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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the gun show today, I asked two of Cobb County's finest how they would react if they saw me walking down the street open carrying.

Without hesitation, both replied they stop me, disarm me and check me out. Before returning my weapon and allowing me to leave, they would ensure I had a valid GFL, check to see if I had any outstanding wants or warrants and check the serial number of my gun.

"Even if I'm breaking no law? Just walking down the street?" I asked.

"Oh yeah!" they replied. One said he would stop and check me because if he didn't and I was seen by the general public, they would get calls about a "man with a gun" and he'd have to go check me anyway. Me simply displaying a gun is all the probable cause either of these guys thought they'd need to justify stopping and questioning me... As one of them said, "This ain't the Wild West".

Maybe the jerk at the last show wasn't so out of touch after all...

Speaking of which, I talked to one officer for a while. He said they get something like the "Cliff Notes" version of the laws they're supposed to enforce. He said the laws on firearm carry are confusing and seem to change each year. The papers he has refer to the GFL as a "concealed carry permit", not a firearms license. He said it also states a concealed weapon cannot be carried below the hips, which may explain some of the questions we've seen regarding ankle holsters.

He ended up asking me a fair number of questions about concealed carry because his wife has applied for a GFL and he wants to be sure she's legal. The information he's been given by his department doesn't explain things clearly enough for him to trust it. I referred him to our website.

He said he supported what we are doing; trying to get Georgia's firearms laws rationalized and rewritten in plain English so even cops can understand them.

It appears we have a lot of work to do. If a fairly large department, which should have the resources to check their facts, is issuing incorrect and confusing information, what are the smaller departments doing?
 

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:(

I am not knocking the 2nd officer, cause I am glad he is admitting the issues and wants his wife to be lawful. But I think this is a perfect example of how our laws are terribly confusing, when an officer who enforces the laws, need to ask someone who is not in LE about the laws they enforce.

Again I think this points out a system problem not so much with the officers themselves.
 

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I spoke with two men who visited our table that said they were police officers. Both men were completely ignorant of the Georgia firearms carry laws. One tried to bluff his way through the law with me, and the other straight up admitted that he really did not know the laws well and that he found them confusing. The second of the two took our card and said he would visit the site to learn more about the firearms laws and thanked me. Both of the men said that our laws need to be rewritten and clarified.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have nothing derogatory to say about the officers. Nothing at all! They were nice, decent guys trying their best to do a difficult and dangerous job. They were friendly, open and trying to be helpful. They told me honestly how they would respond to open carry.

When I pointed out open carry is legal, both laughed... one rather heartily. The cold facts are, if they see a gun, they respond! No matter where or when or if legal or not. Gun = response by cops and that's the name of that tune!!!

I doubt they would do a full felony face-in-the-concrete stop, but they definitely would stop anyone they see with a gun and check things out! Almost every LEO we've asked at several shows has responded the same and the one guy who wasn't quite so positive said he "might" confront a person he observed carrying a gun.

I agree the laws are screwed up. Screwed up to the point the cops don't understand them, as one guy freely admitted. But there are lots and lots and lots of laws! They're only going to be completely familiar with the ones they deal with routinely and refer to the printed material on anything else.

What I found most distressing was learning the synopsis of laws issued by their department is incomplete and incorrect. Is this something published by each department or by some central agency? Is there anything we can do to correct that information and have the corrected info disseminated to the cops on the street? Even if we do, will that change anything?
 

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Thorsen said:
The second of the two took our card and said he would visit the site to learn more about the firearms laws and thanked me.
Do we really want all LEOs to know the details of all of these laws that this site can provide?

I mean really, do we want most LEO to know it is illegal to leave your gun in your car at Applebees? What about the 200 yard rule that applies to PGs? Or what about the one that talks about being too close to a MARTA bus stop?

I don't know about you but I'd rather most LEOs be ignorant of this kinda stuff. :wink:
 

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So was your gun all the probable cause they need?
 

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What I found most distressing was learning the synopsis of laws issued by their department is incomplete and incorrect. Is this something published by each department or by some central agency? Is there anything we can do to correct that information and have the corrected info disseminated to the cops on the street? Even if we do, will that change anything?
That's a good idea. If we could get a slimmed-down version of the Laws in Plain English formatted like the police book, we could pass them out to all the interested officers we see. I don't think it'd be possible to have them issued at a departmental level, though, since that would invite all sorts of legal issues.
 

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Where are they getting ankle holsters being illegal from?
 

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wsweeks2 said:
CoolHand said:
Where are they getting ankle holsters being illegal from?
The same place they're being told that a gun=probable cause.
It was actually illegal at one time to carry in an ankle holster. People complianed and they amended the law and added "any holster." I suppose many LEOs still don't now about the change or have been told the old law by veteran officers who are ignorant of the change. Maybe they are reading old literature?
 

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So where do these no guns in cars at applebees come fom? I have never seen that one.
or the 200 yard rule and PG?
 

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That stems from case law
The provision of law which prohibits carrying to a church, or other place where the people have assembled for Divine worship, any liquor or intoxicating drink, is violated when one attending such exercises at a named church has in his buggy a bottle containing whisky, and the buggy is left standing within one or two hundred yards of the church building during the exercises. The defense that such liquor was carried there to be used by the wife of the person carrying it, in case of a sudden attack of illness, will not avail against the plain words of the statute, which itself furnishes the only exceptions allowable to the operation of the law.
(Bice v. State, 1899)
 

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gsusnake said:
So was your gun all the probable cause they need?
This isn't the first time we've heard that :roll:

The more I read stuff like this the more I think we need two things. First, it might be good if there was some sort of "Georgia Firearms Laws in a Nutshell" document that goes over the pertinent 16-11's and make it available for officers, even if it's just online. At least the non-Atlanta departments might be interested in reading it. Second, one of my friends worked for a DUI attorney this summer and he gave me one of his firm's "hand this to the officer when you get stopped card" it's about the size of a bookmark, but if one is open carrying and is accosted by an officer a similar card might prove useful.
 

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viper32cm said:
Second, one of my friends worked for a DUI attorney this summer and he gave me one of his firm's "hand this to the officer when you get stopped card" it's about the size of a bookmark, but if one is open carrying and is accosted by an officer a similar card might prove useful.
Similar to this?
 

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That very one. My friend came home with a 250 stack after his last day at work. Just in case someone in the law school made a "mistake."

According to him though use of that card will result in arrest, but may avoid a conviction.
 

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GAGunOwner said:
Thorsen said:
The second of the two took our card and said he would visit the site to learn more about the firearms laws and thanked me.
Do we really want all LEOs to know the details of all of these laws that this site can provide?

I mean really, do we want most LEO to know it is illegal to leave your gun in your car at Applebees? What about the 200 yard rule that applies to PGs? Or what about the one that talks about being too close to a MARTA bus stop?

I don't know about you but I'd rather most LEOs be ignorant of this kinda stuff. :wink:
I am interested in everyone's thoughts on this question too. I have been asking myself this same question lately. I want to write my local chief of police and maybe even the DA to ask for some guidance on CC/OC.

Basically, I want to know what their interpretation is, especially with regards to PC for questioning and with regards to CC/OC in restaurants, leaving my weapon in my car in a prohibited place, etc. I want to see how they would apply the law, practically speaking so I will know what to expect.

Thoughts? Has anyone done this?
 
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