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Why do LEOs assume that OCers are criminals? I don't understand.

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by SCmasterblaster, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Obviously, you know nothing about me. Asking if you're being detained is one thing. Repeatedly asking, attempting to talk over the officer, etc.. are all shining examples that are easy to find on youtube.

    There is a time and a place to argue being unlawfully detained, argue the merits of the Constitution, etc. The side of the road, is not it.

    Open Carriers (a lot of them) open carry to get a reaction. When they get it, they cry.

  2. Caver 60

    Caver 60

    Jun 12, 2007
    Here in my state I've seen two OC'er's during the last week, each in a different city. Everything went on as normal. Didn't see any panic and no LEO's showed up that I saw. One was in WM. That's the way it should be, as long as the OC person is acting rationally.

    OC is legal here no permit required, unless there is a city ordinance prohibiting it. I don't agree with allowing a city to opt out. Too bad the legislature doesn't fix that.

  3. Clutch Cargo

    Clutch Cargo Amsterdam Haze

    Nov 29, 2010
    They had it that way for far too long a time.
  4. Clutch Cargo

    Clutch Cargo Amsterdam Haze

    Nov 29, 2010
    Unavailability of assault books? :dunno:
  5. TDC20


    Apr 11, 2011
    That's a great post Nine Shooter. Thanks for taking the time.

    I really think a lot of how a person or a LEO reacts to OC has to do with their mindset or background with guns. Myself, I was raised around guns, learned to be responsible with them and hunt at a very young age, have owned them and shot them all my adult life, and spent countless hours around other hunters, gun owners, and competitors. So to see someone OC'ing creates zero negative reaction from me. I feel no fear of being shot, no intimidation, and the OC'er gets no less respect than I would afford any stranger. Actually, it's generally more of a positive response that someone else appreciates firearms and our Constitutional heritage as much as I do.

    OTOH, not everyone grew up like I did, hunting, enjoying the shooting sports, and having many gun-owning friends and family. Throw on top of that the way Hollywood constantly portrays the illicit use of guns and gun violence, and I think it's perfectly reasonable that a person not born and raised in the "gun culture" like I was, may not appreciate seeing someone OC'ing. It becomes a mindset which carries with it an irrational but understandable fear and intimidation for that person, whether they are a common citizen or LEO. So really, I see it as more of a mindset, or conditioning, than anything else. To use terms like "most" or "many", well, those are vague assumptions. I think if you look at the mindset, and how one arrives at that mindset, that will explain a lot of how a person reacts when guns are involved.

    I do think there needs to be a little more training for LE in states where OC is allowed. For example, if investigating a MWAG complaint, if it was me and I observed the OC'er not breaking any laws, I wouldn't even bother to confront him. If he's looking for the confrontation, you're just playing into his desire for attention. Rather, I would follow up with the complainant, asking them whether he ever brandished or even took it out of the holster, made threatening comments, etc., and if not, inform them that it's completely legal to OC. But that's me, and I'm not an LEO.

    If I got all my information from YouTube, I would believe that all OC'ers are looking to make a statement and engage LE in an argument at every opportunity, and all LE are paranoid and just like harassing OC'ers who are doing nothing illegal. The truth lies somewhere in between the extremes. What I don't understand is why we are so accepting of Hollywood's negative portrayal of guns, and then fight amongst ourselves over the way that invades the psyche of America.
  6. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    No No, that just can't be. Evey open carrier is always pleasant, cooperative, helpful and courteous to the officer. :whistling:

    They are never offensive, never running on the edge of obstruction, never looking for a altercation with the police, and are never looking for attention.


  7. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    Because they are armed people acting in a way that is unusual and somewhat aggressive (by intentionally displaying a weapon, for no apparent reason). If your cat is strutting around the room with his claws out, making strange noises, you don't pet him.

    That many of them are so clueless they don't even understand that it's aggressive or strange, or understand violence, crime, etc., well enough to know the answer to your question is their problem (I learned that from their posts here) - the police don't know the ninja wannabe couch potatos from the violent nuts who want to shoot up a theater, until they talk to them a little.

    Edit to add: as other point out, the police don't always assume they are all criminals (and "crazies" is more likely what they assume than "criminals"). The police can pretty much tell who is strange and who is not and the result is that the open carriers who get the attention are going to be the crazies who go out trying to provoke the police, so they can post the video on youtube. It is very natural that what you see online is going to be negative attention from the police, since the people OCing and looking to post it online are, both intentionally and because of their personalities, provoking distrust and confrontation.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  8. F350


    Feb 3, 2005
    The Wyoming Plains
    Does that investigation involve the immediate demand for ID???
  9. westy39


    May 30, 2012
    You really have no idea what the LEO thinks. The general public has been conditioned to call the Police if there is something out of the ordinary and that the Police have to solve all their problems. I speak from a position of over 22 years as a Police Officer. I retired and no longer have to respond to the "Sally was rude to Jimmy" calls. I had my share of "guy with a gun" calls, I would say 99.8% amounted to nothing. The open carry is nothing new but it has not been common for a long time and the general public will call and expect the Police to solve their problem with this new and strange event. Soooo you need to realize the Police don't know you and should proceed from a defensive posture because not all people with guns are nice... For the Police it is a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation. To all LEO be safe..... Just my thoughts from the Big Sky Country..
  10. F350


    Feb 3, 2005
    The Wyoming Plains
    I have been approached after a MWG call; it all depends on the attitude of the LEO when he makes contact. If he starts off hostile with an immediate demand for ID etc. I can be the worlds biggest @hole. His choice.

    In my case it went like this...

    I'm walking down the sidewalk in town and a cop car pulls up and stops, cop gets out and heads my way, I know what's up.
    cop}Can I talk to you for a second?
    me} Sure.
    cop}I'm responding to a man with a gun call and I suspect it's you.
    me}Probably; damned hopolaphobiacs.
    cop gives me a funny look
    me}People with an irrational fear of guns.
    cop} (chuckles) I'll have to remember that word. You haven't any problems have you?
    me} Nope. Just walking down the sidewalk minding my own business.
    cop}OK, I just had to check it out, I'll clear the call.
    He asked what I was carrying and we talked guns for a minute or so and he was on his way.

    If the encounter had started with "Hey you! Get over here and show me some ID!" Let's just say the tenor of the encounter would have been quite different. On the other hand had I started off with a pissie attitude I'm sure things would have taken a turn for the worse, it's mutual.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  11. Chris Chris

    Chris Chris

    Jul 2, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  12. skew12


    Sep 13, 2012
    I open carry from time to time and it's definitely not for attention from anyone.

    it's usually when i have to rush out and grab some truck parts, get something from home depot, or something i forgot for dinner, etc...and i don't want to, or i just don't have the time to change my attire to suit conceal carry. i'm sorry i just don't methodically plan my entire day.

    Also, it's my right to open carry (VA), so i intend on implementing that right. the people/organizations that fight for our gun rights didn't do for no reason. take advantage of what they do for you. however i do carry myself in a calm, asserative, and polite manner when i do OC.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  13. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Hellbilly Hill
    Missouri, right? Same here. No one even pays attention. My town is OK with it, but the surrounding ones are not.
  14. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Because by design a book is not intended to be a deadly weapon. a firearm is. And so far we don't have people taking their books into schools, playgrounds, churches, malls, and theaters and killing folks with their book.

    If a gun is to be viewed no different than a book why not carry a book for self defense and deterrent instead of a gun?
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  15. ballr4lyf


    Jan 3, 2012
    I've done that before... And I have the scars to prove it (kitty has sharp teef :crying:)
  16. CanMan

    CanMan Silver Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    in flagrante
    I don't think they do, at least not in my neck of the woods.
  17. steveksux

    steveksux Massive Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    The general disintegration of society. Damn kindles and smartphones. Nobody actually carries a book around anymore.

  18. SgtScott31


    Jan 17, 2011
    This question can have a thousand different answers depending on what state, city, county, or even street you live in! It will have a lot to do with the societal norm in that respective area.

    For instance, some people here feel that it's a violation of rights for an officer to ask ID when first making contact with an OCer. This could be true if the involved state requires more than just a firearm to stop & detain. Keep in mind I said "detain." Walking up and making consensual contact is not illegal anywhere. Even asking for ID can be construed as consensual. It's up to the courts in the state to interpret when the consensual contact becomes a "detainment." In TN, it is unlawful to carry a handgun (open or concealed) without a valid handgun carry permit. Technically under statute I can walk right up to you and your open-carried weapon and demand to see your permit to carry it. The permit is a defense to unlawful carry. If you fail to show it, then I can arrest for unlawful carry and you can offer your permit as a defense to the charge in court. Under statute it also requires the permit holder to show ID when requested by LE, so we have some wiggle room in my state. BTW, I have yet to approach and demand to see a permit based on the sole observation of open-carry. If I've asked about a weapon, it's been during a traffic stop or other investigatory encounter.

    Another example would be something as simple as the common method of carry in your neck of the woods. Although permit holders have the option to carry open or concealed in TN, most in my area choose to carry concealed. I'm in a large urban environment. I would say in more rural areas of TN open carry may be more common. I don't know as I don't work those areas. With that said, it doesn't mean I'm going to approach and investigate a person carrying openly, but depending on the time, area, movements, body language, and a multitude of other things, I will make a judgment call whether to keep driving along or stop and make contact. Again, if I keep the contact consensual, things the holder says or does can rise to a situation where I may ask for the permit or it moves into something else.

    I think it's ill-informed to make a blanket statement about LEOs and their views of gun holders. I'm sure there are some areas where interactions between gun toters and LEOs have not been that pleasant. I'm sure there are other areas where gun toters have yet to have one negative encounter with law enforcement. The multitude of LE know that we can't be everywhere at all times. As far as most of the officers I've spoke with, we encourage responsible carry. I teach part-time at the state academy and I've been in the business for 10+ years. I've spoken with quite a few LEOs during my career. None of them I have spoke with have ever said that people shouldn't carry guns around. I think most have the same opinion as me. We expect responsible gun carry.

    Not to get too long-winded, but also keep in mind that gunfire is usually either the #1 or #2 (sometimes behind traffic crashes) cause of death to police on-duty. Look at the amount of officers just this year who were ambushed with gunfire. We simply cannot make the assumption that every person carrying a firearm is Mary Poppins. I'm going home to see my wife and kids at the end of the day. If that means I have to hurt someone's feelings to do it, then so be it. I have done nothing but been respectful to all of the permit carriers I've stopped in my time. I have arrested several as well, but treated them nicely during the encounter unless it was time not to be nice. Those arrests didn't involve use of their weapon, but simply having it while being DUI or involved in other non-threatening criminal activity.

    Bottom line, there are way too many variables at play to give one simple statement about LEOs and their opinion on gun carriers. In my opinion, based on my work in my area, we encourage carry as long as it's done responsibly. I just ask that holders try to put themselves in our shoes every once and awhile. I encourage everyone to go on a ride-a-long if they ever get the chance. I think it will open your eyes a little bit about why LE in general are precautionary when dealing with weapons. There's always a LEO that will be a butt-head during a weapon-related encounter, but it's immature to suggest that all LE is the same way. That's like any other profession. If I get a plumber or carpenter who screws me from a job, I don't assume all of them are crooked or bad at what they do.

    Sorry for the long post. My .02.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  19. Roger1079


    Mar 22, 2008
    South FL
    Guns will ALWAYS have a stigma around them because they have the capability of being lethal. Many people become nervous when they see a civilian with a gun simply because of that fact. You also have the people that have the belief that only LEO's and people in the military should have firearms. This leads to phone calls to 911 in OC states that the police HAVE to respond to. Depending on the demeanor and the choice of words by the caller (who is already most likely afraid, and/or anti 2nd), this may affect the way the responding officer approaches the situation. A previous experience may also have an impcat on the way the officer handles things. These people deal with the scum of the earth daily, and the scum of the earth with a firearm certainly does not have the same intentions as a law abiding citizen open carrying legally. Keep all that in mind before condemning the way an officer approaches someone with a gun. They do not know you or your intentions and will always approach the situation as such.

    In my eyes, people who open carry do it to let everyone know that they are exercising their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms and are proud that they are doing so. There is nothing wrong with this, however nobody who does should ever be upset by the attention it causes, both good and bad.

    Even if OC were allowed in FL, I would never do it. I prefer for NOBODY around me to be aware that I am armed. On more than one occasion, I have went to reach for something high on a shelf in a store and exposed my pistol to some really weird looks ranging from disgusted to frightened to the nod of agreement. I would never invite this kind of attention.

    Just my .02
  20. S.Dewey


    May 5, 2012
    You do know that quite a few of the members here are Leo's right? And you just called everyone out over out over just what you've heard? We have a tough job to do that not everyone can do. We put our lives on the line not for the pay or the gratitude. We do it to serve our community and to help where we can. Though with that said we have a job to do and we have to do what it takes to keep our selves safe. Just because your a respectable person does not mean you can't have something wrong that day or that week or even that month and are looking for someone to take it out on. Meaning the sidearm is going to get put in my possession not just for my safety but yours also. Just my two cents.