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An open carrier in Mesa, Arizona, was handing out water in the polling station parking lot. One or more gun haters called in that he was “intimidating” voters. They claimed that he was “patting” his gun. This video is of his conversation with police as they investigated the incident.

Arizona is one of the few states that forbids firearms at polling places. It’s clear that this incident took place outside the polling place boundaries. No arrest was made, but the sergeant makes a funny comment when he says that the constitution is different in different states.

There can be splits in court circuits. Maybe he meant the state constitutions can be different. I don’t see a big problem here. Police have a duty to check out complaints.  As the officer said,

We are investigating whether a crime has been convicted. 

The 911 operator got a call. The caller claimed the open carrier was patting his gun. The open carrier told the officer,

“I never touched my gun.”

It might or might not have been intimidation, depending on the circumstances and what was said.


He also says that even if he touched a gun, it’s not a crime. The officer falls back on the old “disorderly conduct” statute, but that goes back to the intimidation issue. Occasional touching of an openly carried, holstered pistol, is inevitable in the normal course of events.  Keeping the pistol under the elbow is a common retention tactic.

The fact that no one, out of dozens in line, took any video of him allegedly patting his gun indicates it probably didn’t happen. Calling the police for innocent conduct and exaggerating what happened to get them to respond, is a form or “swatting”.

Calling for police harrassment of open carriers has been common on the gun-hater facebook pages. It’s happened to me a couple of times, but is becoming less frequent as open carry becomes normalized.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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  1. As per usual, there should be hefty fines and legal ramifications for putting in false reports to 911.

    • Exactly.

      If you choose to make an OC statement, be smart about it and have at least 1 person running video to prove no intimidation happened.

      And if someone claims intimidation, demand charges be pressed for filing a false police report…

  2. I live in Arizona and frequently pat my gun and my firearm. However, I keep my firearm out of sight.

  3. This is AZ. Open carry is common and irrelevant. I do wish Californians would move somewhere else and not screw up this state. (Says me, a Virginia transplant.)

    • CA has 55 electoral college votes for hillary tonight. CA may well fuck up more than AZ before the night is over.

      • The California ballot appeared as follows:

        Choose your Presidential Candidate:
        Hillary Clinton
        Clinton, Hillary

        All write-ins were pre-printed “Hillary Clinton”.

    • Yankees keep moving down here where I live and most of them think we should live like they did in the place they
      ran from. They should go back home to the peoples republic of anywhere but here.

      • RMS1911, I don’t know where your “down here” is, but don’t put all Yankees in the same boat as the Massholes. That’s like saying all white people are racist.

        Anyway, I was in business in the Killeen Tx area a while back, stopped in at one of the local parks. Paying the gatekeeper, he commented “You’re not from around here are you?” “Nope, just down for business”. “Well, do you know the difference between a Yankee and a damn Yankee?” “No sir, what’s the difference?” “Damn Yankees don’t go home”.

        After I stopped laughing, I assured him that I was going home in a week.

  4. Open carry just has too many cons than pros. While the heat makes it desired. The actions of some carriers kinda put off the masses.

  5. “Patting”….

    When open carrying, it makes sense to touch your gun in some way fairly frequently, though for hip carry that usually means brushing it with the arm just below the wrist because that’s the part of the arm that is right where the gun is.

    BTW, the female cop here is to me an example of the poor cognitive level of too many cops who can’t give a quick, to-the-point summary of the situation instead of being defensive and rattling on and on.

  6. The police did not understand their fundamental procedural/legal error in this interaction. Investigating a claim of “disorderly conduct” is perfectly fine to the extent that their investigation includes showing up and asking questions in consentual interactions.

    What police should NOT legally be able to do is formally detain someone and demand identity based on a casual claim. Rather, as the detainee stated, police must have a Warrant or probable cause supported by oath or affirmation as stated in the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. It should go without saying that someone calling 911 does not rise to the level of probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.

  7. ” It’s happened to me a couple of times, but is becoming less frequent as open carry becomes normalized.” this is why open carry is good.

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