Current, former, and retired LEOs?

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by GAGunOwner, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    I just wanted to ask the LEO people on the board how they enforce(d) the gun laws/weapon laws?

    You can pretty much assume that if you are on this site you think that most if not all weapons laws are unconstitutional. That said:

    When you come across a "violator" do you just ignore it? Do you size up the individual and his actions and move from there? Do you offer a stern warning? Or do you just arrest the person and chalk it up to "just doing your job, even though you don't agree with it?"

    Some examples:

    You find a guy carrying a gun without a GFL?
    You find a guy carrying a gun with a GFL but he is at a "public gathering", etc.?
    You find a guy carrying with a GFL but he doesn't have a holster?
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,351
    383
    83
    Former.

    I never even asked questions of people carrying firearms if there was no other circumstance present.

    If, however, I caught someone committing a crime, and they had a firearm, and they were not eligible to possess that firearm, and the serial numbers were ground off, and the . . .

    Well, you get the idea.
     

  3. MrMorden

    MrMorden New Member

    2,598
    0
    0
    Former.

    I enforced them as I would want them to apply to me. I don't think I ever arrested somebody just for a firearms violation in my 3.5 years on the job.

    If somebody was a clear danger to himself or others with a firearm, then something should be done. Otherwise, live and let live (unless he's clearly breaking a big no-no law like carrying in a courthouse).
     
  4. GACop

    GACop New Member

    459
    2
    0
    Current Officer Here- Metro Atlanta

    I will not make an arrest of an otherwise law-abiding citizen for violations of things such as public gathering etc. I will tell them that the law prohibits it and if they get caught by the wrong person, they may get prosecuted.

    If I catch a criminal with a firearm, I'll charge them with every appropriate charge.

    I'll admit that back in the day, I was one of those officers that would automatically disarm you if our encounter was anything where you were not free to leave. It was not because I was "anti-gun" or anything like that. However, it was drilled in your head in training to do it for safety. I did what I was trained to do and according to case law and decisions at the time and now, I was covered in doing it.

    However, as I've matured (nice way of saying I'm getting old), I've realized there is a better way. I no longer disarm anyone *unless* one of two things is happening:

    1. I think they are a criminal and I'm truly concerned for my safety.

    2. I'm about to arrest them for something.

    The good news, at least I think it is good, is that I'm now a law enforcement instructor. When I teach, I stress that we need more "good" people carrying guns. I also remind new officers that an armed citizen may come to their aid one day.

    Also, for the record, I've had the opportunity to meet and speak with hundreds of Georgia officers. I *rarely* come across an officer that is anti-gun.

    BTW, even though this is my first post, I've been lurking for some time. Just wanted to give you guys a perspective from a current officer since it was asked.
     
  5. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

    1,861
    0
    0
    You picked a great topic for a first post. Thank you very much. In an otherwise frustrating state, its refreshing to hear from a current LEO and get your perspective.

    Welcome aboard.
     
  6. Thorsen

    Thorsen New Member

    4,226
    0
    0
    Thanks for the answers. Its nice reading a former or current police officer's take.
     
  7. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome!

    I have a question. You say that most cops are not anti-gun, but what about the percentage that are anti-non LE/military guns? What do you think the numbers are on that, in your experience?
     
  8. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

    4,322
    0
    0
    Welcome, glad to have you here.
     
  9. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,351
    383
    83
    Thanks for posting. I have met a lot of police officers who read here but do not post, and frankly, I think the other forum members here would appreciate their input.

    I really appreciated some of the comments you made - including the "drilled in by training" comment. Your rules for when to disarm or not were precisely what I followed when I was a police officer.

    Thanks again, and I hope your first post will not be your last.
     
  10. GACop

    GACop New Member

    459
    2
    0
    I would say that 90%+ of the officers I work with and have talked to have no problem with non-LE carrying guns. However, there are many that will disarm if they know you are carrying. As I said in my previous post, for most it is not about being "anti-gun" but genuinely about officer safety. We hear continuously in training, "Never trust anyone on a scene, anyone can do you harm." "The youngest person to kill a police officer is seven years old." The list goes on and on. It is really easy to buy into and follow the "disarm everyone" for your safety theory.

    The other problem is that while the vast majority of police officers are pro-gun, many of them are very "by the book" people. The police officers I know, myself included, tend to be very conservative. This translates most times into very "black and white" when it comes to right and wrong. Therefore, even though they have no problem with non-LE carrying guns, they don't see any grey area in code sections like public gathering, etc. I see 99%+ of issues in black and white. i.e. You robbed the bank or you didn't. You stole the item or you didn't. Your tag is expired or it isn't... You get the idea. However, I realize that with laws like public gathering, license to carry, etc. that they conflict with Constitutional protections that I believe are absolute. Since I'm given a wide range of discretion between verbal/written warnings and arrest/prosecution, I freely use that discretion that I'm given in those types of areas. I'll be having a tough day if anyone tells me I don't have that discretion anymore.

    I've got a lot more to say but it's dinner time. I'll come back and post some more rambling thoughts on the subject after I eat.
     
  11. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    I see. Thank you for answering my question. Your response was very helpful.
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,351
    383
    83
    They might if they knew why Georgia had a public gathering clause.

    Why Georgia Has a Public Gathering Clause

    :wink:
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,351
    383
    83
    There is also a thread here discussing the public gathering clause.
     
  14. GACop

    GACop New Member

    459
    2
    0
    I actually read that thread a few minutes ago. It is very interesting reading.

    Unfortunately, it is also a dark time in our state's history.
     
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,351
    383
    83
    That one (the one you quoted) is not a thread. It is an article on another web site (i.e., GCO). The second one is a thread here, which is probably what you read.
     
  16. merlock

    merlock New Member

    2,513
    0
    0
    :welcome:

    I look forward to your insights as well.
     
  17. JiG

    JiG Awaiting censure

    7,204
    6
    38
    GACop:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

    I hope i expressed my thanks enough.

    I also thank the former officers, but MP and MrMordon won't be giving me any problems in the future as i can tell. :wink:

    I think it would be important to express that the number of law abiding citizens waaaaay outnumbers the numbers of BGs. However; due to your line of work, you are exposed to the BGs in a disproportionate number. One of the reasons i couldn't be a cop. I would have a hard time seeing the world as a good place if i dealt with the bad in society all the time (not to mention seeing kids and animals in conditions i don't approve).

    Thank you for your service, your insight, and for deciding to post here.
     
  18. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

    13,616
    25
    48
    GACop --

    You know you just opened yourself up to a million and a half questions, right?

    "So hypothetically, can I carry..."

    "What is your opinion on..."

    "I have this rash, what can I..."
     
  19. JiG

    JiG Awaiting censure

    7,204
    6
    38
    He does that everyday when he puts on a uniform.