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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/24/2002 6:22:58 AM EST
This is a letter written by Dennis O'Connor, Director of the Virginia Citizen's Defense League. This is great, because if we have to comply with the government's (state, local, and fed) gun laws, the government should have to play by the rules too. And for you Virginia members, this is yet another reason why you should join [url=www.vcdl.org]VCDL[/url]. I mean come on, $15 a year is all it takes, and look at what they've done for us!! Anyway, on to the article: THEN *WHAT* ARE YOU? On May 28th, seven VCDL members converged on Richmond City Hall to apprise the city council that the gun ban signs in city parks were illegal and had to come down. Those of us who were armed showed our permits to the deputies manning metal detectors at either door and were waved through without incident. However, ten minutes later I alone was inexplicably called out by a deputy and informed that no firearms were permitted at the council meeting. After unsuccessfully challenging the deputy, I left the building. VCDL President Philip Van Cleave, who was already scheduled to speak at that meeting, took the opportunity to lambaste the council for their violation of my civil rights, and over the next several weeks spoke with the Richmond Sheriff's office on behalf of VCDL to demand satisfaction.. An internal affairs inquiry ensued, and we were led to believe that Richmond's Deputy Sheriffs were apprised of citizens' rights to bear arms, and the situation had been resolved. On Monday, July 22, I drove up to Richmond to attend the City Council Meeting for the purpose of testing Richmond's compliance with state law regarding the rights of gun owners. As I pulled into the parking lot opposite City Hall, the thought occurred to me that since I had driven all this way to put them to the test, I might as well "push the envelope" and carry open. [i][b]continued...[/i][/b]
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 6:24:45 AM EST
[i][b]...continued[/i][/b] So I walked into the lobby with a .45 semi-auto in my Fobus holster in plain view on my right hip. As I signed in at the desk, Deputy Sheriff M stood up and asked "What's that?" while pointing to my hip. "My firearm" I replied. "What are you doing with it here?" "I always carry it." "Are you RPD (Richmond Police)?" "No." "You can't go into the council meeting with that!" "Oh, really? Is there an ordinance against it?" "Yes." "I'd like to see it." "I don't have it here. They probably have one upstairs." "I would be interested in getting a copy of it, since if one exists it is clearly in violation of state law, especially in light of the preemption bill signed by the Governor that was implemented July 1st." He stared at me a moment, taking it all in. "Have you been to council meetings before?" he asked. "Yes." "With that?" (pointing to my gun) "The last time I was here I carried concealed" (neglecting to tell him I was evicted for it). At this, he ignored me for a couple minutes, overseeing others signing in, glancing back at me occasionally and probably hoping I would go away. He seemed confused as to what to do. "I'd like to see the ordinance" I reminded him. "You're a detective!" he announced hopefully, looking for an easy out. "No" I said. Exasperated now, and with raised voice he asked "Then what are you?" Smiling, I answered "a citizen." [i][b]continued...[/i][/b]
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 6:25:20 AM EST
[i][b]...continued[/i][/b] After a pause to mull this over, Deputy M said "Show me your handgun permit." "You mean in case I ever decide to conceal it? As you can see, this is not concealed. I'm carrying open. No permit is required." (I had a concealed carry permit in my wallet, but I refused to let that be my ticket in, as it would set a bad precedent for citizens without permits who legally carry open). He stood there looking at me, and after another pause, demanded "show me some ID." When I complied, he compared my ID to my signature where I had signed in, as if I would have signed in under an alias. Maybe he just needed to feel as though he was in better control of the situation than he really was. "OK, come with me" he said with resignation. We took the elevator to the 2nd floor, and rounded the corner to where Deputy D was manning the metal detector outside the council chambers. Deputy D was the one who had evicted me for concealed carry two months before, and we immediately recognized each other. "Ohhh, I know him," sighed Deputy D with a roll of his eyes when he saw me coming. I gave him a cheerful hello, which he didn't return. "I know him," he said again to Deputy M. It was clear that Deputy D had been counseled concerning the right of citizens to bear arms since our last interaction, but apparently he was only advised to ask for a concealed carry permit to allow access, which he now did. At this, Deputy M and I now both chimed in together: "But it's not concealed!" "I don't need a permit for open carry" I added. There was a look of total confusion and consternation on Deputy D's face. He and Deputy M looked back and forth at each other, at me, at my gun, and then looked at each other again, seemingly at a loss about how to handle open carry. "He showed me an ID" offered Deputy M suggestively. "OK, show me your ID" demanded Deputy D. I handed it to him, and he barely glanced at it before handing it back, turning away from me and saying "just go in." "Who, me?" I asked, wanting to be sure. "Yea, just go in," he said again with finality, glad to be done with me, and surely not wanting to have to deal with his supervisors again on the issue of legally armed citizens. Although there was little on the agenda to interest me (I'm not even a Richmond resident), I stayed for two hours just to make sure the deputies didn't have a change of heart or mind. But they wisely left well enough alone. VCDL has blazed yet another trail for the freedom of Virginia's gun owners. So feel free to carry your firearm to the Richmond City Council Meeting, either open or concealed as you prefer. It is your right. Dennis J. O'Connor Director, VCDL [email]dennis@vcdl.org[/email]
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 6:28:31 AM EST
Oh, please. Are you serious? The best example of this is how the police in DC, New York, Chicago, etc. all pack serious firepower. Why? Aren't guns illegal in your miserable cities? Whence the threat that requires a gun to counter? Oh, you mean bad guys actually BREAK the law? So why then, do the good guys have to be disarmed? OH! So the gov guys can walk armed amongst us. Hmmmmm...... Governemtn following its own rules. HA!
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 6:31:07 AM EST
Boy's got grapefruits dangling 'tween his legs. ...'er at least that big
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 6:31:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 6:53:55 AM EST
Clarification of my earlier post: I was refering to the concept of government following its own rules. After having read the entire story, I must agree with Garandman and add that, not only are they grapefruit-sized, they are made of HY-10000 hi-yield steel alloy of an especially high purity. BZ, dude! Wish I'd been there to see that one!
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 7:11:54 AM EST
Wow. I'm thinking of moving to Virginia. Is this an example of a concerned citizen standing up for their rights? Without rioting, looting, and burning down the city. Imagine if more concerned citizens started attending City council meetings.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 7:15:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 7:18:26 AM EST by Chimborazo]
I wish I was there too. This has been an ongoing battle with the Richmond City [s]Circus[/s] Counsel. During the legislative session, whenever members go to speak at the Virginia General Assembly, they go armed. Last year we had two people open carry and several concealed in the GA. It was great. The deputies pulled the same stuff, but finally gave in. We have also had several illegal "no guns" signs taken down from city property. Edited to add: Hmanjr, he is a concerned citizen, and [b]not one[/b] VCDL member is paid. It is completely volunteer. If you move to VA, please join...we'd love to have you.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 7:27:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By USNA91: The best example of this is how the police in DC, New York, Chicago, etc. all pack serious firepower. Why? Aren't guns illegal in your miserable cities? Whence the threat that requires a gun to counter?
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You know, I just thought of something. Why do off-duty officers need to carry their firearms? They're not actively policing, so if they see something and need to handle it, why can't they call 911 like the rest of us? I really don't think cops should be prohibited from carrying their weapons at all times, but I'd like to ask those asshole politicians who are anti-RKBA to answer.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 7:30:19 AM EST
That's the kind of thing that needs to be done everywhere. This is a smart, motivated guy. If something isn't illegal the LEO that makes an issue of it is making a big mistake. I'm inspired by this. Dennis O'Connor for President!
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 8:02:47 AM EST
Inspiring story. I just don't like making fun of the officers. They're only doing what they're taught. If they don't know open-carry is legal, then there is something lacking in their training. A close relative of my wife's is an instructor for the state police academy. He teaches some wildly incorrect facts about state firearms laws. It's those guys that are the ones that need to be ridiculed and made to do their job. Correcting one officer at a time will never work (especially with their high turn-over). Fixing the problem at the source should be the goal. The officer's supervisor or trainer should also be taught the lesson. Then the officers replacement won't have to be taught the same lesson from start again.z
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 9:07:44 AM EST
Zoom, I somewhat agree with you, but I feel that there is no excuse for a peace officer to not know gun laws for their state and locality. Whether or not it is part of their training, they should look it up. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for us, so why should it be for them? The nice thing about it is that it doesn't sound like Deputy M was a jerk about it. I haven't talked to Dennis, so I don't know.
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