So I stop these Savannah officers...

Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by gsusnake, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    If you open carry in Savannah, be prepared to be disarmed, detained, and possibly arrested.

    I spoke with a sergeant and a corporal of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department at the show today. I identified myself and asked both of them (separately) what their response would be if they saw me open carrying a pistol, or received a Man With A Gun Call.

    They both said, "That depends on where you are."

    I said, "How about the mall?"

    I would arrest you. The mall is a public gathering.

    I said, "What about the provisions of State V. Burns?

    Neither officer was familiar with the decision, so I outlined the basics of it and stated that the court ruled that the General Assembly had distinguished between a "public place" and a "public gathering". I told them that the decision was based on an arrest in a McDonald's but was broadly applied by the courts to distinguish between places open to the public and public gatherings.

    They both stated that the mall was private property, and that I would more than likely be approached by mall security and asked to leave, and pointed out that this would result in a criminal trespass charge if I refused. I replied that I understood and the corporal asked, "So why do you want to carry in a mall anyway?"

    I quoted him some statistics about crime in the Savannah area and he recommended that if I wanted to carry in the mall, it would be best to carry concealed.

    I then asked what would happen if they saw me OC in another place. They replied that I would be stopped, questioned, and possibly detained until they could verify that I had a proper license to carry.

    I asked what their probable cause was (and I am NOT making this up, I swear on whatever you would like me to swear on that the sergeant said this)

    Your gun is all the probable cause I need.


    I then brought up Terry and Megesi and asked if they still felt justified in disarming. The answer was a very emphatic "Yes."

    The recommendation of both officers was that I carry concealed (if at all) while in the city of Savannah. I politely asked them both to please review the relevant caselaw and ask for direction on this issue higher up the chain of command. I also informed them both that I would be contacting the chief to receive his opinion and policy regarding open carry.

    I will be drafting the letter sometime next week and will post it here for editing and ideas before I send it.
     
  2. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    Interesting. Did you ever talk to that vendor that was behind us? Since he was SC LEO and all. Retired maybe? Also military going on a 1 year tour for that nice bonus.
     

  3. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    He did most of the talking, all freakin' afternoon.

    Nice guy, though.
     
  4. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    Yea, definitely. Maybe you can ask him about it tomorrow? I don't see him being the least bit anti... But you never really know.
     
  5. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    At least I didn't get "Why are you asking all these questions?"

    I think that was probably due to my stopping them when they weren't otherwise occupied (i.e. shopping around) and identifying myself at the outset of the conversation.

    Both of them stated that they are pro-2A (and I really believe that both are), just anti-OC.
     
  6. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    After hearing that yet another officer has now made the infamous "your gun is all the probable cause I need" I have to ask the question - what recourse is there against officers who blatantly disregard the law and take matters into their own hands?

    There has to be something that can be done and they must be held accountable.
     
  7. Hawkdriver

    Hawkdriver Member

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    From my own experience the Savannah Metro are about half and half. Half are very good Officers and the other half were straight out jerks. I guess that goes with any profession really though. I would hope when confronted with that situation while talking to the Officer detaining you and explaining the law, he let it go. He might not like it and it may change your plans for that day. Or the Officer just may be a total jerk having a bad day and pass one on to you.

    Now the only time I have encountered the GA state police they were straight out punks. Unprofessional to boot.

    I never OC. Never. I know some here do all the time, but despite the law, I know it's going to be a hassle, and I am just not up for it. I do however CC all the time.

    An Officer can use any excuse he wants to detain you. Right or wrong it's his word against yours at first. You may have every charge they place against you in the long run dropped, but you will have to do it at the expense of being hassled in public, getting a laywer, go to court, just to be told you were in the right to begin with. Chances are if you do the same thing that very day and see the same Officers in the same place the same thing will happen.

    He is on work time, you are on your own time proving your right.

    Right or wrong, that is reality.

    I don't know about you, but I try to remain under the radar at all times anyway. I try and do whats right. Then they should have no reason to f with me. I know that just isnt reality either.

    I do however fully understand what point the GCO and everyone here is making though. OC is legal and it should be viewed that way. Detaining someone with a gun who is OC'ing is like pulling someone over just because they are in a car and not doing anything illegal.
     
  8. Hawkdriver

    Hawkdriver Member

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    There is nothing you can do. That is the answer. Frustrating I know.

    BTW, I will try and stop by the GCO table tomorrow in my gun show run. :D
     
  9. foshizzle

    foshizzle New Member

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    At least he didn't say... "Where are you getting this? The internet?"

    #-o
     
  10. merlock

    merlock New Member

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    :D
     
  11. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    I have a feeling that if it were ever taken to court that a person was stopped OC and the officer felt it was probable cause enough to justify it that the court would side with the officer in the same manner that they did about disarming someone during a traffic stop. Its all about public safety and officer safety. Its ironic that the justification is probably something like "with all the public shootings you just never know"...which is one of the reasons to carry in the first place.

    Just an opinion...for what its worth.
     
  12. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    The question I would keep asking over and over and over again in this situation is "what law was broken/what crime had been committed?"

    OCing is not a violation of the code if you can produce a GFL. If a LEO did not know this and/or chose to ignore it, I would push the angle that it was gross negligence in the execution of his duties. If a LEO did not know and stops someone I could be a little more understanding, but as soon as they are made aware that no statute had been violated, I would expect them to go about their way. Too many LEO's think the average citizen won't spend the time and/or money to hire an attorney and pursue the matter civilly. They also forget there are lawyers out there who do work pro bono and would take one of these cases in a heartbeat with hopes of getting their cut as well.
     
  13. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Active Member

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    And it's all because of these 2 small provisions in state law both of which GCO intends to correct next legislative session.

    O.C.G.A. 16-11-129 (e)
    ...It shall be required that any license holder under this Code section have in his or her possession his or her valid license whenever he or she is carrying a pistol or revolver under the authority granted by this Code section, and his or her failure to do so shall be prima-facie evidence of a violation of Code Section 16-11-128...

    AND...


    O.C.G.A. 16-11-130 (d)
    A prosecution based upon a violation of Code Section 16-11-126, 16-11-127, or 16-11-128 need not negative any exemptions.
     
  14. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    This needs to be addressed as much as anything else. If there is no recourse for the police, we might as well be living in Nazi Germany.
     
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, come on!

    You're pulling our leg!

    :lol:
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    There is a huge distinction, though. The traffic stop is not based on the mere fact that you legally possess a firearm. It is based upon probable cause that you committed a traffic offense, and during the stop the officer may take steps to protect himself.

    What is the probable cause or reasonable suspicion in the open carry scenario?

    Wait! Don't answer that . . .

    :lol:
     
  17. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    I only wish I was.

    I nearly asked them if they had any friends in Gwinnett.
     
  18. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    You really should have gotten their names and mailed each of them a friendly note, "Enclosed please find the decision of the Court of Appeals that we discussed the other day. I hope you find this helpful to you in enforcing Georgia law. Thank you for taking the time to discuss this matter with me." Enclosed would be a copy of the decision with the "for a particular function" language, as well as public gathering and public place highlighted in bright yellow. Then go online and find the "training officer" and send it to him as well.
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Ignorance is correctable through education! :D
     
  20. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    Minds are like parachutes - they only work when open. You can't educate one who doesn't care to learn.