LEO attitudes regarding citizen weapons carry?

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Jul 9, 1999
I have a question for you street cops out there. What is your attitude regarding citizens carrying weapons for self defense, legally or illegally? Is it something you personally believe you should act on? Is it sometheing your department requires you to act on? What are the attitudes of other officers and agencies in your experience?

Here in central Oklahoma, law enforcement, the DAs and the courts have generally been tolerant of citizens carrying weapons as long as they were not behaving irresponsibly or criminally. This is basically because, regardless of what the Legislature says, local officials are honest and courageous enough to allow citizens to do for themselves what the system is incapable of doing for them. Cowardly Political Correctness has not reached here in full force yet.

How is it in other parts of the country?
****This is my opinion and does not necessarily reflect that of the police dept I work for or other officers****

That being said, I am a strong advocate of the second amendment. I believe it was wisely put in the constitution by our forefathers. They weren't talking about hunting when they wrote it. I believe free people have the right to defend themselves. With that right comes certain responsibility. I have no problem with people carrying, my state is now a "shall issue" carry permit state. However, if people act irresponsibly or negligent I will do what I have to do. I think law abiding citizens should be allowed to carry, but criminals should not. What our government doesn't understand is that gun control is taking away for the decent people and making them criminals! If I were a burglar I would hope the house I am breaking into doesn't have a gun toting owner in it.


Hi hankreardon98 !
I live in OKC and have often spoken in best regards of our Legistative and LEO additudes.
It's probably the only place where a public disaster occured (Murrah bombing), the entire downtown area is evacuated with little supervision, and no substantial crime occurs

I'm talking about banks and thousands of other cash supplies. Nobody was there, and nothing happened.
There WAS some exploitation, but it came from the poor media.

We live in the last of the western frontier and it's wonderful.
I am not a law officer. I have, however, asked several what they think when they pull over a car, run the plate from their car, and the record comes back indicating a Concealed Handgun License (Oregon adds that note to the registration record of any car that a CHL holder has registered). The answer I have received from all of the officers I have asked (four now, including the one who pulled me over recently for having the cover on my license plate very dirty (you really couldn't read the plate). He let me off with a warning.) have said, "I breath a sigh of relief. Police officers are attacked in traffic stops all the time, but in the getting on thirty years that Oregon has been issuing CHLs, no CHL holder has ever attacked an officer."

Statistics how that CHL holders are by far the most law-abiding citizens.

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
Hello Bill! Yeah, the aftermath of the Murrah bombing proves that we Okies are as uncivilized and unenlightened as we are accused of being. The fact that the savages didn't come out after dark to loot and pillage is sound evidence that something is lacking in our collective charachter.

Oh, and poor Connie Chung!
What about concealed knife carry on civilians? Concealed pistols are protected by CCW permits. BUT there is no such protection for concealed knife carry.
Some states issue a Concealed Handgun License which only applies to handguns. Others issue a Concealed Firearms License which applies to all firearms. A few issue a Concealed Weapons License which extends to knives.

An Oregon CHL is a card that says, "I have never been convicted of any felony. I have never been convicted of any weapons-related violation. I have never been convicted of any violent crime. I have not been convicted of any other misdemeanor in the last five years. There are no outstanding court orders against me for any violence-related reasons. An FBI background check has confirmed my identity and confimed my background nationally. And my local sheriff considers me a fine, law-abiding citizen." While an Oregon CHL does not apply to knives, it still should cover a world of suspicions.

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
Gollnick , excellent point I agree 100%.

If the knife is inside my pocket with the "clip" on the outside of the pocket is this considered "OPEN carry" therefore not concealed ?????? I hope this is true?
Kentucky is one of the states that issues a concealed deadly weapons permit which extends to knives and even includes some martial arts equipment if I understand the legal mumbo jumbo it was writtten in. Lewis, a senior member here that I've had the opportunity to meet and buy a knife from, may have a better understanding as he is both a policeman as well as a knife guy. It is nice having that choice between a handgun and a knife. It is interesting that the permit only requires training with a gun and a class on the legal aspects of concealed carry as well as a clean record.
From Gollnick's post:

in the getting on thirty years that Oregon has been issuing CHLs, no CHL holder
has ever attacked an officer.

Can that be confirmed in writing from some authoritative source? If so, it could be useful to cite in legislative discussions in other, less enlightened, states.

AKTI Member # SA00001
I'm told that in getting on 30 years no Oregon CHL holder has ever committed a crime using a gun. I don't have a source. Sorry. But, I should think that a paralegal could verify that in an hour or two.

Some time ago, I noticed a sign in a store window saying "No handguns allowed" (in Oregon, an owner of a private business can post such a sign and restrict even CHL holders from bringing their guns inside). I wrote a letter to the store manager explaining that criminals would ignore such a sign. They're not called "outlaws" for no reason. He was only keeping out the most law-abiding group of citizens in Oregon, folks who have not been convicted of any crime, including minor shop lifting, minor check fraud, or minor credit card fraud, in five years, have never been convicted of a major crime of any type, and have no history of violence. The exact sort of folks you think he'd want to attract. A few weeks later, I happened by the same store and noticed that the sign was down.

Statistics show that when law-abiding citizens are allowed arms, knives, guns, sticks, whatever, violent crime goes down. It's happened in every state that has allowed concealed carry.

Often, though, folks are concerned about accidental shootings. Well, I'm told that the state of Oregun has more guns per person than any other state and more lawfully owned class 3 firearms (not per person, but just more period. And Oregun is not a very populated state) than any other state. I'm also told that we have the lowest rate of accidential shootings and one of the lowest violent crime rates.

Two summers ago, two children playing in an open field not far from my house found a loaded handgun (I don't know if the police ever did figure out how it got there). They played with the gun for hours (thank God for safeties) before their horrified mother found out. As a result, the Sherwood public schools invited the NRA to come in and teach gun safety to the children. The message was supposed to be "if you see a gun, don't touch it." But, I'm told that when one of the grade schooler's was asked, "What would you do if you found a gun?" his answer was, "I'd make sure it wasn't loaded so that nobody would get hurt." Those are Oregun kids.

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
I am a cop in PA and I really do not mind if people carry weapons. I think that a permit is the best solution. That way if I come upon some one with a weapon and they do not have a permit, it tells me some thing about them. It allows me to know something about their past without having to ask them and sort through the lies they always tell.

I'm not a LEO, but I can relate one experience I had...

I'm a legal CCW holder in Georgia, have been since I turned 21. Late one night, when returning for a weekend trip to Orlando, I was pulled over for 85 in a 55. My fault, I shouldn't have been going that fast - it was very late and I was very tired. Anyway, the officer stepped up to the car. I had my hands on the top of the steering wheel in plain view and open. I didn't even let him speak first, when he was shining his light in the back seat I offered, "Officer, I need to tell you that I have a pistol in the glove box and I'm not trying to hide it from you." He steps up to the window, looks at me and my wife then replies "Well, just don't shoot it at me and we'll be OK." :)

I'm sure that not all encounters go like that all the time, but it was comforting to know that the officer knew what I was and wasn't allowed to do and didn't hold it against me.

I am an LEO, and my State constitution forbids concealed carry of firearms.

My city ordinences allow me to arrest for the carring of any deadly weapon concealed.

If I can see it, it isn't concealed. I have made arrests under the ordinance, but they were on occasions where "this guy has to go to jail" and the PC for other charges is clear, but I can't arrest on the charges. I have also used it where the suspect's behavior was less than safe and he happened to have a knife (intoxicated, belligerent, wandering in traffic, ect)

In NM a person was stopped by an officer. The officer saw a fannypack that is marketed for handguns, patted him down and arrested him when he found a handgun. The State courts, on appeal, ruled that because the fanny pack is marketed as a holster, and the pack was in plain view, that the weapon was in fact carried openly. Open carry is perfectly legal.

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