STATESBORO WAL MART ***IMPORTANT***

Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by gsusnake, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    I was in the Statesboro Wal Mart on the morning of Friday, September 7 at around 0300 while openly carrying. I browsed the entire store, looking at items in each department while shopping. I had a lady in the Sporting Goods department ask if the Sig P226 on my hip was "a real gun."

    I replied, "Yes, it is."

    She said, "Are you a police officer?"

    I replied, "No, I am not."

    I then went on about my business.

    About 20 minutes later, I was on the other side of the store in a grocery aisle when I overheard another employee talking about my weapon. The talk was not directed at me, so I ignored it.

    I was in another grocery aisle about ten minutes later when I was approached by "Joey", the night manager, and two associates whose names I did not get. One of them was an older gentleman, and the other was a young lady, around mid-20s. Neither of them said anything in the conversation.

    Joey said he had gotten a call concerning a man with a gun. The caller (unknown if it was an employee or a customer) evidently gave him my description.

    I asked Joey how I could help him. He asked to see my carry permit, which I handed to him. He then told me it is "against corporate policy to carry a firearm in their stores." I replied that I was not aware of such a policy and asked to see the directive in their corporate literature banning the carry of firearms, as I had been led to believe that Wal Mart's policy on carry reverted to state law. I also informed him that I was breaking no laws by carrying.

    He replied, "Only police officers can carry here, and only while on duty and in uniform." I asked what they did about off duty or plainclothes/undercover police. He said they must inform a member of management if they are carrying a gun.

    He then went on to tell me that if I wished to carry a gun in "his" store, that I would be required to inform a member of management upon arrival to the store. I asked him why there were no signs posted detailing this policy, and he replied that he did not know. I then asked him if I could see some sort of official direction either from the store manager or someone at the district or corporate level as to this policy. I received no response.

    I asked him if I could continue shopping, or if I was being asked to leave the premises. He said I could continue shopping, so I paid for my goods and left.

    I got the co-manager's name (as the store manager is currently out of town at a conference) and contact information and intend to contact him this morning, which is the first available opportunity I have had due to scheduling conflicts to speak with him.

    This manager's name is Clint Haynes, and he will be in today, 12SEP2007, at 0700. The phone number for the store is (912) 489-1910.
     
  2. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    I returned to the store this morning (12SEP) at about 0415 to pick up a few items. Given my last experience with the night crew, I chose to conceal my firearm under an outer shirt, but I was carrying OWB and made no real effort at concealment or at preventing "printing".

    Once again, I browsed through the store. Tonight there was no comment made by any of the employees of the store. As I was walking down the main aisle in the grocery section, however, a man with "Bud" on his nametag and a yellow tag that said "Asst. Mgr" asked me, "Sir, is that a phone on your side there?"

    I said, "Yes," as I also had a cell phone clipped to my waistband. He said, "OK, because we've been having problems with people carrying guns in here."

    I also saw "Joey" from the other night but I had no contact with him. I am fairly certain that he recognized me, and that is the reason I was questioned about the bulge on my hip, but he did not say anything to me.

    About 15 minutes later (approximately 0455), I was traveling up one of the frozen food aisles when two uniformed Statesboro PD officers approached me. They made no effort at identifying themselves. The senior officer said, "Sir, let me see your concealed permit. That is a gun you're carrying there, right?" and then proceeded to pat me down underneath my shirt, feeling for the grips and hammer of the weapon.

    I provided my GFL and asked the officer why he searched me without my consent. He replied that under Terry, he needed no consent to search my person when he suspected me of carrying a weapon.

    He then asked me for my driver's license. I responded that I had identified myself to the extent required by law and was not operating a motor vehicle, so he did not need to see my license. He replied that it would speed the "investigation" along if I provided some form of photo ID, so I handed over my DL.

    He then called in my driver's license number over his radio (I guess for a warrant check?) and I asked him why I was stopped. He replied that they were in Wal Mart on another call and that someone asked them to please check me out. He then asked me why I "lied" to management and told them my gun was a phone.

    I replied, "I did not lie. I was asked if I had a phone on my hip and I told them I did. It's none of their damn business if I'm carrying a firearm."

    He said, "Well, it is their business, as they are running a business and they don't want to get robbed."

    I said, "How many firearms license holders commit crimes? I had to pass a thorough background examination and provide fingerprints in order to receive that permit. I don't plan on committing any crimes."

    His response was, "How many people do you know that walk around with a gun strapped to their [sic] hip?"

    I said, "More than you would believe."

    The call came back from the station with my name, address, and a series of numbers that I did not catch and which had no meaning to me. I now take them to mean that my check came back clear.

    He handed back my GFL and DL. I asked, "Am I free to go?" to which he replied, "Yes."

    I then asked the officers to identify themselves, as they had not done so during the duration of the stop. They were Corporal Powell and Officer Olsen. I had no direct contact with Ofc. Olsen. My only interaction was with the corporal. They did not provide badge numbers.

    I paid for my goods and left.

    When I got out to the car, there were two marked SPD cars in front of Wal Mart, and an officer standing next to one of them. I did not stop to see who it was, but he watched me walk all the way to my vehicle. Once I got to my vehicle, I called the Statesboro Police Department and asked for the badge numbers of the two officers who stopped me. I also got the watch supervisor's name. The young lady who answered the phone offered to let me speak with the supervisor (Sergeant Forney) and I refused at the time.

    When I arrived home at about 0530, I called the SPD back and asked to speak with Sgt. Forney. The same girl replied that he was out on the streets and took down my phone number and name, and had him call me.

    When I spoke with Sgt. Forney, I asked him if I could ahve a copy of the incident report from the stop in Wal Mart with his officers. He replied that there would be no report filed.

    His exact words were "We got a complaint about you having a weapon. The officers responded, and you had the proper paperwork. There is no reason to make a report."

    I did not ask him if the officers had articulable suspicion or probable cause to perform a stop or a pat-down.

    Did they? Is a "bulge" under my shirt enough cause for an officer to pat me down without my consent, or is my gut feeling (that my constitutional rights were violated) correct?
     

  3. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    I am going to drive back to Wal Mart at 0700, with a copy of this narrative detailing both encounters, and a copy of the relevant statutes and caselaw printed out, and respectfully request a meeting with Mr. Clint Haynes. I will not be armed.

    We are going to get to the bottom of Wal Mart carry once and for all.
     
  4. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    Usually I post things like this as soon as they happen, then decide later that I should not have created the :censored: storm that I did. That's why I waited to post the account of the first encounter.

    This is not one of those times. I am fully prepared to carry this as far as humanly possible and as far as needed.
     
  5. GunNut

    GunNut New Member

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    Does she run into a lot of people open carrying fake guns?
     
  6. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    Your gun was all the probable cause he needed!
     
  7. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    I wonder if it has anything to do with the time of day... I was there Sep 7 during the afternoon. Who at the sporting goods counter said something?
     
  8. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    There is now ay he could have known that I had a gun until after performing the stop, as I did not have a chance to admit to being in possession of a gun until after he had groped me.

    Yes, it was obvious to damn near anyone with any LE, .mil, or carry experience that I was carrying. But he had no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I was carrying until he felt me up.
     
  9. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    I'm sure it does.

    What can I say? I work nights. I'm up at night. I like shopping at night because there's less of a crowd and I can usually get right to what I want.
     
  10. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    gsusnake, the officer is correct about the terry stop. He can pat you down to look for weapons while he conducts an investigation.

    Don't forget to bring them a copy of the store policy from CORPORATE on carry in stores.


    Snake, any help you need in this matter, I am at your disposal.
     
  11. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    I need that policy, preferably not linked from a website that is "pro-gun".
     
  12. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    IIRC the letter is from 1999, so I would place a call to WMHQ and ask for a faxed copy of their policy. Better to get it straight from the horse's mouth.
     
  13. Jmark

    Jmark Active Member

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    I thought according to the other Walmart thread that the store policy is now up to district managers, not corporate. Is it possible that the district manager no longer wants ccw in their stores?
     
  14. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    When was that supposed to go into effect?
     
  15. Jmark

    Jmark Active Member

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    No idea. It sounds like it has been in effect. Not really something you would find out until an encounter like snakes.
     
  16. Jmark

    Jmark Active Member

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    Walmart was certainly one of my main shopping destinations especially since there is little else around here. I have a feeling that if they keep going in this direction I will severely curtail my spending there.
     
  17. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    I have yet to see that in writing from WMHQ.
     
  18. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    Glad you had your wits about you during the conversations and follow up.

    I'm also glad that the officers did not try to disarm you for their protection during the stop, or throw you to the ground after finding out that you had a gun.

    I imagine that the story about having another call was fictitious, it was probably the Ass. Manager that called them after he recognized you.

    (whoops, I meant to type that as Asst.)
     
  19. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    Ramm, I would double check your facts on that one. I have done a search and can't find the thread, but there was a court ruling stating that the mere presense of a firearm does not justify a Terry stop. The article was printed in the IACP magazine I believe.

    If someone else can provide the link it would be appreciated, or I'll look in a little while when I have some time.
     
  20. Taler

    Taler New Member

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    I'm also confused. Somehow I thought Terry applied in the presence of another circumstance, and the pat was the outgrowth of that circumstance, (nominally) for officer safety.