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“Philadelphia area resident Mark Fiorino has filed a Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and its Police Department over an incident that occurred almost exactly a year ago,” Dan Roberts reports over at ammoland.com. Judging from Mr. Roberts’ description of the case and the audio tape of the interaction [above], it seems clear that Mr. Fiorino is not one of “those” open carriers: a gun rights activist who seeks police confrontation to martyr themselves to 2A advocacy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, either. Hats off to anyone who’s willing to risk their ability to protect themselves with a legal firearm to defend my constitutionally-protected freedom to keep and bear arms. We’ll keep you posted.

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43 Responses to Open Carrier Sues Philly Police Department

    • I will accept your statement as being generally applicable in most cases, but I do not agree that the detained individual in this case was in the wrong.

      • It doesn’t matter if one is right or wrong. The man has a gun on his hip and has no obligation to debate you. He will shoot you if he thinks you are a danger. Right or wrong you’d still be dead.

        Once he pulls a gun on you, just shut up and let the courts deal with the disagreement. It’s too early to debate.

        • “Once he pulls a gun on you, just shut up and let the courts deal with the disagreement.”

          No. If you haven’t broken any laws, then at that point he is committing a crime and threatening your life and you have every right to shoot the SOB.

        • Yes, morally justifiable but tactically unsound. If staring down the business end of a gun while still holstered, you are at a severe tactical disadvantage.

        • Really, really bad advice.

          Do you REALLY think that there are no other cops around? Do you really think that they will care one whit whether you thought your arrest or detainment or stop was illegal? The police in this country think they are special people. They think a police officer getting shot is the worst crime ever, and far worse than anyone else getting shot. They will howl “officer down” and the other cops will not stop until they have killed someone. Your protestations that you were justified in resisting will be meaningless as your blood spills in the street and they slowly call for an ambulance.

          If they are beating you, then you are justified in resisting the beating, but if they’re just asking you to assume a safe position while they figure out why you have a gun then no jury on this earth will think you are justified in resisting.

          Your advice, frankly, is not in tuned with reality or the law.

        • It is unlawful in Pennsylvania (and many other states) to resist an unlawful arrest. I was not advocating doing so. However I don’t think Fiorino was in the wrong with his actions and statements at the time of his arrest. He was correct on what the law says, and he was reasonable in his responses to the arresting officers.

        • “Once he pulls a gun on you, just shut up and let the courts deal with the disagreement. It’s too early to debate.”

          That is the sensible thing to do . This guy acted stupidly and recorded it so he would have something to post on youtube.

          Now his dumb acts are forever recorded. Smart move.

        • So it is sensible to waive your rights and allow someone to break the law without at least peacefully informing them of the facts? Sounds like someone let a grabber in the house.

        • Not really sensible I suppose, but highly preferable to being shot. Not sayin’, just sayin’.

        • “So it is sensible to waive your rights and allow someone to break the law without at least peacefully informing them of the facts?”

          Seems you and I are from different planets.

          Where I come from, a gun pointed at me has already declared that the person holding it is not interested in what I might have to say.

          My lawyer can late explain later.

  1. I wish Mr. Fiorino well in his lawsuit. Hopefully he can get some $$$ and maybe more importantly, an appology from the police dept and the mayor.

    • FYI he is not asking for any money in his law suit, he is basically asking for an apology and that the police be better trained and informed.

  2. WITH the assistance of the ACLU none the less, TWICE in two days I find myself agreeing with something the ACLU is doing it must be the end times it really must. Lawsuits like this may slowly but surley show big cities like Philly that they are not above the law and their officers must know firearms laws and respect those who are lawfully carrying.

    • There’s no Second Amendment claim in the lawsuit Fiorino filed, which I suspect is why the ACLU was willing to get on board. It focuses on first, fourth, and fourteenth amendment violations.

      • I disagree. ACLU is not 2nd A opposed, based on my personal knowledge and experience. My personal belief is that since the Supreme Court incorporated the 2A against the states in McDonald v. Chicago, the ACLU will take it more seriously. You forget that prior to that court decision, the 2A did not apply to the states. The 2A, until that time was only a restraint on the Federal Gov.

        The likely reason no 2nd issue is raised in the claim is likely because there doesn’t appear to be one, and even if there were, it is unclear what if any financial remedy would be available. There are financial remedies for police departments’ “failure to train.”

  3. It’s well known here in PA that Philly cops are notoriously thuggish. They don’t know the absolute basics of 2A laws in the city and not a week goes by where a gun owner is unlawfully harassed. Worse, the departments are so corrupt that captains will come out in defense of their jackbooted drones, that blue wall protecting their brothers-in-tyranny.

    Like most major cities, Philly should be avoided.

  4. I can hardly believe that the same thugs cops who one bombed an entire block of the City of Brotherly Love also proned-out and cuffed a law abiding citizen. Say it ain’t so.

    Sometimes I think that the only difference between the Philly cops and the SS is that the SS had nicer uniforms.

  5. Wow, a cop that opens by calling him “Junior,” and then promptly resorts to swearing. While I don’t have dainty ears or a frail disposition, I’ve never heard an officer swear at someone for doing absolutely nothing wrong. That man does not deserve a badge.

    That said, not complying with police commands is an excellent way to get tased, shot, in jail, or a combination of the 3.

    • Unfortunately that is the exact problem. The police are heavily armed, poorly trained and heavy handed. Do you not think the founding fathers would roll over in their graves knowing that decent law abiding citizens live in constant fear of the police? Is that not against everything that our country is supposed to stand for? Is that not the very antithesis of what the police are supposed to be?

      • P.S. I’m not saying that Levi B doesn’t understand, or debating with him, I’m just addressing the “That said, not complying with police commands is an excellent way to get tased, shot, in jail, or a combination of the 3.” part of his post. Personally I not only feel the officers involved should lose their badges, I believe they should face charges for their criminal acts. The police must be held to a higher standard, not given blanket permission to break the law when they feel like it.

      • Back in the day, police were public servants. They were the good guys. I’m not sure what’s happened, but combine lack of critical thinking skills with lack of common sense and ability to assess a situation, not to mention poor training or a complete lack thereof, and this is what we get.

  6. I listened to the tape. The citizen was in the right. He’d like to have me on his jury, because I would write him a check with a lot of zeros on it. The cops that threatened him should be disciplined.

  7. This is completely unacceptable. The tape made me sick to listen to. I generally respect police officers and know that many are good and want to help people, but this guy needs to lose his badge

  8. The police need to learn to fear us as they fear their shift commander. Personal recording devices are making this happen.

    We need to fight the small but growing push on the part of police to criminalize the public’s ability to record them in the performance of their public duties.

    I believe that there is only one state that now has such a policy in law. It comes as no surprise that Illinois is that state.

    • Common sence would say that such policies are not needed, but actual events have proven otherwise. Baltimore has instituted such a policy finally, but it took a handful of police brutality charges from them beating and tazing law abiding citizens for no other reason than recording or taking pictures of cops. Unfortunately the police have already found ways around it and it has continued. (Look at yesterday’s Baltimore news for proof)

  9. Just another indecent of police thinking they are above the law, not knowing the law, and sure as all get out not following the law. However, whether or not you are in the right, if the police order you to the ground you obey them. Let the lawsuit figure it out later.

  10. Can you imagine getting stopped for “taking too long to pass” and “crossing the fog line”? Yep, nothing to do with safety, but a post-menopausal cop didn’t like the ‘slow and methodical’ approach to road safety, not exceeding speed limit, giving dumb driver every chance to drive normally…and threatened if she didn’t have a wreck to go to, would write a ticket. Our TSA styled police state has found it’s way to the very smallest towns, bergs, villages..foundation/fabric of our nation. She absolutely relished, with thousand yard stare, pronouncing that this conversation is on video, and that she’d been trailing for 2 miles, mwahahaha. Low emotional quotient EQ, boredom, and post menopause hormone depravation = possible ticket.

  11. You should know your local law.. If you open carry in a conceled carry state then you deserve, what you get and your stupid, because you are going to ruin it for everyone else gun owners.

    • PA is an open carry Commonwealth. The thing to remember is that if it is not specifically PROHIBITED by law, then it is legal.

      As it stands, the ONLY mention of open carry of firearms I am aware of in Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes resides in Title 18 Section 6108, which stipulates that carry of loaded firearms inside a city of the first class (only Philadelphia at the moment), whether openly or concealed, is only legal with a valid LTCF (or similar document from a state PA has a reciprocity agreement with).

      Note that the SECOND question Fiorino asks on tape is: “Would you like to see my license to carry firearms, officer?”

      Also note that, from talking to him, I am of the understanding that he was wearing a decent pair of pants, and a button-front dress shirt at the time of his encounter, and that his LTCF was in the breast pocket of his shirt.

      If the police cared about the law, the officer would have, at most, asked for a single car for backup, checked out what Fiorino was telling him, checked Fiorino’s LTCF, and let him go on the spot.

      It should have taken no more than 15 minutes, involved no guns drawn, and no retaliatory criminal charges.

  12. Scene: Gun show, in Florida. 11/24/2012. ATF skinny lady, ATF probbie guy, with table full of ATF propaganda. Question from me: Sir, do you happen to know the
    time or backlog to get a C&R, or FFL approved?

    Simple enough? Nope. vague ramblings later, the answer comes, “I have no idea what the licensing division is doing, or the times they are experiencing. You might contact them.”

    Buy more guns, because just like Barack Hussein Davis Obama Soetoro, everyone
    in government does some talking without knowing the least bit of truth!

    Promises that cannot possibly be fulfilled are the ONLY reality in a communist state!

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