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Ah yes. Sung-Ho Hwang decided to take in a late showing of The Dark Knight Rises last night. He also decided – seeing as how the movie wasn’t scheduled to let out until about 1:00 a.m. – that it might be a good idea to pack his pistol. For protection, he said. No problem there, he’s duly licensed in the state Nutmeg State. All well and good, right? Only Sung-Ho doesn’t seem to have the “concealed” part of concealed carry down very well. Which is why some of the other patrons in the theater were a tad concerned by the man with the gun in the theater . . .

You can probably write the script from here. Or maybe not. The story isn’t exactly clear as to whether Hwang, the president-elect of the New Haven county bar association, was making any effort to conceal the pistol or not. Only that police “removed a loaded handgun from Hwang’s waistband at the small of his back.”

Police received a number of calls about a man in the theater with a gun before the movie started, so how concealed could his heater have really been? Here’s a safe bet: Hwang wasn’t there to see the movie, he was there to make a point. He wanted the cops called and was on the horn with his attorney when they arrived. He got what he wanted.

The first arriving officers searched the theater, where patrons said they’d seen a man with a gun in a holster. They first searched a theater where “The Watch” was being shown, then found him in a neighboring theater where the Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” had not yet begun.

Officers went into the theater, ordered the approximately 12 patrons to put their hands up, and had them file out of the theater. They were then patted down as they passed.

When officers located the armed man, who they later identified as Hwang, they drew their weapons and ordered him to put his hands up. He did not comply with their orders and remained in his seat while using his cell phone, police said.

Officers then took him into custody “by force,” police said.

Guess Hwang was squeezing in his one phone call even before he was arrested. He’s been charged with breach of peace and interfering with police. At a press conference today (yes, he held a press conference), Hwang said,

“There is no posting at Criterion that states that weapons are not permitted. As far as the law is concerned, I have a right to carry there,” he said. “We should focus on the real question. Why is New Haven so unsafe? Why do law abiding citizens feel that they need to carry a weapon?”

And a very good question that is, too. But here’s another one: why did he open carry at a late night Batman flick post-Aurora?

Yes, with a license in the Connecticut, he’s allowed to open carry. That’s understood. But refusing to comply when looking at a bunch cops with their guns pointed at him showed more than just steadfast support for the Second Amendment. It showed a fairly reckless disregard for his own health. He’s lucky his popcorn wasn’t sprayed all around the theater along with a good portion of his bodily fluids. Just sayin’.

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  1. there’s standing for a principel and then there’s being a moron. i’ll let the readers decide for themselves which he is. personally, i go with moron.

    • I would say a courageous defender of liberty who is willing to take one for the team, in order to try to set additional pro-gun and pro-privacy precedents in court.

      • “I would say a courageous defender of liberty who is willing to take one for the team, in order to try to set additional pro-gun and pro-privacy precedents in court.”

        “He’s been charged with breach of peace and interfering with police.”

        That fool is not on my team, he is booted. You can have him.

        I suspect he wouldn’t have been charged with the first if he did give the cops a bunch of crap and attitude.

        He may be a fool, but he knew full well all things considered, somebody would call the cops. He asked for it and I pray they toss the book at him and it knocks some sense in him.

    • It’s said the the 1st amendment doesn’t protect popular speech, it protects unpopular speech because it is the one that needs protecting. Rights don’t only apply to what is popular and well-accepted, they also apply to what isn’t popular or acceptable to ones tastes. If it doesn’t, it’s not really a right, is it?

  2. He’s lucky his popcorn wasn’t sprayed all around the theater along with a good portion of his bodily fluids.

    More like, the cops are lucky. Murder is still a crime, even if you’re a cop, right?

    He made perhaps a few less than bright choices in order to make whatever point he was trying to make, but at the end of the day, he was on the right side of the law. BS charges will certainly be dropped.

  3. Ah, yes. The good old “SUBMIT, CITIZEN!” argument for arresting someone who did nothing wrong.

      • Well, the flip side. They blow off the call, man shoots up theatre, lawsuits fly, gun control mavens / media goes nuts. Again.

        Looks like he took his actions deliberately to help the 2A cause. Kudos if it actually works.

        • acur81, do we know what his motives were? maybe he had honest intent to advance 2a rights. maybe not. we don’t know. maybe he was trying to bring adverse attention to 2a rights. again we don’t know.

        • No lawsuits would be filed, and if they were, they would be quickly dismissed. The police’s attorney would cite various cases as precedent that the police have no obligation to protect anyone, they are simply there to uphold the law. I’m sure Ralph could cite a perfect example. From my breif googling Castle Rock v Gonzales looks like one, and Warren v District of Columbia is another (although it is only a appellate court decision)

  4. Wait….

    A person licensed to carry a weapon, in an open carry state, exercising his rights protected by the second amendment (and a few other BS laws), in an establishment with no apparent posted warnings expressly prohibiting such activity, minding his own business while displaying absolutely no offensive or otherwise dangerous or threatening behavior, was stripped of his constitutionally guaranteed liberty, being detained and arrested at gunpoint by the local 5-0, for no other reason than a few sheeple where ‘concerned’?

    And this is acceptable?

    We have already lost the Republic, gentlemen.

    God speed.

    • It’s not about exactly what his “rights” were…there’s also common sense application of those rights. How is wearing a gun openly to the theater after the Aurora shooting a good idea? Good taste? Respectful of the general public? He could have CC…but instead, his only motivation was to make a scene, and a point…get attention…and have fun in court. I don’t see how this helps any of our pro-gun cause. What he did seriously lacks taste and common sense (legal or not).

      • Common sense? What he did made perfect sense and was a good idea. OCing is for your own protection. As the previous shooting demonstrated, the police, even if on the scene, will not protect you. How is what he did in poor taste or disrespectful?

        He didnt make a scene, he was calmly sitting in his chair, the police are the ones who made a scene making everyone get up and violating their 4A rights.

        • Matt, I guess this is where we’ll agree to disagree…there is a fundamental difference between you and I in terms of; 1) what I think is a common sense application of rights (given the circumstances of Aurora, I would consider being respectful of the different opinions of my fellow citizens – who are scared and don’t appreciate me open carrying at the theater/Batman), and 2) what I see to be a deliberately selfish, hard-headed application of said rights.

          IMO, there is no reason a caring, considerate and responsible gun owner wouldn’t just CC in that situation.

          IMO, what he did is a bonehead move, ever way I choose to examine it. Your opinions on his rights nor what I sense to possibly be anti-police bias won’t change that.

          William said it well: “Cops don’t give one shit about intentions, they care about potential. Maybe this guy is trying to make a point…maybe his point was to kill some cops? There are lots of crazies out there.”

        • First off respect is earned, not freely given away to any person you meet, what you seem to be asking for is submission, but ignoring that, what about his fellow citizens respecting his right to be armed? Its not like he went out of his way to make sure everyone knew he was armed.

          How is what he did selfish? If another shooter emerged, he would have no only protected him self, but other patrons as well.

          There are plenty of reasons. IWB holsters are uncomfortable, some hand guns are impractical to CC, like my FNP-45 Tactical with a Doctor MRDS and Surefire x400, and it is more difficult to draw a concealed weapon that a open weapon, the very reason police OC rather than CC.

          I doubt it was bone headed if he was a attorney and was on the phone with another attorney at the time discussing what to do.

          So my anti-police bias is unreasonable, but William’s comment is not? The idea he was there to kill cops is absurd. Being a police officer is one of the safest jobs in the country, according to BLS stats it is far more dangerous to be a sales rep or a member of management than it is to be a cop.

          • “First of all, respect is earned…” Oh dear God, did you really just say that? Seriously Matt, you and I are on completely different wavelengths…I wish you good luck in your world dude.

        • Perfect sense? I think not. He was OCing in a holster at the small of his back while sitting in a movie theater. Horrible sense all around. First, OCing with the holster behind you, out of sight is a very bad idea since you have no view of someone who might be attempting to remove your pistol from your possession. Second, having it behind you while sitting down in a movie theater seat is gonna make drawing pretty difficult if you actually need it.

        • So you have the potential of speeding in a car so you shouldn’t drive?

          Options are like butt holes, everyoe has one. I disagree with your assessment. People need to wake up and protect themselves and the scared sheeple of the world should just not go outside. The world is tuff buy a helmet and don’t go all gaustpo on me for protecting myself. THIS IS AMERICA.

    • ‘We have already lost the Republic, gentlemen’

      Today, our American President said that he opposes the ban by the Boy Scouts on gays and gay scout leaders. Does Obama oppose bans by gay men’s choirs to having straight men or women singers? Does Obama oppose the United Nero College Fund not giving money to whites or others?

      I see no reason to support government, society, or any group that enjoys special legal class status and special laws to get ahead.

    • he has a permit for conn. that allows cc and oc. i don’t know the law there but in some states the police have the right to see your permit. it’s one of the points i don’t see in the article.

  5. I disagree with the general opinion here. It think he went about it the right way, if his intent is to highlight an injustice and take his case to court.

    He is allowed to open carry, and was licensed to do so. He went into a business that had no restrictions posted. And he was arrested and taken into custody without breaking a law. That’s a miscarriage of justice. Of course he knew the reaction he was going to get, so he’s not stupid.

    • he was not arrested for carrying open or concealed. he was arrested for not complying with the cops orders. i know of nowhere in this country where you have the right to disobey or not comply with police orders that won’t get you arrested. will the charges hold up in court, that’s up to a jury to decide. but on the street you’d better comply, or be taser and bullet proof.

      • But, and forgive me if I’m completely wrong here, don’t they need a reason to detain him to begin with?

        I agree he should have complied — it would have focused and aided his case if they attempted to arrest him. But having said that, will he still have a case of some sort here?

        Second, I’m completely buying it went down exactly as the police say. Perhaps they did’t give him much time to comply, and jumped on him as soon as they saw he had a gun. I’m not wanting to absolutely allege something here without all the facts, but it is in the realm of possibility, and that sort of thing happens, where the official police report is a little bit of CYA.

      • I agree with ‘you better comply.’ The police can certainly make mistakes and you can surely sue after the fact, but when cops get pissed or upset or ‘scared,’ it is a very good idea to do whatever they tell you unless you like the taste of dirt or like taking a chance that the rookie officer to your side doesn’t accidentally let his finger fall on the trigger.
        In this case the man certainly had the right to carry, and the police were certainly over reacting, but a better solution would have been for the lawyer to start explaining to the police before everyone was ordered out.
        He could have simply announced he had a license, he was carrying, he believed he was within his constitutional rights to carry openly in the theater, and what would they like him to do next?

        On the side of the police….. a midnight showing of Batman? a dark movie theater? A guy not being open about what he was up to? Would you be nervous bracing a guy in this situation? I would.
        Cops don’t give one shit about intentions, they care about potential. Maybe this guy is trying to make a point…maybe his point was to kill some cops? There are lots of crazies out there.

        I believe 100% that police must respect my right to carry concealed or open if that is the law. I also believe cops have a right to protect themselves and the public interest when they are getting the wrong vibe. Most cops do the right thing. Most people do the right thing. But you can’t bet your life on what most people would do, especially when guns are involved… second chances most of the time.

        • Well said overall IMO…but “Most cops do the right thing.”…get ready for the backlash from guy’s on this site for saying stuff like that. 😉

    • I’m pretty sure this guy will get away with doing it. He holds a powerful position in the legal field. He undoubtedly knows plenty of the key players in the local courts.

      • Micheal B, in CT the president of the local bar association is not all that powerful. In CT, bar associations, both state and local, are entirely voluntary. You are sworn in as a commissioner of the Superior Court by the Supreme Court after the CT Bar Examining Committee, part of the judicial branch, finds you worthy.

        Back when I was still actively practicing, I worked as an associate for an attorney who always liked to remind anybody would listen that he was ” past” president of the “X County” Bar Association. I am not quite sure who ever was impressed, certainly not the occasional judge who showed up at the Bench and Bar dinners.

        Also, Atty. Hwang would practice in front of Administrative Law Judges for the most part (Immigration Law) and would not be a household name with the local superior court judges. However, NH is a sanctuary city and I sure many of Atty. Hwang’s clients are also undocumented constituents of Mayor Destefano. So there probably is some leverage to be found there.

        So, based on all available evidence, it does seem that NH police might have bitten off a little more than they can chew. He might very well walk.

        But here’s the rub: CT is a deep blue state, even if Atty. Hwang prevails, it will draw attention of CT voters to the fact that: 1) you can OC a firearm; and 2) you can OC/CC a gun in a theater if no notice is given that guns are prohibited. Then end result: next legislative session a bill clarifying the OC/CC issue in CT (currently we are issued a Permit to Carry Pistol or Revolver) and, in the interim, every movie theater, and any other public space, posting visible “no gun signs.” Right now, you really don’t see no gun signage because it doesn’t occur to the average supplicating subject of the local leviathan that someone who is not a member of the bureaucratic gun-toting class, i.e., cops, are allowed to carry a gun in public.

        In the long-term, the arrest does not bode well for CT gun owners.

  6. they got called about a man with a gun. when the police entered the theater had he identified himself and shown his permit at that point it should’ve been over and everybody would’ve gone about their business. once he escalated the moment by not complying with the police it became a criminal matter. i don’t know what goes through some folks heads but you’re not goinfg to openly defy the police and they’ll just submit and back off. good way to escalate an inconvience into a criminal charge or a body bag.

    • …as well as leave a very bad taste in people’s mouths about gun owners and carry license permit holders in general.

      • As a law abiding US citizen exercising my 2A rights, the US Government (BATF) and local Law Enforcement already leave a VERY bad taste in my mouth with their blatant disregard for my rights as our founding fathers intended them.

    • Who cares if they got a call about a man with a gun. 2A permits it. Would they show up if they got a call about a man praying or a man speaking?

      He has a right to privacy, he doesnt have to go out of his way to identify himself.

      You have a civic duty to not comply with unlawful orders.

      I have openly defied police on numerous occasions, stating I don’t consent to a search, and had them back off. Same with running from them, they give up usually after about 1/2 – 1 block. Life isnt like COPS where they always catch you.

  7. This man has suspect motives.Notice **** phrase at the ‘press conference’.

    “There is no posting at Criterion that states that weapons are not permitted. As far as the law is concerned, I have a right to carry there,” he said.*** “We should focus on the real question. Why is New Haven so unsafe? Why do law abiding citizens feel that they need to carry a weapon?”***

    • yes matt. i saw nothing on that video that proves or disproves anything. and don’t forget i worked at a state prison for a year. i talked to all sorts of guys that were smarter and faster than the cops. amazing the number of guys in the cross bar hotel that had the perfect plan.

      • Good job once again replying to the wrong thread.

        Oh sure, it doesnt prove anything… other than plenty of other people have managed to escape the police too.

        I’m not sure why you bring up your experience as a welfare queen, the only people you’ll meet in a prison are those who didnt escape. And its not prison escapes are unheard of.

        • for how long did they escape? i freely admit my computer fu skills are not as good as yours. i didn’t grow up in the video generation. but once again tour cherry picked videos prove nothing. one of them was in a foreign language. my life experience tells me that if you run from the cops you will end up in the system one way or the other. as for being a welfare queen,meh, it worked out well for me. ymmv.

        • What do you mean how long did they escape? Its a binary thing, either you escape or your dont.

          Huh? What video was in a foreign language?

          What life experience? How many times have you ran from the cops?

          What makes it so hard to believe life isnt like heavily edited show COPS? Many LEOs are over weight, have 15-20 pounds of stuff on a belt, plus another 5 pounds for their vest, and the guy who is trying to escape often has a head start. Or situations where 1 or 2 cops are trying to arrest/detain a group people?

          Take this mob robbery for example, 300 people took part and there hasnt been a single arrest.
          According to reports, hundreds of youth ran from the teen party after police showed up with sirens and lights on. However, that would go on to only spark a further incident just 90 minutes later in the local Walmart store…Police are said to not have made any arrests at the scene, but are looking to make a wave of arrests in the aftermath of the mob attack.

        • jwm: I don’t know the answer, and it’s possible you’ll never know the answer to that question. If I was forced into an answer, I’d say 50/50 on the Italian(?) guy, the biker probably got away, and the courthouse and parachute guys were probably both eventually caught.

          matt: It’s not a binary thing. People can “escape” and be recaptured. The parachute guy probably got caught on the back end. The courthouse guy may have “escaped” the courthouse and been recaptured a block away. That’s what jwm is asking, and just like on myriad other occasions, I’m pretty sure you know that, and you’re being disingenuous. The video of the guy that jumped out of the cop car was in a foreign language. Did you not notice the guy speaking Italian (?) and the word POLICIA written on the side of the car?

        • Never mind about the foreign language comment. And no I didnt notice, I didnt have my speakers up loud enough and Policia was somewhat pixelated/distorted. I saw a Bronx sign and figured it was NY

          Escape is a binary thing. Once you successfully evade police, you’ve escaped. They can start another pursuit if they see you again, but that is a separate incident.

          Under your logic, no one could be convicted for escaping from prison, because if they were caught afterwards, then the obviously didnt escape.

  8. I was suprised to read this anti-OC and police apologist article, then I read who the author was.

    And something no one else seems to have brought up, what about all the other citizens who had their 4A rights violated by the police indiscriminately searching them?

    • You know, matt, when you’re right, you’re right. As I read through the comments, I kept waiting on someone to comment on that. Forget the guy with an axe to grind. If he’s got the time, money, and inclination to incite a fight with the system, good on him. I want to know, what about the other 11 people in the theatre? As a reminder:

      Officers went into the theater, ordered the approximately 12 patrons to put their hands up, and had them file out of the theater. They were then patted down as they passed.

      What about them?

      RKBA made this comment: A person licensed to carry a weapon, in an open carry state, exercising his rights protected by the second amendment… was stripped of his constitutionally guaranteed liberty, being detained and arrested at gunpoint by the local 5-0, for no other reason than a few sheeple where ‘concerned’?

      Even if you disagree his argument that Hwang was doing nothing wrong, what about the other eleven people who were made to raise their hands and submit to a search, when they were really doing nothing wrong? If I was one of those other 11, I’d have been seriously unhappy with the turn of events. I wouldn’t necessarily have physically resisted, but I’d have damn sure said “no” when they asked me to submit to a search. It might get done, but it’d get done over my strenuous objections.

      • Matt in FL is absolutely correct:

        “You know, matt, when you’re right, you’re right. As I read through the comments, I kept waiting on someone to comment on that. Forget the guy with an axe to grind. If he’s got the time, money, and inclination to incite a fight with the system, good on him. I want to know, what about the other 11 people in the theatre? As a reminder:

        Officers went into the theater, ordered the approximately 12 patrons to put their hands up, and had them file out of the theater. They were then patted down as they passed.

        What about them?”


        So, what…. Now any time I go to see a movie, or I am anywhere else in public, if some sheep feels insecure or thinks they see someone with a gun, I have to be submitted to TSA treatment, just because I was there?

        Those other 11 patrons should be contacting attorneys. They have a case for violation of 4A rights.

        As for the rest of you, listen to yourselves.

        Good God….

        Benjamin Franklin said it best….

        In 1755 (Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, Tue, Nov 11, 1755), Franklin wrote: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

      • There were far more than 11 people, I wouldnt be surprised if they searched 100 – 200 people, because they had all ready searched everyone in a separate theater before they went to the one where Hawng was.

        They first searched a theater where “The Watch” was being shown, then found him in a neighboring theater where the Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” had not yet begun.

        • Yeah, I know they “searched” another theatre first, but since the story didn’t mention any “hands-up, pat-down” action in that one, I wasn’t making assumptions. Perhaps they were looking for a solo guy, and the only people in “The Watch” were couples, so they didn’t make a fuss. Also, it said in “The Dark Night Rises,” the movie hadn’t started yet, whereas “The Watch” was “being shown,” so again, they elected not to make a fuss.

          Either way, I wasn’t making assumptions beyond what appeared in the news article. Avoiding assumptions helps prevent me being wrong.

  9. Hmm. I tried posting and it isn’t showing up. I’ll try again. I apologize if this post appears twice.

    I go back-and-forth on this sort of thing. On the one hand he was exercising his rights without breaking any laws. On the other hand he may have “tarnished” the public image of armed citizens. This is no different than civil rights pioneers who exercised their rights at a time when it was unpopular and resulted in their arrest.

    Many of the commenters on this blog could have said the exact same comments for Rosa Parks. The fact of the matter is that being nice and polite and complying with political correctness isn’t working out very well. If we talk about firearms for self defense, about all we have done is is go from a legal climate where guns are totally taboo to a climate where guns are sort of okay in some places if you conceal them — and that could all change with the political winds.

    The fact that politicians keep bringing up draconian gun control says that gun rights are anything but settled. Until proposals for draconian gun control are as absurd as proposals for segregation, exercising your rights “civil disobedience” may be the order of the day, er, the next decade.

    • Right now, in CT, I can, and do, carry my pistol anywhere that is not expressly verboten, such as legislative buildings, schools, but bars, movie theaters, churches, go-cart track, restaurants, etc., all good to go. There are very few no gun signs.

      When something like this happens, no matter how much I agree that he should be able to walk through the mean streets of NH with a 1911 stuffed down the right and left side of his pants, I am in a minority; when the CT State Legislature gets around to clarifying the ambiguity in our statute to limit carry to CC only, I’m pretty sure it, even if challenged, would meet even a strict scrutiny test.

  10. Another day, another law-abiding citizen harassed for exercising his Constitutionally-protected rights. Pretty much every single person in this scenario from the police to the pants-wetting sheep did something wrong…except Hwang.

    The people that called the police on him should be arrested and cited for harassment.

    • In a perfect world:

      911: 911, what is your emergency?
      Sheep: I’m at the Criterion theatre, and there’s a man here with a gun.
      911: OK, ma’am, are you in a safe place?
      Sheep: Yes, he’s inside, I’m outside.
      911: OK, ma’am, I’ve dispatched an officer and he’s on the way. Now tell me, what is the man doing? Is he waving the gun around, threatening anyone?
      Sheep: No, he’s at the concession stand. It looks like he’s buying popcorn.
      911: Does he have the gun in his hand?
      Sheep: No, it’s in a holster on his hip.
      911: OK, ma’am, is he acting erratically, yelling and screaming, anything like that?
      Sheep: No, he’s got his popcorn, and he’s headed down the hall towards the theatres.
      911: OK, ma’am, open carrying a weapon is legal in Connecticut with a permit, so based on his behavior, he’s likely just out to enjoy a movie this evening. The officer is on the way, and will check out the situation. Would you like to remain on the line with me until he arrives?
      Sheep: No, that’s OK. As long as somebody’s going to check it out.
      {End call}

        • @Accur81 nope, b/c in Texas OC is illegal and even printing can be a violation of their CCW laws, so if someone saw it then there would still be a reason for the cops to be involved. Some other possible states include Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, Vermont (all OC/Constitutional Carry states), or Virginia OC/CCW.

  11. from the link:”
    Just because something is legal, it doesn’t make it right,” Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said at the news conference with Esserman on Wednesday. “Just like we don’t want people to go into a theater and yell ‘Fire!’ we don’t expect people to go into a movie theater with a gun.”
    DeStefano said this may be the right time to discuss prohibiting guns from certain parts of the city.
    “Sometimes you don’t need a tragedy in order to think about how we can be better and how we can be stronger,” he said.”

    — Once again, the anti-gun loonies fail the logic test of how a gun-free zone will keep the BG from ignoring the law. If theaters become gun free zones, what are the next places?

  12. How dare he exercise his legal right in public! Who does he think he is, an American or something?

    • +1

      Without knowing the details of his “non-compliance,” I can’t fault the guy.

      Choosing to OC or CC should be based on your local laws and your personal preference. Not the whims of the public around you. I see choosing to OC at a time when the public might be edgy is the same as me choosing to daily drive a V-8 powered car at a time when the public thinks that saving gas is important. The public can get over itself and learn to tolerate other people exercising their rights.

  13. I’m not sure why so many here are against him exercising his right, especially given that not all the details are clear.

  14. Been reading TTAG for a while without commenting but this drives me nuts.

    What’s with all this “bad taste” and “hurt feelings” BS?

    A right is a right is a right.

    People make it sound like he following the law upset others so he did something wrong.

    How about all those “upset others” revoking this mans rights without due process?

    If enough crybabies shout “think of the children!” they get whatever they want?

    This man should be apologized to and everyone who called in a non-crime should be slapped repeatedly.

    It’s no different than if some uppity banker in Greenwich called the cops on a black person being in town.

  15. The CT pistol permit is a “State permit to carry pistols and revolvers,” and doesn’t state whether it needs to be concealed/open carried. However, if you open carry, you’ll get arrested/cited for pissing off the public around you. You’ll then get your permit pulled and will have to petition a board to get it reinstated…which means a lot of stress and time wasted just because you wanted to make a “statement.”

  16. Ugh… People like this make me just as mad as those who fight for more gun control. Incidents like this only fuel the fire… Especially not complying with the LEO’s. If someone wants to make a statement, then make it in an effective forum where it might actually have a positive impact. “Showing off” to prove a point only strengthens a gun-grabber’s already negative outlook on gun owners/carriers.

    • Thank you! More clear headed input…to balance out the overly-biased “rights-focused” and irrelevant, cop-hating drivel being spewed by many here. This guy…as well as some folks on TTAG are so stubborn and close minded, they don’t realize they are more of the problem than they are the solution. At times, protecting our gun rights also requires a measure of common sense application and cooperation with the opposing sides. Some however, seem to prefer to throw fuel on the fire…

  17. Notice he has NOT been charged with a weapons violation. He was charged with “breach of peace” and “interfereing with police”, both of which I am sure stemmed from his acns AFTER being discovered as the carrier and being ordered to act in a specific manner for officer safety. The officer safety factor has already been ruled on by the courts as legitimate and he won’t get around this. Quite simply, this dumbass will likely lose his position in the Bar Association for this and is lucky he didn’t lose his life for CREATING a tense situation and then delibaerately ESCALATING it instead of DE-ESCALATING it.

    And don’t try blaming the cops on this one, they have an obligation to follow up on citizen complaints, and to validate the guys legal carry status. The later actions were entirely his making. If he knew they were coming over him, he should have stepped right up when they got there and quietly dismissed the issue. Jackass.

    • The people who were so prone to panic that they should not have been out in public without their therapist team in tow were the people who created and escalated the situation by calling in the police.

    • The Breach of Peace charge is for scaring people by carrying openly. It is exactly the charge I was told one would eventually be charged with if they carried openly in CT. This from the instructor on my pistol course.

  18. I can tell that a lot of commenters are not from Connecticut. IANAL, but as I understand it, the legal situation is a big vague. There is no prohibition on open carry by a permit holder, but also no legal protection against a charge of disturbing the peace if your open carry results in a fuss. The State Police advise concealed carry.

    This guy engaged in a deliberate disturbance of the peace. I doubt that charge will be dropped. If he had been stopped by a cop before there was any citizen involvement, there would have been no basis for the charge.

  19. from the front page story on MSNBC:

    “During his news conference, he (Sung-Ho Hwang) brought up the second amendment and the right to bear arms.
    “I think that the Second amendment is crucially important to protect. When baseless breach of peace and interfering charges are brought against people that have a right to carry, it really threatens our constitutional right to bear arms,” Hwang said.”

    “The real issue is that the city of New Haven is unsafe, he (Sung-Ho Hwang) said.

    “Why do law abiding citizens feel that they need to carry a weapon? Why does New Haven have a crime index of 2, which means that 98 percent of other cities are safer? Why is New Haven considered the murder capital of Connecticut? Those are the real issues here,” Hwang said.

    — Meanwhile the anti-gun mayor wants to create more gun-free zones (which criminals ignore) with the force of the law behind them.

  20. There have been several valid points made in the comments to this article. One of them is there are some people that believe that they are ten feet tall and bullet proof…
    But on a different note, this Movie house was not posted as a “No Carry/Weapon” area prior to this incident. But you can almost guarantee that management is already planning to get the signs posted so they don’t have this issue again.

    There are a few comments above that talk about Cops having to deal with “Crazy people.” I understand that this blog has a lot of LEO readers, I hope they don’t take this the wrong way, BUT. There are Crazy COPS TOO. It brings to mind a story about some cops that shot a suspect like 28 times. The main issue I had with that was the fact that the suspect was securely handcuffed in the back of a squad car at the time of the shooting (I couldn’t find the Link this was 2001 or 2002.) So if I was armed in the presence of cops with the guns drawn, I wouldn’t be moving very fast either.

    Someone above made a indirect reference to “walking/driving while black.” This crap still happens. Along the same lines in some military towns walking out of a bar with a military haircut constitutes PI.

    So did this guy with his actions make this movie house safer? I don’t think so.

    Were his rights violated in some way? With the available information, I believe so.

  21. The first question is there nothing ILLEGAL about a MWAG, if the gun is properly holstered. The cops over reacted and crushed the US Constitution to shreds by violating not only the 2A rights of this gentleman as they had no RAS (resonable articulation of suspition) a crime has or is taking place. A MWAG call isn’t illegal and the dispature should have asked what he was doing with the gun…..nothing than go back and enjoy the movie it isn’t illegal. By the over reaction they open the city to a lawsuit from him and all the people they detained and searched they had 4A and 5A rights the cops just disregaurded.

    The city is about to loose a lot of money on this one. The cops (gastapo) need to repect peoples rights.

  22. Given events of the last several weeks, the guy is obviously an idiot. He’s lucky he didn’t get shot.

  23. I respect his willingness to stand up for his principles, but I wonder if he could have gone about it a better way… not to mention, the dude is obviously Asian American. Depending on the attitudes of the local police, being a person of color with a gun (with or without a legal permit) can get you some rough treatment even if you’re not breaking any laws.

  24. Uh oh, here we go again…

    A man faces weapons charges after authorities say he went to an Ohio movie theater showing the latest Batman movie armed with a gun, ammunition and knives.

    Scott A. Smith, 37, is due in court Friday on two counts of carrying a concealed weapon and 19 counts related to carrying weapons “under disability,” charges that refer to the effects of prescription drugs Smith was taking, said Nicole DiSanto of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

    Police say Saturday night Smith went to the Regal Theater in Westlake, Ohio, to see the 10:30 p.m. showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

    According to DiSanto, Smith was the first to arrive, 30 minutes before the movie’s start, and took a seat in the back row, directly in the middle, with his back to a wall. A manager at the theater and an off-duty police officer grew suspicious of where he sat, and they noticed the bag Smith was carrying.

    They asked to search the bag, DiSanto said, and inside found a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, two loaded magazine clips and three knives. Police said Smith was carrying another knife on his person.

    Smith told the off-duty officer he was carrying the gun and knives for protection, to protect himself and other moviegoers, said police, who took him into custody. A search of Smith’s home turned up more weapons, including rifles, shotguns and survivalist gear.

    Westlake police Lt. Ray Arcuri said police believe Smith’s position in the movie theater was “tactical:” not only was he protected from the back, but he could have fired to his right, left and center on anyone in the theater in front of him. About 80 people attended the movie that night.

    In 1995, Smith enlisted in the U.S. Army but did not finish basic training, according to Army spokesman George Wright.

    Phone calls to Smith’s lawyer for comment were not returned to CNN.

    I sure hope this guy had a weapons permit…no indication in the article. Hmmm.

    His position was “tactical”??? WTF is that? Possible more like “defensive”. Possible total BS.

    And what the heck is this whole thing about “19 counts related to carrying weapons “under disability”???


    Anyone he thinks this poor gentleman is in the wrong is succumbing to the PsyOp that was the Aurora “Batman Shooting”. Mr. Hwang followed the letter of the law to a “T” and he was still unlawfully arrested.

    Being detained without suspicion of any criminal activity violates Delaware v Prouse, and arresting/detaining someone over a legally carried firearm violates US v DeBerry.

    Seizure of the weapon with no reasonable suspicion is a violation of Terry v Ohio, and demanding ID without reasonable suspicion is a violation of Brown v Texas.

    This author and all other commenter need to learn and understand the law before they make VERY ignorant political statements!

  26. I was not there but I can envision a scenario where perhaps the man’s cover got caught up, exposing his gun, and since it was apparently a SOB holster, he had no idea. Next, he is confronted by multiple cops as he sits. He reaches for his ID/permit, which is also quite close to his gun. Voila, felony takedown.

    Another curious thing from the article, how did they find him sitting in the theater after “all 12 patrons were removed?”

  27. Folks, lets remember one very important fact: If it had been you or a family member in that theater, seeing someone with a firearm exposed, it would be perfectly natural to be concerned. Personally, I wouldn’t have had the knee jerk reaction of calling the police, since conealed and open carry are both legal there, but I would have moved to a better observation point. Secondly, let me point out that even if he was one hundred percent within his legal right, when being questioned by the police, do not resist. If you cooperate in a calm rational manner, chances are they will respond accordingly. 99% of the law enforcement people out there are on your side, and after getting a little information, they will be on their way. When you resist, or act belligerant, police will naturally begin to treat you as a hostile and the situation will escalate from there.

  28. The ones who should be suing are the people who were it the other theater and were pat searched. Did they consent to that? If they did they are not too bright.

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