CCW Badges

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by gunsmoker, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    Wearing Badge = Impersonating Officer?

    I have a question about the law on "impersonating an officer." In Georgia, it is found under code section 16-10-23. It says that it is a felony (1-5 years) for a person to "falsely hold himself out as a peace officer or other public officer or employee with the intent to mislead another into believing that he is actually such an officer..."

    I have looked at a couple dozen cases that have gone up to the Court of Appeals of Georgia involving convictions under this code section, and NONE of them were even close to what we often talk about here and at Packing.Org ---a civilian carrying and even publicly and openly wearing a badge that is of a similar size and shape and configuration as a law enforcement badge, but it actually says "Armed Citizen" or "Pistol Permit Licensee" or "Firearms License" or something like that. And the civilian does not SAY to anyone that he is a law enforcement officer, and the civilian does not DO some action that the public would only associate with cops, such as mount a light bar on the roof of his car, install a public address speaker, and pull behind another motorist with the light activated, while saying into the microphone: "Pull Over"

    Does anybody have any citation to authority, either in Georgia or from some other state (preferably a conservative state in the Southeastern U.S.), that indicates civilians who carry or display non-LEO badges can be convicted of impersonating an officer?

    Please do not cite to any case involving the offender explicitly telling somebody that he's a cop, a detective (even a private detective), an officer, an agent, or that he's "with" a certain well-known law enforcement agency.

    Similarly unhelpful would be those numerous cases involving drug dealers wearing black tactical gear and clothing marked "POLICE" or "DRUG SQUAD" or "DEA" or "FBI" and kicking down the door of the home of a rival drug dealer, intending to steal his stash of drugs and money. Those cases involve affirmative acts of the defendant that most people would only associate with genuine LEO's : serving warrants.

    If anybody has persuasive authority to cite that is relevant to the issue at hand, great. Let's all get better informed. I actually need to see if there's such caselaw out there for a different reason of my own, beyond just mere curiosity.

    If there is no such caselaw out there, and all reported "impersonating an officer" convictions that are upheld involve radically different fact patterns than what we're talking about with CCW badges for otherwise law-abiding civilians, then let's put that urban legend to rest and strike it from the list of "Reasons Why CCW Badges are a Bad Idea."

    I mean, c'mon.... isn't that list too long already? ;-)
  2. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

    CCW Badges maybe not a bad idea?

    I know I will probably get reamed for this, but CCW badges may not be such a bad idea.

    My reasoning is that if someone is carrying concealed, then carry the badge concealed next to your firearm. Then if you're in public and by accident or act of god should your shirt or jacket open or fly up revealing your weapon, it will reveal your badge as well. So if any prying soccer mom's eyes happen to see your accidently exposed weapon, he/she will see the badge too and just assume that you're an official of some kind and figure it's ok for you to have a gun. But never use your badge to identify yourself as a license holder. Keep it hidden with your gun. That is what your GFL is for.

    That is just my :2cents:

  3. cbp0229

    cbp0229 Member


    Having a CCW badge is stupid in my opinion. Someone that gets caught displaying one in public should be charged. If you want to show someone you are licensed to carry, then pull out your license. That's my 2 cents worth...
  4. Pede

    Pede New Member

    CCW Badge

    Before Florida recognized our CCW permits, I applied for, and received, a nonresident FL CCW permit. The state offered a CCW Badge with your CCW permit number on it. I got one; not to flash around, but just for the heck of it and because the money went to families of slain officers (price $80). However, I believe it's a good idea to have one on our belt next to your concealed gun. Those that dismiss this as indication of a cop "wanna be" do not take into account that there should not be a "them and us" attitude between the police and the average citizen (I detest the term civilian, as it has a military conotation for the police) when it comes to protecting ourselves and the lives of third parties. A badge, or some other type of identification icon, should be required next to the firearm as well as the carrying of the permit. This way a legally armed individual can be readily identified should some one accidently see your concealed weapon. Further, the cop arriving on the scene of an incident could readily identify the good guy from the bad guy. Although some people may abuse this icon or badge, the law could stipulate that such abuse will result in the possible loss of your permit, a fine, or both.
  5. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

    gunsmoker, the closest thing I can find to what you are seeking (after a brief search) is State v. Taylor 2005 WL 3536476 (OH) and State v. Smith 2004 SL 1811265 (OH).

    Those two cases are similar, happened in the same town, and under almost identical circumstances. I'll give a brief description of the more "innocent" sounding facts. In Smith, the defendants were working as private security in bars. They were employed by a company called "Ohio State Constable, Inc." The wore black "fatigue" type clothes. The shirts had patches on them in the shapes of badges, but the patches did not say "police" on them. The wore baseball caps that said "Ohio State Constable" (the name of their company) on them. One defendant openly wore a 9 mm handgun, the other wore an empty holster (but they do not appear to have been charged with any gun crimes). Based on these facts, both were convicted (and their convictions were affirmed on appeal) for impersonating police officers.

    My opinion, again based only on these facts, is that defendants got a raw deal. There was no evidence that they took any actions reserved for officials. They were on private property, performing services for the owners of that property.

    On the topic of CCW badges generally, I don't have any desire to have one, but I don't fault people who do, for the reasons discussed earlier in this thread. A badge is nothing more than evidence that the wearer holds some office or warrant from the sovereign. A CCW badge is evidence that the wearer holds a "warrant" to carry. I think the times when having one would be helpful are few and far between, but, if someone wants one, have at it.
  6. brett30030

    brett30030 Guest

    CCW are by nature intended to be hidden and out of public view. If you have a permit, are you really scared of a soccer mom seeing your gun? How did she see it in the first place? What real purpose would a badge serve? If a LEO is responding to an event, a badge is not going to diffuse a situation. I saw these advertised a few months ago, and all i could think of was.....nevermind :!:
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    mzmtg! :rotfl: I just spit hot tea all over my monitor!
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    My son dressed as a policeman last year for Halloween (he was four) and his badge said "police." His hat said "police," too. He actually carried a ticket book and went around writing tickets with various infractions and ridiculous fines (he wrote me one for a $1,000 for "spEEDiNG"). He had a little radio that made police noises when you pushed the button.

    My wife took him to some outdoor event in the suburbs a few days before Halloween where all the kids were trick or treating during the daytime. When he told me about it later, he was giggling, saying that "grown-ups" were begging him, "Please don't arrest me."

    "Silly people! They thought I was a real policeman."

    I guess it was the penciled-in moustache. :D

    Well, gunsmoker, what do you think? Can you make a case? :D