Sir, Place Your Hands Behind Your back

Well, I wanted to share this story much sooner, but for the sake of my civil case, I withheld until knowing discussion would not harm my case.

FIRSTLY, I want to assure you that I did not get charged with any crime, but instead was harassed for open carrying for the first time in eight years. (I’m currently waiting on the state process my permit due to the long wait period because of recent events)

Without writing an essay on my occurrence, I’ll make it short by saying, I was out of my local setting and also at a time that I would never go out, but I found out I’m a soon to be a father. (First one) She wanted a particular type of ice cream that is only carried at Kroger that I was aware of. However, again without much detail, my local Krogers in which every employee knows me had a new employee that would not provide me business. (They’re right, not worried about that, not going into all those details for time sake)

So, I had to go to the one in the next town and upon walking up to the store and noticing a policeman coming out, I held the door for him. He then asked for my permit in which, I stated the Louisiana law on open carry… (I have done this before to a police officer) Therefore, after realizing I was correct, he wanted to do a tox screen on me… I never consented, but rather was forced to go downtown in which, I don’t drink nor do any drugs so, I was released without question… Although, my attorney feels certain measures need to be done to ensure this NEVER happens to a person again and, I agree.

Any thoughts?

Was the policeman justified in doing his job?

Lastly, Louisiana law says permit holders must submit to tox screen by law enforcement at risk of losing permit, although it should be known I don’t have it “yet” therefore should not have had to submit. Am I wrong?

1 Like

In my state if you are carrying you must have your permit on your person. Seems as though he was justified to me.

2 Likes

Darrin,

The issue is that in Louisiana it’s open carry without a permit. However, due to unwanted looks because of recent events has made me apply for permit. I’ve open carried since about the age of eighteen (18) or nineteen (19) and yes one may carry a pistol although they may not purchase one until twenty-one (21). Also one may carry at the age of seventeen (17) in Louisiana. The young adult should be mindful though that federal law says eighteen (18) is legal age.

1 Like

in that case. What’s his damn problem. Violation of your rights.

2 Likes

A couple of questions to consider:

  • What time was this? (Having been a pregnant woman in the past I know cravings come at all times of the day and night.)
  • Had there been a string of gun violence in the area before where your body type was described?
  • How do you know the officer wasn’t going to ask for a tox screen whether you had your permit on your or not? (Goes back to the time of day question as well - was it close to bar time?)
  • Do you know the officer? If not, how is he supposed to know you don’t drink or do drugs?
  • You’re open carrying a firearm. He asked you to do a tox screen, you refused. Could he have taken that as you were drinking while carrying and didn’t want to get caught?
  • What happened when you got to the police station?

There’s more to the story, I’m sure. But based on what you’ve shared here, I don’t agree with your attorney. If a police officer has a concern about someone carrying a firearm, they should follow up on that concern. He didn’t detain you for an inordinate amount of time. He didn’t take your firearm. He wanted you to do a tox screen because he had a concern. He was doing his job.

I think your question states your answer:

Yes, he is justified in doing his job.

Have you applied for it? Will you apply for it in the future? Either way, cooperating with the police is something all responsibly armed Americans should do.

2 Likes

I think “doing his job” needs to be carefully defined.

In an open-carry state, openly carrying cannot be used as “just cause” to harass citizens who are not breaking other laws. This is no different than a traffic stop in that sense… If you have a tail light out, they can stop you because that is a legit cause (in some jurisdictions). If pot smoke is wafting out your window when you drive past, that’s a legit cause. If the officer doesn’t like your looks, or you’re an unusual demographic for the area… that’s NOT a legit cause.

In some states, the law allows them to take you on a trip downtown if you refuse a road-side sobriety test once stopped… but the stop itself has to have a “just cause” reason or its harassment.

I think the same principle applies… being taken downtown is a detainment, I think, and there has to be just cause. Detainment because of perfectly legal Open Carry is not legal unless the governing laws say you have to submit if you’re open carrying. Detainment because of a refusal to take a field-sobriety test while NOT operating a vehicle is probably not within the law… but, Louisiana is a different world from most of the states and I’d go with your Louisiana lawyer’s view on it.

Bottom line is that neither legal open carry or legal refusal to take a field sobriety test should be used as cause for detention… unless something in the law permits it. If that’s not called out in the law, it was an unjustified detention, and that would be worth making a stink over.

5 Likes

Congrats on your first child! The ice cream runs are just the start buddy, you will be making many many late night runs to various stores over the next 10 years (Children’s Tylenol, Children’s Motrin, popsicles during teething, diapers, thermometers… and those are just the ones I remember). At 3 am none of us are at our best, grabbing whatever clothes are handy even if they are mismatched, and that sleep deprived grogginess makes for quite a bad first impression if the store staff doesn’t know you. I would have understood an officer asking me some question under the circumstances, but it does seem like something that should have quickly been dismissed when he didn’t smell any alcohol on your breath.

2 Likes

All these are great thoughts, I appreciate the input.

@Darrin, I don’t really know, but I do agree with @Dawn in the sense of always complying with law enforcement that is why I did so (Actually, earlier that same day, I applied for the Shreveport Police department, but this was in Bossier which is in all reality a hop, skip, and a jump away).

I didn’t mind complying with his request because I’m aware of how hard the job can be as well as not voiding out any possibility of my application being denied (for the CHP).

@Zee I do also agree with your argument because in Louisiana statue it makes it clear that open carry is nor reason to be approached by suspicion or anything else.

@Greg1, I think that possibility was dismissed, but probably wanted to further verify that there were no other drugs in my system in which that didn’t have me sweating.

However, I have decided to dismiss the case because regardless of his actual intent, I’m a law-abiding citizen and did not mind the situation (I think my woman made me overthink it to even to further pursue matters based on her hormones, which is understandable at this time).

Thanks for all the congrats, much ahead of me at this time. Blessings to each of you!

Kindest regards,

Randall W. Anderson

3 Likes

@Randall318 Even if the circumstances were a bit sketchy you did all the right things and came out none the worse but for a bit of time and dare I say lack of Ice Cream (which in my house is a hanging offense, pregnancy or no) :hushed:

The fact that you popped it up on the radar by instituting a case may have sent a few reverberations through the local PD which MAY have caused some training to occur. Not a bad thing. When open carry or any other statute is not often encountered LEO will often default to some sentinel factoid that they get in training.

It’s not that they are bad or harassing it is just a tid bit of training that they get from an multitude of directions. Lets face it lawful 2A carry is somewhere down past J walking on things LEO think about, that you got hemmed up, sorry the LEO remembered one thing, “Do a tox screen and you are covered” if you were to come back positive for XYZ (w/o a prescription) then he would have had an easy collar and you would have been well and truly screwed.

The lesson from your event is to do prezactly what you did. Comply and run the issue to the end via the system. No harm no foul except some time on your end. You may or may not be suprised but there is a “notes” section in most PD computers. “FOC” is a good thing to have next to your name, In my case, in large red friendly letters is, “DO NOT NO KNOCK”. I used to teach the local SWAT guy’s :innocent:

Cheers,

Craig6

4 Likes

Ok, I need a translation on FOC…

After a day my hubby spent training one of the Los Angels PDs in shooting skills, a lieutenant asked my hubby for his address. When my hubby asked why, the lieutenant said “because if we ever get a call about a disturbance at your address, I’m not going.” :grimacing:

@Randall318, it might be worth a follow up by your lawyer as part of dismissing the case to ask for revised officer training. They may not tell you if they are going to or not. But maybe they will… and that would be a satisfactory outcome.

3 Likes

@Craig6, I do believe a hanging almost occurred upon returning home without the specific ice cream which was bluebell chocolate peanut butter cookie doe. Maybe the policeman thought he had a suspect with the case of the late-night munchies. :rofl:

Although, what is that acronyms meaning…There are so many!
I’m aware of the notes that police have on one because when encountering them as a juvenile they would always know me before knowing me…
However, this was due to smoking some weed with “friends” (not really. but as a kid, you thought so) In addition, I was on the receiving end of the swat team as a child a few times. Again, as a child! But, also we were always in the backyard so they did not break down the door and they had a probable cause due to odor (I think these encounters taught me to be respectful unto police and changed my life from drug addiction). The funny situation is a partner of Agent Mckenna upon applying for the police said, I should consider tactical training because they were looking for more swat members (I was thinking, yeah because of the door rammer always quite or worse). :grimacing:

@Zee, Well, that’s the issue…I want officers to have a better understanding of gun laws because if I know them for my state they should also. I just don’t want to be an enemy of the state because if I poke at them with a stick they will bite back.

1 Like

@Zee & @Randall318 FOC = Friend Of Cops. You will notice that in anything I post I don’t ever use the term “Cops”. There is more than one reason for that.

Similarly: In the old days in Navy Medicine you might find the initials F.W.C on a Naval Medical record of certain individuals “usually” Officers.

F.W.C = “F*^&’$ With Corpsmen”

In my entire 24 years as a Navy Corpsman I NEVER met an actual Corpsman with those initials but have seen them more than once in my career.

Cheers,

Craig6

2 Likes

@Randall318 you have raised some very valid concerns. I cannot speak to LA law but, in Kentucky, the police officer would likely face disciplinary action, even more so today since Constitutional Carry has been passed. But even before Const. Carry, the Kentucky Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms but the legislature can legislate with respect to concealed carry. Any person in Kentucky can open carry as long as they are at least 18 and are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm. Police cannot detain someone with a firearm unless they have reasonable suspicion that the person detained has, is or is going to be committing a crime, or they have probable cause that the person has committed a crime. This is now the standard for both open and concealed carry in Kentucky.
It is interesting that our CCL law requires a person with a permit to present it to law enforcement upon request but, now with Const. Carry, police don’t know what to do. If someone has a concealed weapon, they can ask you for your permit and, if you have one, the law requires you to present it, but, if you do not, there’s nothing more they can do. You do not even need to tell them your name unless they have RS or PC.

I would think that if the LA CCL law allows the police to order a tox screen and the open carry law is not part of the same set of statutes, similar to KY, then the officer would not have had authority to detain you.

To points others have made, as an attorney my advice is always to comply with the officer in the field and make your arguments in court, not with the officer.

4 Likes

I have dealt with the same kind of issue in Kentucky many times and usually address it with the prosecutors and at times the higher ups in the police departments and folks I know with the Department of Criminal Justice Training. This issue starts at the state police all the way to the small Mayberry type departments. Kentucky, like most states require that you provide proof of insurance upon request. By statute, that can be in either paper or electronic format. Many officers will add a “failure to produce proof of insurance” to a ticket if the do not have a physical insurance card and show it to the officer on their phone. This is clearly against the letter and the spirit of the law, however, it is usually accompanied by a valid charge so you can’t raise too much of a fuss.

3 Likes

@MikeBKY,

Yes, sir…it is concerning. Although I personally did not have an issue with obeying the officer. My issue is in the event of other law-abiding citizens… It raises a red flag.

You are on the spot because Bossier is almost like a Mayberry and, I think Deputy Fife was doing the law enforcing. Like someone said up at the top “what if someone took prescription drugs, but they were not intoxicated” Such as an older citizen… would they have been in trouble?

If state police could address these issues and lay down the law or making it more understandable for the officers than we might not have these types of things happening.

Should maybe I turn over the report to Internal Affairs or go to state police and request more training? Not that I want any type of civil case or anything, my woman got her ice cream and I’m off death row so, I’m fine. I just don’t want somebody to get hymed up for being the “good” guy or gal.

2 Likes

I would suggest you follow the advice of your attorney. These can usually be attacked at from different angles. For instance, in KY, the state police have little to no say on how the law is enforced in any political subdivision or in the courts in each county. Usually legal challenges like this take one of three roads. One is to address it in the courts by challenging a criminal conviction or the law itself in a criminal or civil action. Once a court makes a decision, it may need to proceed to the highest court in the state to be the law in the state. Another way of challenging is to ask for an Attorney’s General opinion on the enforcement of the law. These usually have the force of law unless and until a court rules otherwise. The third way is to contact your legislators and discuss it with them so that the law can be clarified.
In your case it seems to me like the statute dealing with tox screened for CCL holders would not apply to open carry but it is hard to say without learning a lot about LA laws. And LA law, unlike the rest of the Union, is roughly based upon the Napoleonic Code as opposed to British common law which creates challenges for attorneys like me who have had no dealings with the differences or similarities between the two.

2 Likes

Yes, sir.

He does seem to have a plan and he is taking this as a friend. so it’s not like I’m out big money.

In addition, I don’t want compensation in money form, I just want law-abiding citizens to be protected for the future. When it comes to rights and law…that is my bread and butter and don’t want anybody to be unprotected. I knew the laws concerning this issue, but others might not be aware that their rights were violated and others might know however, they put themselves in a predicament through not obeying law enforcement, racking up other charges.

Thank’s @MikeBKY, @Craig6, @Zee @Greg1 @Darrin and @Dawn all have been mighty helpful.

Much blessings,

Randall W. Anderson

1 Like

Before I give my two cents, first consider I am not a peace officer, lawyer, or judge. With that said…

I read the law I think you are referring to @Randall318 and it seems to be talking about requesting an individual to submit to a chemical test as it pertains to concealed carry, not open carry. I couldn’t find any reference to open carry and submission to chemical testing.

From the law (http://legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?p=y&d=97451): “A permittee armed with a handgun in accordance with this Section shall notify any police officer who approaches the permittee in an official manner or with an identified official purpose that he has a weapon on his person, submit to a pat down, and allow the officer to temporarily disarm him. Whenever a law enforcement officer is made aware that an individual is carrying a concealed handgun and the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is under the influence of either alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance, the law enforcement officer may take temporary possession of the handgun and request submission of the individual to a department certified chemical test for determination of the chemical status of the individual.

Assuming the submitting to a tox exam pertains to open carry as well, it uses the wording “reasonable grounds”, so this means more than just because one has a firearm. The officer would need to be able to articulate his reasonable grounds for suspecting you were under the influence.

Being “forced” to go downtown sounds like an arrest to me. Even if you are not placed in handcuffs, if you were made to feel like you were not free to leave, you were under arrest. Now if he said “ I need to do a tox on you, would you be willing to go downtown so I can do that” and you agreed to do so, then one might argue you consented. Much like when someone is pulled over in a vehicle by a police officer and a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the driver is under the influence, the officer can ask the driver to voluntarily submit to a portable breath test, but unless the officer has probable cause and arrests the driver they cannot compel them to leave the scene go to the station and perform a chemical test. However in most states failure to submit to even a field sobriety test and/or a tox test can result in suspension or revocation of one’s driver license. Now, it is possible that if an individual who has a CCL refused to submit to a tox test by a peace officer, their CCL might be revoked, but I don’t see how that applies to open carry.

You did the right thing by not becoming argumentative and complying with the officer’s request. If it were me, I would also comply, but might have said things similar to, “am I required to go downtown to submit to a test?”, “I am not under the influence and do not want to go downtown to submit to test, but if you are requiring me to I will cooperate”. This way my attorney will have something to work with after the incident. I am extremely supportive of peace officers and the job they do. I will always be courteous, however I will not consent to searches or make voluntary statements.

As @MikeBKY indicates, the foundation for all LA laws is different than all other states, so I guess anything is possible that I can’t understand. Heck, the Supreme Court is hearing a case right now about LA’s jury process of only needing 10 out of 12 jurors to agree for convictions in criminal cases. I didn’t even know they did that. Yikes

I hope you are able to work with your lawyer to address the contact you experienced and that the agency involved provides education and training to their officers to correctly apply and enforce the law.

3 Likes

With @Jeffrey26 doing some of the background, I looked a little further as well. Like KY, open carry is protected by the LA Constitution. I do not know if there are any statutes that specifically address open carry, although I doubt they would. I agree with the statute cited and the wording of the statute. Likewise, the tox screen would require reasonable grounds to believe you are intoxicated, similar to a DUI stop. Even with open carry, I would suspect that the officer would have authority to take an open carrier with reasonable grounds that the carrier is under the influence. In either case, i agree that the fact you are carrying is not reasonable grounds to believe you are intoxicated.

4 Likes

@Jeffrey26,

You are indeed correct. I did not give any appearance of being under the influence (Unless an “it’s all about Jesus shirt counts”). I do want to make the occurrence known for the protection of other’s rights, but at the same time don’t want to be looked at like I’m chasing a bag of money.

However, I’m glad you were able to see that Louisiana law is a lot different than other states, here is how Bloom legal put it, "Another way to put it might be that Louisiana law—and civil law in general—can allow more for individual judges’ interpretation of the law to hold sway over a more objective or historical understanding of the law (Bloom legal 2019).

Although Louisiana voted to end non- unanimous jury verdicts last November.

@MikeBKY, I made it clear my application was in the process, but also let him know it was backed up due to recent events as Louisiana State Police addressed it,

1 Like