Not only do they harass the law abiding, but they tried to get them to break the law! Keep the following in mind as you read this. It is illegal in this jurisdiction to conceal a firearm while in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Therefore, open carry is the only option legally available to these 7 men. From the VCDL Alert: ******************************************************** 2. Manassas City Police Harass Individuals Open Carrying at Restaurant ******************************************************** When you review the following report on how the Manassas City Police Department (MCPD) harassed 7 individuals lawfully open carrying in a restaurant that serves alcohol, think of what might have happened if HB 2943 was current law. Would they have placed the individuals under arrest so they could engage in a fishing expedition and search them and their vehicles? The MCPD owes the citizens of Virginia answers to the following questions: - Does the MCPD have a policy encouraging its officers to harass citizens lawfully open carrying a firearm? - Does the MCPD have a policy encouraging its officers to attempt to get permit holders to unlawfully conceal their firearm in a restaurant that serves alcohol? - Does the MCPD have a policy encouraging its officers to strong arm private businesses to eject law abiding customers from their premises just because they are lawfully open carrying a firearm? - Why did the entire on duty police force respond to a call when the caller acknowledged that the individuals weren't doing anything wrong? - What steps is the MCPD going to take to make sure the abuse of power demonstrated by the officers in this incident aren't going to be repeated again? EM Mike Stollenwerk submitted a FOIA request for any records pertaining to this incident: The 911 call: http://www.vcdl.org/Tonys/Tonys_911.mp3 FOIA response: http://www.vcdl.org/Tonys/MCPD_FOIA_Response.pdf When you look at the officer's communications in the FOIA, it's disturbing to see just how much disrespect they show towards law abiding gun owners. In the internal police communciations, the citizens were refered to as "ass clowns", "tards", and "f'ing retards". Had they been 7 black men, 7 Muslims, 7 Jews, or 7 Hispanic men, what epithet(s) would these officers have used? All of this, including the use of abusive language by the police during the encounter, adds up to a stunning lack of respect and regard on the part of MCPD officers for the law and the law abiding general public. Upon receiving the FOIA request, the MCPD police chief broadcast an email to other VA police agencies in search of similar "incidents" and intelligence on VCDL yielded a couple of gems. One police department made a suggestion that it would be good to "review gun laws with the troops", and another opined, "I hope your liability insurance is paid up". The following report was compiled from inputs from individuals involved in the incident at Tony's Pizza. --- On Saturday evening, Jan 13, seven individuals met for dinner at Tony's Pizza in Manassas. Since Tony's serves alcohol, all seven switched from concealed to open carry when they entered the restaurant to be in compliance with Virginia law. The meet up had been organized via OpenCarry.org, but most, if not all, of the participants were VCDL members. During the course of ordering our meal at the counter and waiting for it, another patron, who identified himself as a "former Marine" took umbrage at the sight of 7 law abiding citizens openly carrying firearms. Several of the 7 attempted to educate him as to VA law, but he was having none of it. He and his wife sat down near us and quietly ate their meal, and after about an hour, left. After exiting, he made a 911 call from the parking lot. In that call, he stated that there were 6 individuals (he apparently couldn't count) who were carrying guns and that he wasn't "comfortable with that". He acknowledged to the 911 call taker that we probably were legal and weren't doing anything wrong. To her credit, the 911 call taker advised the guy that what he had observed appeared to be legal and it didn't matter how either of them felt about the matter. With the caller persisting in stating how uncomfortable he was, she dispatched one police officer to check things out. Almost immediately, the remaining 8 on duty Manassas patrol officers signed themselves on to the call. Soon, these officers began arriving at the restaurant. The first one came in, demanded to see ID, explained that open carry was illegal, and told us we had to carry concealed. This is, of course, completely wrong and we politely tried to explain the law to this officer, but the officer became increasingly agitated. Within a minute or so, we were surrounded by over half a dozen officers and were now attracting the attention of other patrons, who had mostly ignored us. At this point, an older, calmer officer interrupted his agitated colleague and suggested we finish up and leave, despite having no basis for making such a request. Several officers went up front and got the owner, who then came back and said some of his customers were distressed and asked us to leave. We did so immediately. Once outside, one of our party had a copy of the ABC letter explaining the legality of open carry and a copy of the VA State Police web page. When approached, one of the group of officers said, "don't come over here and fight us" and that he "didn't need to see our damn letters". His supervisor, wasn't interested in talking either. Moments later we all departed, never having shown any ID as demanded by the first officer on the scene, as that officer either became distracted or realized he had no probable cause to demand it. At this point, the Tony's 7 are reviewing their options.