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“I don’t agree that people should be allowed to carry a weapon openly. I have instructed my officers to challenge anyone they see carrying a weapon openly to make sure that they have the right to carry a weapon. Some people, like felons, cannot carry a weapon. They (people carrying weapons) will be treated with respect and dignity but they will be challenged.” – Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson

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  1. How many felons do you see OCing a gun in an OWB or hip holster? thats right NONE ZERO ZIP NIL!!!!!!!! Basically this guy is saying, if you open carry we are going to harass you needlessly and treat you like an armed felon.

    • Basically, yes. I wish law enforcement would go back to “enforcing” existing laws and not try to do the job of the courts in interpreting the law.

      • I just don’t see the probable cause here. You need a “special licence” to drive a car but they can’t just stop a car for no reason and ask to see your DL. Both ARE deadly weapons to boot…where is the ACLU when you need them

        • Actually it is even worse than that. Alabama requires a license to carry a concealed handgun, the law does not require a license to open carry.

  2. “I have instructed my officers to harass anyone they see carrying a weapon openly to make sure that they don’t feel they the right to carry a weapon.”

    More (openly) honest.

  3. Many LE chieftains and the political elites perceive civilians owning and carrying guns as an emotional challenge to their sensitive elitist egos and all that goes along with that bs. It is unsettling that so many people in powerful positions are so dysfunctional, insecure, and incompetent.

  4. One of the foundation principles of constitutional law is that exercising a right can never be a crime. This police chief is violating that principle and is creating liability for himself, his officers and his employer. I wonder what the county sheriff has to say since the police chief’s power is delegated from the sheriff.

    Fortunately, in Virginia, citizens have the right to defend themselves with lethal force against police officers who are acting beyond their authority. Pointing weapons at a citizen openly carrying who has committed no crime is acting beyond police authority. Furthermore, and most importantly, the police have NO authority to stop a citizen and lecture them about open carry. If the officers threaten force, a citizen may fight back. This was reaffirmed in a 2008 decision. I wonder if Alabama has similar provisions.

    • “If the officers threaten force, a citizen may fight back. This was reaffirmed in a 2008 decision. I wonder if Alabama has similar provisions.”

      I thought that was a Federal Supreme Court decision that said it’s OK for citizens to kill a cop / federal agent / other government employed thug if they citizen hadn’t broken a law and was being attacked by said thug?

  5. The Chief might want to make sure his goons know the rules and rights about open carry when they go about challenging people exercising their rights.

  6. I’m glad Tuscaloosa is so overflowing with budget surplus that they can afford to pay for all the §1983 lawsuits [fourth amendment, among other things] and local lawsuits. I wonder if the local DA or other attorney approved this statement, which is almost a prima facie admission of guilt – now the presumption will be that there was no justification for a stop and search aside from the bias of the police chief. No more “Terry stop” justification.

    Suggestion: if Tuscaloosa has any municipal bonds outstanding, sell short.

  7. I never OC, but if I was in this jackbooted thug’s jurisdiction, I’d OC until one of his henchmen stopped me for no reason then make it my duty to file a lawsuit and get him fired. Despicable tyrants like this have no business being cops or Americans.

    It makes more sense for citizens to be challenging every cop they see.

  8. I agree that this needs to be challenged, soon and frequently. But better find someone with deep pockets or a lawyer looking to make a name for hisself to carry the ball once the po po plays his hand.

    Another KEY to challenging this edict from the oligarchs is to make it a MASS OC event and overload the response system. Doing the ‘Lone Ranger’ bit is a recipe for getting ones-self carried off to the pokey and run through the ringer.

  9. It really doesn’t matter what Chief Anderson agrees or disagrees with. The law is the law, and he has sworn an oath to enforce the law, not make up his own.

  10. Yup, guilty until proven innocent, and then maybe!

    These examples are a great reminder to remain armed at all times, 24/7/365.

    When the “summer of rage” begins this year, I hope all of you who read this will be prepared for the armed crackdown by TSA, Viper teams, Interpol, and the foreign troops that are already here on our shores & training for the massive round-ups of citizens for internment into their local FEMA camps until they can all be processed into an ash/cement mix to help build more camps.

    Obamma already has his “private army” that he told us back in 08 that he was going to build. Now with TSA agents in every state of the union all that is left for him to do is to issue his troops their pretty brown-shirts and jackboots so they can be identified as the new leaders of the crackdown and martial law.

  11. I’ve had this exact conversation with mr Anderson and got the exact same response. I really didn’t care for his views on The 2nd amendment.

    I asked him a few pressing questions, such as how many people who are not allowed to own firearms, much less carry (such as felons, or people about to commit a crime), his officers have confronted open carrying. He dodged like a champ.

  12. Time to start on the politicians. Don’t bother going after the Chief, go after the people who hired him and can fire him. The guy’s probably a political appointee, not elected, so you work on the politicians who appointed him.

  13. As a resident of Tuscaloosa, and an OC’er, I’ve never been contacted by TPD when open carrying. I really hope that continues to be the case, as TPD has plenty of other things to worry about. It’s a waste of time for the officers and the citizens.

    • I hope you don’t get stopped but If you do contact the Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA as both should be willing and able to help you with legal costs.

      • You should contact GeorgiaCarry.Org first. They have more experience with OC harassment law suits, than SAF or the NRA.

  14. “I don’t agree.”

    I would like to ask these idiot cops who “disagree” with open carrying how many criminals they have caught who were carrying a gun openly. I’m betting “exactly zero” nationwide unless they stumbled onto a crime in progress.

    • I would guess that they have caught just as many criminals that way as terrorists have been caught by the TSA.

  15. Holy Bat Shit!! “I don’t agree that people should be allowed to carry a weapon openly.” Okay Chief, had you stopped there or added “but the laws of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and the 2nd Amendment allow it so thus what I personally think doesn’t matter. My job is to enforce laws; not to agree or disagree with them.” I might not be so pissed about your stance. But, let me rephrase the spirit of your message into the crap that a free citizen like myself hears spewing from your pie hole.

    “I don’t agree with the laws of Alabama, the laws of Tuscaloosa, or with citizen’s natural rights protected by the United States Constitution. Thus, I will take it upon myself to disregard the law and to interject my own personal views and opinions upon the law abiding citizens of Tuscaloosa. So, I will violate the 2nd, and the 4th Amendments and even if I cannot make a legal case I will in fact make it so inconvenient for my fellow citizens who wish to open carry that I will, in effect be bypassing the 5th, 6th, and 7th Amendments as well.

    I wish I still lived in Alabama. Free weekends might find me in Tuscaloosa openly carrying with every thing I have.

    • I emailed Chief Anderson earlier and received this response:

      I am happy to know you are a law abiding citizen.  I am well aware of the open carry law and the rights of an individual to openly carry a firearm in Alabama.  My personal opinion as stated in the Tuscaloosa News article is just my opinion regarding the law and not an interruption of the law.  I hope you are not naïve enough to believe criminals and felons would not disobey the law.  As someone who deals with criminals and felons I am not naïve enough to believe if they discovered they could carry a weapon openly and not be challenged by law enforcement some of them would not give it a try.  I do expect my officers  to respectfully speak with any one they come in contact with openly carrying a firearm in an effort to determine if they are legally within their rights to do so.  We won’t know if we don’t ask.   Thank you for your email.

  16. Exactly what is this challenge going to consist of? Are they just going to ask everyone carrying openly if they are legally disqualified from carrying? That would be annoying and fruitless since felons would hardly be above lying. Are they going to detain everyone carrying openly until they can verify their answers? That would be a gross violation of civil rights; there’s no way such a blanket policy passes the “reasonable suspicion” test.

  17. I don’t like that he doesn’t like open carry. But I do respect the right of the police to ask for my carry permit since that is legal. I’d rather make open carry completely legal, as long as your carry isn’t unsafe to others or you aren’t doing anything stupid.

  18. In Terry v. Ohio, Chief Justice Warren wrote
    And in justifying the particular intrusion the police officer must be able to point to specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant that intrusion. (392 U.S. at 21)

    Chief Anderson in the above email response backpedals slightly: I do expect my officers to respectfully speak with any one they come in contact with openly carrying a firearm in an effort to determine if they are legally within their rights to do so. Okay Chief. SPEAK with is a different term than CHALLENGE. Hear us all now. Openly carrying a weapon in Alabama is LEGAL thus by simply observing someone doing something within the LEGAL confines of the law does NOT by itself constitute reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity which the Supreme Court (remember those guys?) in Terry Vs. Ohio wrote a landmark decision.

    By the way Chief Anderson, I hope you great success in catching, arresting, jailing and prosecution of criminals. We law abiding citizens only have the best wishes for you on this, but, you seem to be confused on the actions and behaviors of law abiding citizens.

  19. Think about this for a few minutes:

    Why is it that any of us have any desire to carry our weapon concealed?
    The first and foremost principal of self defense (IMHO) is deterrence.

    Deterrence (as defined by webster’s dictionary): : the act or process of deterring: as a : the inhibition of criminal behavior by fear especially of punishment b : the maintenance of military power for the purpose of discouraging attack

    How does a concealed weapon (again from webster’s, Conceal: transitive verb 1: to prevent disclosure or recognition of 2: to place out of sight ) serve this first principal of self defense?

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