Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Open Carry Does Not Make You A Lawman

Just because you live somewhere in which the law allows for open carry of a firearm, and you decide to openly carry one, does not mean that you have been granted any type of police authority by the open carry law. I would guess that most of you who carry realize that but there apparently are some folks out there who do not. Picture if you will that you are openly carrying a pistol in an exposed hip holster. You walk into a local shop to make a purchase and another customer see that you are armed, demands that you show him you pistol license, then when you do not produce it, he draws his own pistol and again demands to see your license (which the law does not allow in this instance). What would you do?

The guy who was drawn on, in this story, was pretty reserved about it and just made his purchase and left the store. Then he called the police. The jerk who allegedly pulled his pistol out reportedly did not aim at the other man but there certainly was a threat of imminent death or serious bodily harm and that was more than enough justification to use deadly force against him to put a stop to the threat he was posing. I am none too sure that I would have thought it safe to merely walk away while that moron had his gun out. In fact, I am none too sure that the guy who demanded to see the pistol license, in that particular manner, would still be standing had he done it to me or even with me present while doing it to the other guy. As it turned out, the police responded and arrested the guy who had drawn his pistol. More here: http://www.valdostadailytimes.com/todays-top-stories/x1736693358/First-day-of-new-gun-law-leads-to-arrest.

This happened in Georgia on the very first day of a new law allowing for open carry. Under that new law, even the police cannot demand to see your license. I like the law, I think it is great. I am none too sure I would open carry but think the option should be there for everyone. The law though does not convey any police power or other authority to anyone merely because they are now allowed to openly carry a firearm. In other words, just because you have one on your hip, you do not suddenly become Wyatt Earp and that holds true even if you bought yourself a shiny plastic badge in the local toy store. I am hopeful that the moron who pulled his firearm is charged and gets jail time for that one. If not jail time, maybe a judge will see fit to have him hand out fliers to folks explaining that open carry of a gun does not magically make you a lawman.

All the best,
Glenn B