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Open Carrier Handing Out Water, Accused of “Intimidation” Near Polls in Mesa, Arizona

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 17:33
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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.  The 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 is clear that this incident took place outside the polling place boundaries.  No arrest was made, but the Sargent makes a funny comment when he says that the Constitution is different in different states.

There can be splits in circuits.  Maybe he meant the state constitutions can be different.

I do not see a big problem.  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. It might or might not have been intimidation, depending on the circumstances and what was said.

Open carry has always been a right in Arizona.  The open carrier said:

“I never touched my gun.”

He also says that even if he touched a gun, it is 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 video of him “patting his gun” indicates it probably did not happen.

Calling the police for innocent conduct, and exaggerating to get them to come, is a form or “swatting”.

Calling for police harrassment of open carriers has been common on the gun hater facebook pages.  It 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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