Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearm Self Defense

Concealed/Open Carry situations with Law Enforcement

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ColdHaven:
I mentioned this in another thread, and I wanted to bring it here. I know different states and even counties have their own laws, but I wanted to know what situations you have been in where you had to use your sidearm to defend yourself and how law enforcement handled it. This is not to be construed as a reason to desparage cops or law enforcement. I just want to know what situations you were in, how you handled it, and how law enforcement responded to you.

I can not afford concealed carry lisence this year, but even with open carry I would like to know what I can expect. I would hate to be thrown in jail for protecting my family, and have my sidearm taken away. I have heard some good stories about how law enforcement was alright with everything, and I have heard some nightmare stories as well. In the end, I might just have to talk to a cop from my police department and ask them, but I would like to hear other people's experiences with their sidearm and police.

Goatdog62:

--- Quote from: ColdHaven on July 05, 2009, 03:34:05 PM ---I mentioned this in another thread, and I wanted to bring it here. I know different states and even counties have their own laws, but I wanted to know what situations you have been in where you had to use your sidearm to defend yourself and how law enforcement handled it. This is not to be construed as a reason to desparage cops or law enforcement. I just want to know what situations you were in, how you handled it, and how law enforcement responded to you.

I can not afford concealed carry lisence this year, but even with open carry I would like to know what I can expect. I would hate to be thrown in jail for protecting my family, and have my sidearm taken away. I have heard some good stories about how law enforcement was alright with everything, and I have heard some nightmare stories as well. In the end, I might just have to talk to a cop from my police department and ask them, but I would like to hear other people's experiences with their sidearm and police.

--- End quote ---

This is a good question. Tennessee supposedly allows open carry but I have never observed someone do it. I know that when a gun is spotted in someones possession, in a failed attempt to conceal it, that 911 is frequently called. We would arrive on scene, ask the person meeting the description for a moment of their time and ask them to keep their hands visible. We would then ask them if they are carrying a weapon. If they said yes, we'd ask them for their permit and explain that it had become visible at some point and raised some concern, hence our presence. If they said no, depending on the "totality of the circumstances" we'd ask them to allow a "terry frisk", they never refused. They could have, but they didn't. It is against the law to not tell an officer you are armed if you are, you must also present your CCW.

You could expect to have the cops called on you rather frequently if you open carry in populated places. When a citizen makes a call, an officer MUST be dispatched. Only a supervisor can cancel a call that is priority one or two. A "man with a gun" call would certainly be one or two.

The officer, under certain conditions based on his experience and training, can disarm a permit holder.

Any law enforcement officer of this state or of any county or municipality may, within the realm of the officer's lawful jurisdiction and when the officer is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer's official duties, disarm a permit holder at any time when the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the permit holder, officer or other individual or individuals. The officer shall return the handgun to the permit holder before discharging the permit holder from the scene when the officer has determined that the permit holder is not a threat to the officer, to the permit holder, or other individual or individuals provided that the permit holder has not violated any provision of this section and provided the permit holder has not committed any other violation that results in the arrest of the permit holder.

If I had ran into someone who was open carrying, I would ascertain who they were and go from there. Every call is different.

ColdHaven:
Thanks for responding Goatdog. So it is probably best if I do not open carry.

I remember there was one fellow around Christmas time who had an open carry gun. He was clean cut, wore a nice brown polo t-shirt, and slacks. No one called the police on him that I was aware of. Had he looked a bit more dangerous I think someone might have - myself included. In my state they do not give us a permit to carry around once we have purchased a gun. I wish that since we had gone through all the background checking before hand that there was something that could be shown that we are responsible gun handlers (unless that is what a CCP is supposed to be).

I suppose it is better to be concealed carry, but I am trying to figure out what I should do before I get it. Looks like I just keep it in the car (secured of course). Then again that is a whole topic in and of itself. What about if you are pulled over? If you have it in the glove compartment. I know that they have to have your permission to search, but they can detain you until they get a warrant. I know the rules for NC, but it still makes me nerveous. I guess because the results are so unpredictable and rely on who is pulling you over, ect.

I wish there was something that would immediately identify you as a reliable gun owner. Then again, that might be what a CCP is about. I know it is tied to your drivers license also so when they look it up they know you are a Concealed Gun Owner. Its really complicated it seems.  :D

Goatdog62:
It's a tough call Coldhaven. You don't want to get charged with a gun law violation. A permit is $106 (or so) in TN, not chump change, but I'd deliver pizza or pick up aluminum cans to raise the cash before i went without. Of course, providing for your family comes first.

Can you legally place an unloaded weapon in your trunk and ammo in your glovebox? TN uses a "lunge distance" test to decide if someone is unlawfully armed, meaning can the suspect "lunge" towards the weapon from his seat and be fully armed quickly. I'm sure there is a "hunters rule" within your state that allows you to transport a gun from A to B. Find out what that is. Even if it means some type of lock box (doubt Carolina is as extreme as Maryland in that regard). Intent really has a lot to do with it. Most decent cops can make fair decisions and have discretion to do nothing, verbally warn, issue a citation, or make an arrest.

I would, as a minimum, find a way to carry a gun in my vehicle legally. Make it one that you'd be okay with losing to theft though. Don't put your $1500 Kimber 1911 in your car and expect a happy outcome. Even though I always carry, my cars are always armed with old revolvers, just-in-case I forget to grab my carry weapon or to arm a friend/wife if something bad goes down.

Hare of Caerbannog:
Without disagreeing with any of the above, a person needs to consider the local culture.
When I lived in Northern Nevada, seeing someone in line at WalMart or Burger King with open carry was no big deal. No one said a thing and nothing was thought of it. If you tried that in Clark County or almost anywhere in Southern Nevada, the citizens would freak and LE would swarm the area.

Right now the liberty activists in New Hampshire are attempting to condition the citizens to accept open carry by intentionally attracting attention with t-shirts and walking around with open carry. So far it has gone well and LE seem to be mostly supportive.

But again, its all about local culture. I live in a Yuppie town. If someone open carried here SWAT would likely take them down hard and fast.

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