a license to carry," the two groups maintain.
Tim Gillespie, director and founder of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, declared: "We will be watching the police, and if need be, we will conduct open carry freedom of movement exercises and file lawsuits if we detect unconstitutional practices aimed at chilling the right to open carry."
The two groups even offered some training scenarios for Oklahoma law officers. A motorist stopped for suspicion of violating a traffic law, for example, can legally be asked to produce a permit if the officers sees an openly displayed weapon - because the stop was based upon reasonable suspicion of an offense.
But according to the groups, in the above scenario the officer may not legally disarm the motorist for some reason such as checking the weapon's serial number, unless the officer has probable cause to check the gun or feels the motorist is "presently dangerous."
The few scenarios outlined by the advocacy groups illustrate just how many diverse situations such as these could arise, day in and day out, once the new law goes into effect.
Study time If the events unfolding in the Detroit area are typical, then it looks like we'll likely have our share of protests, court cases and controversies.
There's little reason to fear that open carry will result in shoot-outs and tragedies. Most states already allow some form of open carry and there hasn't been an outbreak of gunplay across the country. And, knowing how difficult it is to get a permit to carry a gun, I suspect most gun-carriers are responsible, law-abiding people.
But this change in the law has left some folks a bit nervous, mainly because we don't know exactly what to expect. The advocacy groups make a good point: It would be in everyone's best interests for not only law enforcement but also open-carriers to study up on the law, so as to keep future conflicts at a minimum.
Nice. Worth watching.
there still was something unsettling, even kind of frightening about seeing a parade of gun-toting people marching down the street.
Likely what loyalist to King George felt in pre-revolutionary America.
They used to have "open carry" in California. Then a bunch of people got into pushing the envelope, open carrying in ways that alarmed people, and California passed AB 144 banning open carry as of Jan 2012.
Here in PA, we have open carry. I like the fact, but mainly so that I'm covered in case I'm carrying concealed and my t-shirt rides up so that it's momentarily visible and some old lady freaks.
I guess it was bad not to leave the lunch counter and not move to the back of the bus.
2012 - wonderful benevolent black man
Dear Janet, you better not visit the states where open carry is legal, and be really careful in states where concealed carry is legal, and really really watch out where states don't even require a concealed carry license.
Not to mention states where the lawless don't even bother with such a stupid thing such as a permit.
I'm talking about what kind of moves will increase our effective 2nd Amendment rights, versus moves that will alienate public opinion enough to lead to restrictions.
Right now, what should be on the front burner is passing "Stand Your Ground" in more states, passing "Shall Issue" CCW in the remaining restricted states (New Jersey would be a big win, since it adjoins New York), and pushing for "shall issue" approvals for Class III (full auto and silencers) applications.
It seems clear to me that pushing open carry in Wisconsin was largely responsible for getting such a good shall issue ccw law there.
I can’t believe anyone will even notice, I see guys carrying all the time at the pizza shop and lunch counter with low drag, 7 pocket mall ninja pants and dark blue T shirts, with no visible badges, (Tulsa Cops don’t need no steenkin badges) and no one gives them a second glance. A glock in a blackhawk sherpa holster just doesn’t attract attention an longer. So why worry, don’t draw attention and, who will care?
(DO NOT assume I am encouraging impersonating)
Midwest City, OK police chief Brandon Clabes, member of the IACP.
There’s the problem right there.
I lived in Mississippi during the "civil rights'' movement and I never saw a lunch counter on a bus. :-)
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