Police Perspective on Open Carry
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Thread: Police Perspective on Open Carry

  1. #1

    Post Police Perspective on Open Carry

    I don't know how many people pay attention to the topic scroll on USAC's Home page but the one about how police view open carry should be a must read for everybody who does, or wants to open carry. This article appeared on PoliceOne.com and gives eight tips for LEOs during contacts with "open carry" citizens. These tips go right along with most of the open carry arguments/discussions I have read on here. It shows that LEOs have concerns, and rightly so, when coming upon someone open carrying. The article tells them how to address an open carry situation while also addressing the fact that it is our legal right to carry. It admonishes LEOs to know the letter of the law (which few do) regardless of their personal opinion on open carry. It is a short but interesting article and, while reading it, I well remember some of the heated arguments, pro and con, expressed by some members on here. I found it to be interesting reading and recommend it to all.

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  3. #2
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    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  4. #3
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    The article also re-enforces a few of the FALSE arguments against open carry, but overall it is a decent article....

  5. #4
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    Practical Tactics & Strategies
    So, what can you do as a law enforcement officer or, as a citizen who will read this article on various forums nationwide? Here are some thoughts to ponder as well as tips to go by.

    1.) Open carry is a legal right. Regardless of where personal beliefs may lie, it carries the weight of law and cannot be ignored, pushed aside, or worked around.
    2.) Understand that — as with any belief that people feel strongly about — open carry is a form of political protest. While the majority will do what is asked of them without a lot of fuss, there will be extremists who are willing to be political martyrs by doing whatever it takes to push their agenda and raise awareness to their cause.
    3.) Targeting open carry by finding ways to charge people with other violations and then ticketing or arresting them may backfire and could be very expensive in the long run. One of the universities in Utah apparently tried this approach and it was leaked to the press. Now we run into civil liberties violations, etc.
    4.) Know the letter of the law and the interpretations of the law in various districts. Have a written document that can be referred to online or given to those parties interested in them.
    5.) Even if you don’t agree with open carry, stay objective and keep your feelings to yourself. It is the behavior of the person — not the gun — that we key on. If they get annoyed and start protesting you, remember that unless they are threatening you with harm, they have a right to voice their opinion, even if they raise their voice at you.
    6.) It still takes time to draw and load the firearm. It can be done in around two seconds for well trained individuals. As with any contact, watch the hands and body language.
    7.) Follow good judgment. IF THERE IS PROBABLE CAUSE to treat them as an armed criminal, by all means do so. However, when you make contact with someone carrying openly without good probable cause, the strategy of “when in doubt, prone ‘em out” would not be my first choice. Keep your distance if you can, and ask questions so you can get some indicators of the mental/emotional state of the contact prior to moving in closer.
    8.) From a officer safety perspective, at least you KNOW that they are carrying a weapon! That knowledge alone will keep you from becoming complacent. Think of it as an opportunity to practice your officer safety tactics.
    All I take from this is cops telling other cops to watch out for citizens who know there rights and won't tuck tail and follow officers instructions. Hell the first three tips prove that and tip number seven shows why you should not talk to officers.

    If seeing a citizen with a gun is reason for them to fear for their life then they should have chosen a different job. If I use their logic citizens should fear for their lives when they see a police officer. I come to that from all the bystanders shoot by police when they pull their gun to shoot the bad guy and end up hitting bystanders.

  6. #5
    Seems like a good fair article.

  7. #6
    Fails to state that Open carry alone is not reason enough to stop someone! As our AG has stated 'Open carry is not probable cause enough". Look at the numbers, more people are shot and killed(or murdered) each year by police then people who OC or CC.

    THEY MAY TAKE OUR LIVES BUT THEY'LL NEVER TAKE OUR FREEDOM!!!!!

  8. #7
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    Also a Good article the author refers too in his overview. Good read:
    Dealing with citizens legally carrying a concealed weapon
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  9. #8
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    Police generally are the product of their local culture. Note: "open carry is a form of political protest. While the majority will do what is asked of them without a lot of fuss, there will be extremists who are willing to be political martyrs by doing whatever it takes to push their agenda and raise awareness to their cause." I suspect this was written by an Easterner. It's the exact attitude developed thru cultural indoctrination from childhood. Let me be clear; 'Open Carry is a form of proactive self defense. Open carry is the essence of 'The right to keep and bear arms.' And... let's not forget that pesky 'Shall not be infringed' part.
    As Kaspar noted: "If seeing a citizen with a gun is reason for them to fear for their life then they should have chosen a different job." All police swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution. All of it... not just the parts they agree with.

    I'm Arizonan. The individual right to keep and bear arms has been recognized here and enumerated in the State Constitution (AzC Art 2 Sec 26)for 100 years. I carry a side arm and sometimes a rifle (or both) openly. I need no government contrivance of permission to do so. Rights do not require permission. Rights only require responsibility in their exercise. I don't consider myself a political martyr and I'm not making any 'statements'. The vast majority of the time, there's nobody to make a statement to, nor reason for doing so. I carry arms (firearms and edged weapons) by choice as I will, where not otherwise prohibited.

    Quote: 'the majority will do what is asked of them'. Why ask anything when there is no RAS to do so? Again... this is a perpetuation of the two tierd 'us vs them' mentality near endemic in some LEA's. The visual presence of a properly holstered sidearm alone is no cause for any interaction between LEO's and civilians. No... it does not meet 'Terry vs Ohio' either. For all the doubting Thomas cops who may read this... Your department didn't issue your gun to shoot people. They issued it for self defense. That right to self defense is derived from the same 2nd Amendment some of you would deny your fellow citizens. Again... if you're scared of lawfully armed citizens going about their business... You're in the wrong occupation.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackieChan View Post
    Seems like a good fair article.
    Full of passive-aggressive statements negative towards open carry; the article, that is, not your post!
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  11. #10
    Why is it that the police are the first ones to come out and say "we can't be everywhere all the time." People need to take some responsibility for their own safety. Yet when people do just that (carrying a firearm) it becomes an officer safety issue, and they are looked at like a nut case? Can't have it both ways people! They can't sit here and tell us to take care of ourselves and then turn around and ***** about the way we choose to do just that!

    THEY MAY TAKE OUR LIVES BUT THEY'LL NEVER TAKE OUR FREEDOM!!!!!

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