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It’s a Saturday afternoon in Connecticut and you’re out running errands when you decide to pop into the bank. You walk in and notice that there’s a guy with a gun hanging around the place. Being in Connecticut, you’ve been conditioned to see “gun” and think “criminal,” so you decide to tip off the teller to what you think is an imminent robbery attempt. Now, there’s a right way and a wrong way to let the teller know. It seems safe to say that handing the person behind the counter a piece of paper where the only word on it is “GUN” constitutes the wrong way . . .

From ArcaMax:

The holder of the gun had no ill intent and was legally permitted to carry it, and Robert Gursky, 50, was arrested after alarming the staff of the town’s TD Bank branch, police said.

“He (Gursky) was trying to relay to the teller (that) someone had a gun,” Glastonbury Police Agent Kevin Szydlo said, which included writing a note to a teller with the word gun.

The teller and other bank staff became alarmed and activated the bank’s robbery protocol. Police arrived, tracked down and interviewed Gursky and arrested him, the Hartford Courant reported Tuesday.

I’m not opposed to open carry, I just don’t personally see the need for it. And I don’t want to run the risk of having those who can’t disassociate guns and criminals from calling the cops on me. I prefer to avoid all unnecessary contact with the police and carrying concealed allows me to defend myself while keeping a nice, low profile.

The reason I like this story isn’t because someone got arrested, but because the article was written in a dispassionate just-the-facts-ma’am manner. Instead of sensationalizing it like, oh, CNN would have done, they simply stated the facts of the case. And for that, we salute you.

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64 Responses to Man Accidentally Tries to Rob Bank Thanks to Concern over Concealed Carry Holder

  1. Custer had it coming? Now that sound interesting. I would agree his out sized ego set him up, but only the Indians thought he had it coming.

    • Generally any man or woman who orders unarmed innocents to be put to the sword deserves whatever painful death the universe has in store for them.

      • That would include quite a lot of Indians, then. Have you read the history of the Iroquois or the Cherokees? Why do you think every family on the frontier in the 1600’s, 1700’s, and early 1800’s had to carry a gun when walking more than a little distance from the house?

        • Ok? Sure. I was specifically referring to the “indian” women and children shot en masse by US troops, but yeah that fits in there just fine too. The one does not make the other right, I would point out.

          I thought one of the major points of this blog was to sternly differentiate between senselessly killing an unarmed innocent, and an innocent person arming themselves against the dangers of the world, no matter what their race or religion.

  2. I don’t understand. He handed the teller a note that said “gun” and then left? That makes no sense whatsoever. I mean, the method of conveying the message was undeniably stupid, but he left? They had to track him down elsewhere?

    It’d be nice if the original article had informed us what he’d been arrested for? Who the hell writes these things, anyway? If you were the reporter, wouldn’t you consider the charge to be somewhat important? Bank robbery, terroristic threats, disturbing the peace, kicking a puppy?

    For the record, though they don’t link back to it, the stupid ArcaMax/UPI story mentions the Hartford Courant. Five seconds of Google got me this story, which indicates he was cited for breach of peace.

    So wait… I’ve got an idea. He performed an action in response to a perfectly legal situation which caused a police response, and was charged with breach of peace, which I think of as a lesson to “know better next time and don’t waste LEO time.” All these idiots who call the cops on legal open carriers and force a police response… Can we start charging them with breach of peace, for being ignorant of the laws in their jurisdiction? Nuisance call about a legal open carrier, $100 fine and a copy of the local gun laws. Whaddya think?

    • I’d love it, especially in my neck of the woods where people are prone to call on an open carrier. However, there is liability to consider here. If the cops tell people to STFU when they see a man with a gun, what about the unusual case in which they fail to respond when trouble is indeed brewing?

      I guess there could be some middle ground, like the police operator asking the person if the gun is in a holster or held in the carrier’s hand, and what the carrier is doing. Maybe gently tell the caller that it is perfectly legal to carry a gun. “Given that, would you say the man with the gun is doing anything suspicious or threatening, or does he just look like he’s going about his business?”

      The cops won’t do any of this, though. They’ll come immediately to detain the carrier, which will just re-enforce the perception of the public that the cops should get involved every time a civilian goes openly armed.

      That’s all more general, of course. In this particular case, the person sounding the “man with a gun” alarm was just totally stupid. As if a bank robber would sit and wait patiently, with an exposed and holstered gun, for his turn at the teller.

      • However, there is liability to consider here. If the cops tell people to STFU when they see a man with a gun, what about the unusual case in which they fail to respond when trouble is indeed brewing?

        I think the idea is that the cops always respond to the calls, but if it was unwarranted, the caller gets a ticket. This forces the callers to be responsible bad cause them to think before they act in the future.

        It’s a penalty for crying wolf when it’s a sheep dog.

        • Yes, this makes sense. But it would be argued that the possibility of a ticket would discourage people from calling in, and that most people couldn’t be expected to tell for sure if someone is up to no good (so couldn’t be help legally responsible if they were wrong).

      • Police failing to respond even in cases where a crime is in progress is a common occurrence, and the courts have already ruled many times that they have no liability for failing to respond, or even a responsibility to do so.

    • I think this fellow’s reasoning ability is representative of the reasoning ability of most gun grabbers.

      Hey, Robert Gursky – “Here’s your sign!”

      • I’ve seen nothing that said that. All I’ve seen are the article linked in the post, and the one I linked above, both of which only say “carrying it legally and had no ill intent.”

        • I live in CT. About 25 miles from this. He was quasi-LEO, what we call up here a state-level “Judicial Marshall” which lots of other places call a sheriff or a sometimes even a process server. I too wondered about the badge as I see these guys and gals open carry all the time usually with the badge on weak hand side of the belt. they typically also have cars marked in some manner even if just a placard in the window.

      • LEOs don’t open carry without their badge visible (and smart ones avoid open carry while not in uniform altogether), though I suppose it’s possible the complainant just didn’t see the badge…

    • I’m not sure I like the guy getting arrested, especially if his “crime” was being concerned, ignorant (about carry laws) and stupid (method of notifying the bank).

      Wasting police resources is certainly detrimental to the public good, but I don’t relish the idea of supporting a system that persecutes people for every dumb transgression. It falls in line with the level of “nanny-state” rules that tend to come down on the side of making gun owners jump through hoops to entertain a half-baked vision of public safety. In this case I think a mild public mocking would have sufficed. 🙂

  3. He really needed to notify other people in the room about an OPEN carrier?

    I bet he’s the guy that taps his passenger and says, “motorcycle” on the highway every time one rides by. Thanks, Captain Obvious.

  4. Rhode Island has an expression that has to do with this:

    “My grandfather from Naples lived to 100 years old.” “How did he live that long?” “He didn’t say nothin’.”

    Everyone needs an old Italian grandfather that teaches the lesson to mind one’s own business and not panic. Just squeeze your own carry pistol tight.

  5. What would make it legal to carry a gun in a bank? Other than being a LEO? Don’t federal laws preclude that?

    • Carrying a gun in a bank is perfectly legal, unless specifically excluded by law. In Florida (and honestly, I think in most other places), banks are not on the restricted places list.

      • Thanks. Never knew that – I always made the extension from Post Offices. But as you say, this is subject to local law [as well as the bank itself]. A cursory search shows that in Michigan, it’s illegal. Although I don’t think banks in Michigan actually have any money in them.

        • Post Offices are usually located on Federal property, and ostensibly covered by the Federal laws against carry on such. Although, there are some folks who believe that might not be the actual case, there aren’t too many citizens willing to be the test case.

          Banks (except something like a Federal Reserve Bank) are privately owned. They can ban carry on their own private property, if they jump through appropriate local or state hoops, or a state or locality might ban carry in a bank, but there’s no blanket ban on carry in a bank.

        • Not only that, but the prohibition applies federal property, not federal buildings. So assuming the federal government owns the property the post office sits on, you’re not even allowed to be armed in the parking lot, so you have to park next door or across the street and leave your gun in the car there. I’ve heard in the past about people suing over the parking lot thing, but I don’t recall ever hearing any resolution. It may still be winding its way through.

    • Banks here in Arizona allow open carry. In fact I’ve been told numerous times that they appreciate a law abiding citizen walking in with a firearm, as it makes them feel safer with extra armed security for free.

    • Only in states where those signs have the force of law. In Florida, they don’t, so I don’t even look for them.

  6. A bank is private property, not government property. Unless state law prohibits you, it is perfectly legal. The actual federal reserve banks would be a different story. I think the hysterical anti-gunner got what he deserved. As long as it it holstered, I don’t see the need to harass(needlessly call the police) over somebody just having a holstered pistol. IMO open carry is a pretty stupid idea for self-defense because you just gave up the element of surprise, but to each his or her own.

    • If everyone knows you have a gun, there’s no need to surprise. Would you try to attack someone that’s open carrying?

      • If I was a criminal and I intended to harm somebody, damn right they would attack them first and either shoot them before they could draw or have some of my criminal buddies ambush and disarm them while I distracted them. Speaking of attacking people open carrying, most police officers are shot with their own duty gun after they are disarmed. If there are criminals willing to attack obviously armed police, what is the difference between them and a dude you are wanting to rob who has a gun?

        Not to mention I highly doubt most people who open carry practice weapon retention or have ever had somebody try and take their gun by force. It is much harder to relieve somebody of their gun if you don’t know they have one to begin with. By all means Open Carry if that is how you want to exercise your second amendment rights, but from a self-defense point of view criminals are going to be quite willing to attack you even with a visible gun.

        • People keep bringing up the “shoot the open carrier first” meme, but has it ever actually happened? I haven’t been able to find a case of that, although I have found several instances where people saw the open carrier and did an about face to leave the area.

        • Normally it is not average citizens who get shot opening carrying. It is law enforcement. I’m sure people are going to argue that the uniform makes them more of a target. I saw that is BS, if anything the uniform helps protect since criminals know shooting a cop ends with you getting killed by police or death row/life. Shooting a normal citizen will normally get you 20yrs-life instead of dead/dead. Regarding some walking away, there are different types of criminals and not all of them posses the will power to attack somebody carrying and risk being shot/killed.

        • Some criminals- normal criminals especially- are indeed likely to avoid a confrontation with the police. However, there is a subset of criminals who simply don’t give a f%#k or even want to kill cops regardless of the situation.

  7. In CT the police got a stern talking to by the DESPP special licensing review board because a while back they had been arresting people under a breach of peace violation for open carrying. The review board then “clarified” that CT law does not specify the method of carry, and thus open carry is legal, unless there is some extenuating circumstance to suggest that there was intent to cause alarm. I’ve attached one version of the memo.

    http://ctcarry.com/Document/Download/a034b530-1221-425d-a99f-53af710ff219

  8. Hopefully the dipshit will loose his 2A rights so he can’t buy a gun. And the bank should close his account and tell him to take it elsewhere.

    • Although I could see the bank asking him to take his business elsewhere; depriving someone of their right to keep and bear arms over something like this is extreme. This is one of the few times I agree with a ‘breach of the peace’ charge.

      Whenever one calls for depriving someone of their firearm RIGHTS, I substitute execute in its place. If the punishment seems too harsh for the crime (‘He should be executed for…’) then depriving one of their right to keep and bear arms is also too harsh.

  9. “I’m not opposed to open carry, I just don’t personally see the need for it.”

    Amen. And the other guy is an unbelievable moron.

  10. Matt in FL is exactly right. When I was a youngling studying for my Driver License permit, I had it hammered into me that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” That would seem to be pretty universal regarding all laws, so it would seem to apply equally here.

    As a sideline, I see the major benefit of OC (other than it is much more comfortable to wear), is desensitization of the frightened, unenlightened masses, and normalizing the presence of a gun in public. And just like anything new, it is going to take some getting used to, and might be a bit of a struggle on our part for a while before it is accepted as normal. When folks start getting tickets (or arrested) for being Ignorant in Public, and wasting LE’s time, perhaps it will eventually catch on.

  11. Uhh the headline on this article says… the Man with a gun in question was a concealed carry holder so was the gun concealed under a jacket or printing through a shirt??? Was he really open carrying or just carrying (poorly) concealed?

    • This is one reason I like open carry laws: they protect us from criminal charges if our concealed guns ever show by accident.

      • That and make it cheaper to carry a pistol in certain states… no ccw needed just make sure the weapon is visible.

    • Here in Oklahoma, you have to have a CCW permit before you can carry openly. The same appears to be true in Connecticut. The headline is therefore accurate, if a little confusing.

  12. You “just don’t personally see the need for it” (open carry).
    Wow…
    I truly respect you and your beliefs, but I’m thankful you’re not in charge of my “needs”.

    • And he isn’t, and doesn’t want to be. He did say he didn’t want to ban it. At which point his statement reduces down to “It’s not my preferred way to carry,” which is hardly worth getting pissy over.

      (And just so you don’t think I am one of the open carry bashers, I OC frequently.)

  13. The U.S. Constitution authorizes Congress “to establish Post Offices and Post Roads”.
    The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
    Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it authorize any branch of government to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms in Post Offices.
    The irony is that a major problem with firearms and violence in Post Offices is with the USPS employees, not the customers.

  14. Let me say first that I believe open carry should always be an option and a personal choice. The issues I have with it are as follows. 1: The social and political climate in this country right now is so divided between pro and anti gun factions, I wouldn’t be surprised if some liberal gun hater sees an open carry and decides to cause trouble and accuse the carrier of pointing it at him or others, unsafe handling, or some other violation just to score points for his faction. This episode was kind of in that genre. Police takes such accusations seriously, as seen lately in TX and elsewhere. 2: Some lowlife sees you with a pistol on your hip, figures, hey, where there’s one there’s more, follows you home, and either waits until no one is home or blindsides you, cleans you out, and if you’re lucky, you’re still living. I’m out of my house a lot and I can’t carry all my guns with me. My thought is, if I don’t flaunt it, they don’t know for sure I have it.

  15. Running errands, pop in and ascertain that ‘someone with a gun is just hanging around’ then who was it that conditioned you to associate [see gun and think criminal] and tell everyone quickly? CNN or FOX? If the man with a gun was trying to get someone else with a gun noticed, then the busy-body Nazi snitch got wtf? he should have gotten- A grain of sense would suggest that one displaying a weapon knows it and has their reasons without telegraphing their intention to do anything terrible as maybe rob a Bank- Sad story of more idiots luvn the Uniforms and wanting to be a NWO hero- OH Thank You Sir! Will that be a ticket to Mars or a Double Suite, 100 TH floor West-Wing with Private Climate Control and Solar Imaging in the Denver DUMB for your service in finding dem terrorist and worthless eaters- gwt

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