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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
and they probably don't care either.



Submitted for your entertainment:

Norfolk and visitor with a holstered .45 are tangled in a Catch-22

By MATTHEW ROY, The Virginian-Pilot
© July 22, 2007


NORFOLK

Chester Szymecki Jr. was waiting for some music to start at Harborfest when a sheriff's deputy approached.

It was a warm June afternoon, and thousands of people wandered on and off the tall ships moored around Town Point Park. Szymecki had come from Yorktown with his wife, their three children and two children from their neighborhood.

Szymecki had brought along something else, too - a .45-caliber handgun in a holster on his belt.

The deputy asked Szymecki whether he was a police officer. He said no. And then, he said, uniformed city police began closing in. They gave him a choice, he said: Leave the event or face arrest. When he tried to say that there must be a mistake, he was disarmed and led away, handcuffed, he recalled.


Szymecki was charged with violating a local ordinance that the City Council had passed in May, which set up rules to govern Harborfest. Among them was a provision banning handguns and other weapons.

There's just one problem: A few years ago, the General Assembly barred localities from enforcing laws governing the carrying of firearms. That meant state law prevailed. And in Virginia, "open carry" is legal.

Localities today generally do not have the authority to restrict guns, said Mark Flynn, director of legal services for the Virginia Municipal League. A state law last amended in 2004 says localities cannot adopt or enforce laws regarding the purchase, carrying, possession, storage, or sale of firearms.

Szymecki was given a summons and released. When he showed up for court June 22, the case was withdrawn at the request of an assistant city attorney. Latest Videos

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The case has enraged the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights group that has successfully challenged local gun restrictions around the commonwealth. Szymecki is a member. In the past the group has protested Norfolk's attempts to prevent the carrying of weapons in city parks.

Philip Van Cleave, the president of the league, says members plan to crowd the City Council chambers in protest at a future date.

The ordinance, he said, was "a huge mistake."

City Attorney Bernard Pishko said the city is not attempting to challenge the state law by imposing restrictions on handguns.

Pishko described the gun ban in the Harborfest ordinance as an oversight, a "housekeeping" issue. "This is one that we missed," he said. An ordinance governing Afr'Am Fest in May contained the same restrictions on weapons. Both ordinances were in effect only for the few days the events ran.

Pishko said his office has since advised police that "the only gun laws in effect for Norfolk are those in effect for Virginia."

Szymecki said the incident has changed the way he views the police. He said he plans to file a lawsuit and have a "neutral court" decide whether police violated his rights.
 

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Harley Dude
Joined
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14,651 Posts
Mind you this is only my personal opinion so don't get your shorts in a uproar!

I think that anytime you head into a populated area your gun should be concealed. Its asking for big trouble to expose a gun to a large segment of the population. It creates a stir in any large city setting and is illegial in most large cities and states.

Police can draw on a laundry list of charges if they choose to do so to arrest you and embarass you. In the woods its a whole different story. But the city is not the place to test the laws and the restraint of the local police.

A concealed carry permit is just that, "Concealed Carry" not a license to strap on a big gun and scare all the women and children in the park! This behavior works against our cause in my opinion and temps fate in that as more people attempt to carry in the open the state will feel the pressure to restrict that behavior.

Only one mans opinion. I carry my gun in a way that nobody will see it and if I need it I will have the element of surprise in my favor!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
sig232 said:
Mind you this is only my personal opinion so don't get your shorts in a uproar!

I think that anytime you head into a populated area your gun should be concealed. Its asking for big trouble to expose a gun to a large segment of the population. It creates a stir in any large city setting and is illegial in most large cities and states.

Police can draw on a laundry list of charges if they choose to do so to arrest you and embarass you. In the woods its a whole different story. But the city is not the place to test the laws and the restraint of the local police.

A concealed carry permit is just that, "Concealed Carry" not a license to strap on a big gun and scare all the women and children in the park! This behavior works against our cause in my opinion and temps fate in that as more people attempt to carry in the open the state will feel the pressure to restrict that behavior.

Only one mans opinion. I carry my gun in a way that nobody will see it and if I need it I will have the element of surprise in my favor!
Plus 1
whomp
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My state has a "handgun carry", not a "concealed carry".


I have read of people carrying open to make a point. I think it is stupid. I want it to be like body armor, a big SURPRISE. That said, cops should spend a little time learning the laws they are expected to enforce.

One of the biggest reasons not to open carry is because cops walk around scared, and eager to kill. It doesn't take much to set them off.

The guy in the story is lucky he came out alive.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sig232 said:
Mind you this is only my personal opinion so don't get your shorts in a uproar!

I think that anytime you head into a populated area your gun should be concealed. Its asking for big trouble to expose a gun to a large segment of the population. It creates a stir in any large city setting and is illegial in most large cities and states.

Police can draw on a laundry list of charges if they choose to do so to arrest you and embarass you. In the woods its a whole different story. But the city is not the place to test the laws and the restraint of the local police.

A concealed carry permit is just that, "Concealed Carry" not a license to strap on a big gun and scare all the women and children in the park! This behavior works against our cause in my opinion and temps fate in that as more people attempt to carry in the open the state will feel the pressure to restrict that behavior.

Only one mans opinion. I carry my gun in a way that nobody will see it and if I need it I will have the element of surprise in my favor!

Tareeka Babooga said:
My state has a "handgun carry", not a "concealed carry".


I have read of people carrying open to make a point. I think it is stupid. I want it to be like body armor, a big SURPRISE. That said, cops should spend a little time learning the laws they are expected to enforce.

One of the biggest reasons not to open carry is because cops walk around scared, and eager to kill. It doesn't take much to set them off.

The guy in the story is lucky he came out alive.
My shorts are officially in an uproar!!! :evil: ;)

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, right?

I'd love to discuss this topic more with anyone interested....
http://www.nationalgunforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=439&view=next
 

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Harley Dude
Joined
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14,651 Posts
I know in Portland if you ever made the mistake of open carry downtown you would be tossed in the klink quickly. Inciting a riot, brandishing and a host of other charges would be brought against you. You may win in court but it would cost you about everything you own to fight the battle.

Therein lies part of the problem. Cities know the cost of a legal defense, it costs them nothing to file the charges and take you through the legal wringer. Taxpayers foot the bill.

Even if you ever have to pull your carry gun to defend yourself you will most likely be put through the legal wringer. If you wound or kill a perp you may be brought up on murder charges, you will have to face a Grand Jury, will need a lawyer, it will not be a pretty sight.

So I contend to wear a gun in public is to draw the wrong kind of attention to ones self and ask for trouble.

Not so when in the woods. People understand the need to protect ones self when hunting or hiking in dangerous areas. But get caught carrying a gun in a national park and your butt is toast!
I have had friends that have been approached by park rangers in Washington state and asked point blank if they were carrying weapons!

I am not sure if I would admitt to carrying if confronted by a park ranger. I think I might just say, "No do you think I should have a gun, is it dangerous here!" Playing dumb might be the right way to handle the situation.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sig232 said:
I know in Portland if you ever made the mistake of open carry downtown you would be tossed in the klink quickly. Inciting a riot, brandishing and a host of other charges would be brought against you. You may win in court but it would cost you about everything you own to fight the battle.

Therein lies part of the problem. Cities know the cost of a legal defense, it costs them nothing to file the charges and take you through the legal wringer. Taxpayers foot the bill.

Even if you ever have to pull your carry gun to defend yourself you will most likely be put through the legal wringer. If you wound or kill a perp you may be brought up on murder charges, you will have to face a Grand Jury, will need a lawyer, it will not be a pretty sight.

So I contend to wear a gun in public is to draw the wrong kind of attention to ones self and ask for trouble.

Not so when in the woods. People understand the need to protect ones self when hunting or hiking in dangerous areas. But get caught carrying a gun in a national park and your butt is toast!
I have had friends that have been approached by park rangers in Washington state and asked point blank if they were carrying weapons!

I am not sure if I would admitt to carrying if confronted by a park ranger. I think I might just say, "No do you think I should have a gun, is it dangerous here!" Playing dumb might be the right way to handle the situation.
Makes sense...I understand that there is a time and a place for everything, and apparently Portland is definitely not the place. Atmosphere is much different here in VA. Those cops in Norfolk were way out of line, and I am sure that the situation will work out for the accused. That kind of reaction is in no way, shape, or form common in VA.
 

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Harley Dude
Joined
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14,651 Posts
I am glad to hear that VA has an open carry law. Thats refreshing, for a state to trust its citizens.

Vermount or New Hampshire, I believe is one of the other states in the east that allows that type of carry.

Oregon is wild, lots of woods and not too many people, but the people we are acquiring from the CA area are Liberal minded and don't like guns or the second amendment. Big cities seem to breed this type of thinking so as our metropolitian areas grow I suppose our rights will be restricted.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
sig232 said:
I am glad to hear that VA has an open carry law. Thats refreshing, for a state to trust its citizens.

Vermount or New Hampshire, I believe is one of the other states in the east that allows that type of carry.

Oregon is wild, lots of woods and not too many people, but the people we are acquiring from the CA area are Liberal minded and don't like guns or the second amendment. Big cities seem to breed this type of thinking so as our metropolitian areas grow I suppose our rights will be restricted.
That's a shame.....
You'd be surprised at the number of states that allow open carry...... from http://www.opencarry.org check 'em out if you are interested

 

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Harley Dude
Joined
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14,651 Posts
Interesting!

I see, its licensed open carry. Several states are listed I'll bet there are restrictions in the major cities for most of those states.

Other states list open carry without a license. But again...you have to watch it. open carry is allowed in the country and smaller towns, but enter a big city packing a gun and it may be a problem.

The licensed carry might be set up to make it easier to arm security people in uniform.
 
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