“Movie theatre employees in Cookeville, TN called police Saturday night after seeing a man with a holster on his hip go into a showing of the new Batman film,” newchannel5.com reports. “When police were unable to locate him based on the employees’ description, the theatre stopped the movie and turned up the lights so that the police could ask if anyone had a gun. Three men, with properly permitted weapons, stood up. They were all asked to place their weapons in their cars. The theatre has a ‘no weapons’ policy. The three men were not charged with anything, and police suggested that the theatre make their weapons policy signage ‘more obvious.'” According to the herald-citizen.com the cops reckoned it was no harm no foul . . .
When the three men had gone to put their guns into their vehicles and then returned to see the move, Sgt. Harris told the audience, “That’s all, folks, you can all go home now.”
“I was just joking with them a little bit and somebody said, ‘But what about the movie?’
“So everyone stayed and watched the movie. Everybody was very cooperative.”
Veteran TTAG commentator Matt sent us the link and responded:
According to opencarry.org, Tennessee is not a traditional open carry state, but a shall-issue state that issues a carry permit that allows both open and concealed carry. Handgunlaw.us (pdf warning) says that “no gun” signs in Tennessee carry the force of law. Tennessee also has a duty to inform only “on demand.”
Florida also has an “inform on demand” law, but until now, I thought of that as a one-on-one interaction. If they found the guy who was open-carrying, and asked for his permit, that’s fine, but the idea of an officer asking a group of 100+ people, in public, never occurred to me.
Since the signs carry force of law, if you were carrying concealed, would admitting it be self-incrimination? Would you have identified yourself when they asked?