U.S. District Judge: Open Carrying a Handgun is Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime
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U.S. District Judge: Open Carrying a Handgun is Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime

U.S. District Judge: Open Carrying a Handgun is Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime
Walther P99, a semi-automatic pistol from the ...

Walther P99, a semi-automatic pistol from the late 1990s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted By Philip Hodges on Nov 5, 2013

These kinds of cases always outrage me. There are countless videos on the internet of police encounters with people open carrying their weapon. Most of them don’t end well for the citizen, even though in the vast majority (if not all) of the encounters, the citizens themselves were never doing anything illegal. They were just carrying a gun in the open. That’s something police do all the time. But when a “civilian” does it, it constitutes probable cause for a crime.

That’s just how one U.S. District Judge ruled recently in a case originating in Sugar Hill, Georgia, not far from where I live and probably a mile or so from the recording studio where I work.

A security guard spotted a man walking around in a park with a handgun on his hip. Apparently, the man was wearing black boots, black socks and camouflage clothing. And also, there was a playground nearby. All this added up to just way too much “suspicious activity” for the guard to pass up. So, he called the county police and reported the “suspicious” man and asked for an officer to be called to the scene.

When police arrived, they tried questioning the man. Not having committed any crime, the man was not forthright about identifying himself or answering questions about why he was there and why he had a gun.

They arrested him for criminal trespass. They had apparently asked him to leave the park, and he didn’t comply. The police had the blessing of the magistrate judge who told them that they had sufficient probable cause for an arrest.

According to the court document:

 [Officer] Bell detained Plaintiff [the man in the park] because he had observed that Plaintiff was carrying a sidearm or firearm on his “left hip,” and was concerned for the safety of the people in the Park and for his own safety. Bell needed to identify Plaintiff to see whether Plaintiff was authorized to carry a firearm. Bell also wanted to find out why Plaintiff was at the Park

When the man was being patted down, they found an additional fully loaded gun magazine in one of his pockets in addition to the one round in the chamber of the gun that he had on his hip. They ran the serial number on his firearm to see if it was a stolen gun. It wasn’t.

The only identification that the plaintiff Christopher Proescher produced when he was under arrest was his Georgia weapons permit. But that wasn’t good enough, since it didn’t have Proescher’s photograph.

These kinds of cases always outrage me. There are countless videos on the internet of police encounters with people open carrying their weapon. Most of them don’t end well for the citizen, even though in the vast majority (if not all) of the encounters, the citizens themselves were never doing anything illegal. They were just carrying a gun in the open. That’s something police do all the time. But when a “civilian” does it, it constitutes probable cause for a crime.

That’s just how one U.S. District Judge ruled recently in a case originating in Sugar Hill, Georgia, not far from where I live and probably a mile or so from the recording studio where I work.

A security guard spotted a man walking around in a park with a handgun on his hip. Apparently, the man was wearing black boots, black socks and camouflage clothing. And also, there was a playground nearby. All this added up to just way too much “suspicious activity” for the guard to pass up. So, he called the county police and reported the “suspicious” man and asked for an officer to be called to the scene.

When police arrived, they tried questioning the man. Not having committed any crime, the man was not forthright about identifying himself or answering questions about why he was there and why he had a gun.

They arrested him for criminal trespass. They had apparently asked him to leave the park, and he didn’t comply. The police had the blessing of the magistrate judge who told them that they had sufficient probable cause for an arrest.

According to the court document:

[Officer] Bell detained Plaintiff [the man in the park] because he had observed that Plaintiff was carrying a sidearm or firearm on his “left hip,” and was concerned for the safety of the people in the Park and for his own safety. Bell needed to identify Plaintiff to see whether Plaintiff was authorized to carry a firearm. Bell also wanted to find out why Plaintiff was at the Park

When the man was being patted down, they found an additional fully loaded gun magazine in one of his pockets in addition to the one round in the chamber of the gun that he had on his hip. They ran the serial number on his firearm to see if it was a stolen gun. It wasn’t.

The only identification that the plaintiff Christopher Proescher produced when he was under arrest was his Georgia weapons permit. But that wasn’t good enough, since it didn’t have Proescher’s photograph.

Read more at http://lastresistance.com/3564/u-s-district-judge-open-carrying-handgun-reasonable-suspicion-crime/#kjlBYceMKsprMwIs.99

Continue reading at U.S. District Judge: Open Carrying a Handgun is Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime – The Last Resistance | The Last Resistance.

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