On August 4th Plymouth County Sheriff’s department Sgt. Rick Singer stopped a man legally openly carrying a holstered pistol while walking. The Iowa officer asked for the citizen’s permit, which he presented. Sargeant Singer continued to demand a “paper permit” which he insisted was the “legal permit.” Singer keeps saying that the permit is simply a “courtesy card.” He was wrong. He illegally confiscated the open carriers’ permit. The Sergeant then claimed . . .
that the picture on the permit is not recognizable, but wants to see a “paper copy” – which doesn’t have a picture on it. After the encounter, the permit holder filed a complaint with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s office. From opencarry.com:
I’ve been open carrying for years and never had this problem before. Where these cops got the idea that you need to produce a paper copy alongside your valid carry permit is beyond me.
The Iowa code lists form WP9 as the legal form for the Permit to Carry Weapons as Form: “Authorization for Wallet-Size Permit to Carry Weapons, to be generated by the issuing officer including the type of permit, and, at a minimum, the individual identifiers of name and date of birth.”
It appears that the permit holder’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated. Sergeant Singer has qualified immunity…and he is ignorant of the law. Fortunately his abuse was not extreme. He did not arrest the permit holder. While he argued with him, he didn’t shout or use obscenities. Both parties were restrained and polite. I suspect that Sergeant Singer is now educated about this part of Hawkeye State law.
Three days later, the permit was returned to the permit holder. No apology was given, no charges were filed. The permit holder suffered damages (he lost valuable time, he was wrongfully detained, and he had to visit the Sheriff’s office several times). I doubt these damages are sufficient to make a lawsuit pay. If I were an attorney, I wouldn’t take the case on contingency.
Another opencarry.com poster noted that this was not the first time that an officer has claimed that a permit holder had to have a “paper copy” in Iowa. The law was reformed in 2011, four years ago. As officers become educated, these incidents will diminish. As they should.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.