AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

Herschel Smith · 19 Feb 2017 · 7 Comments

There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s.  So why am I writing one?  Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong.  Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject.  It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information.  Or you may not benefit at…… [read more]

Open Carry In Publix Grocery Store In Gastonia North Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

So I was shopping in Publix grocery store this weekend, and ask a manager about their policy on open carry.  I thought I had seen folks engaging in open carry there, but I told the manager that I knew businesses can have their own policies, which I support, and I didn’t want this to be awkward for them if I come back openly carrying.

He informed me that he has a number of customers who open carry, and Publix follows the laws of the state.  There is no problem with it at that store.  I appreciate their stand on the issue, and I will certainly reward them by continuing to shop there.

In case we’ve never discussed this before (and I think we have), I open carry because I hate concealed carry and told the manager so.  But there is a larger and more important reason.  I open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”  I owe that expression to Jeremy Bryant.

States Where Open Carry Is Permissible

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

Breitbart:

This means 12 states recognize the Second Amendment as your concealed carry permit. The states are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

I’m not quite sure where Hawkins gets his information, but 30 states allow unpermitted open carry, my own state of North Carolina being one of them.  Fifteen states allow permitted open carry, and open carry is only prohibited in five states: California, Illinois, Florida, New York and South Carolina.

It should be embarrassing to South Carolinians that you’re on the same list as California and New York.

Update On Open Carry Of Firearms In North Carolina State Parks

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

If you will recall, I discussed signage in Mount Mitchell State Park that led me to file a complaint.  I had an extended email conversation with Bryan Dowdy with the North Carolina State Park Service.  It is reproduced below.

Mr. Smith,

Your email complaint was forwarded to me for a reply.

The ‘Welcome To’ sign as pictured in your post is correct.   Per North Carolina Administrative Code, 07 NCAC 13B .0901(a) and (b), FIREARMS;  The possession of firearms whether they are openly carried or carried concealed are prohibited in / on all North Carolina State Parks lands and waters unless a person has a valid concealed handgun permit and thus that person may possess a concealed handgun provided they are adhering to the requirements set forth in G.S. 14-415.11.  There are three exceptions to this Rule in that the State Park lands and waters at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas are owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and subject to separate federal regulations governing firearms.

I have included the applicable NC Administrative Code below for your information.

Additionally, we do not permit hunting on State Parks lands (including at Mount Mitchell State Park) so anyone openly carrying a weapon or hunting black bear or other animals on the State Park would be unlawful.  You may be confused with the US Forest Service lands and/or North Carolina Wildlife Game lands which border State Park lands around Mount Mitchell State Park which do allow limited hunting.

SECTION .0900 – FIREARMS: EXPLOSIVES: FIRES: ETC.

07 NCAC 13B .0901 FIREARMS: WEAPONS: EXPLOSIVES

(a) Except as provided in Paragraph (b) or G.S. 14-269, no person except authorized park employees, their agents, or contractors, shall carry or possess firearms, air guns, air soft guns, paint ball guns, bows and arrows, sling shots, or lethal missiles of any kind within any park.

(b) A person with a valid concealed handgun permit issued by one of the United States that adheres to the requirements set forth in G.S. 14-415.11 may carry a concealed handgun on the grounds and waters of a state park. Persons acting under this exception should take notice that certain Division managed properties are owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and subject to separate regulations governing firearms. Accordingly, concealed handguns are prohibited at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas.

(c) The possession or use of cap pistols is prohibited. The possession or use of dynamite or other powerful explosives as defined in G.S. 14-284.1 is prohibited.

(d) The possession or use of pyrotechnics is prohibited except for pyrotechnics exhibited, used, or discharged in connection with an authorized public exhibition and approved by the Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation, or designee. Persons wishing to possess or use pyrotechnics in connection with a public exhibition, such as a public celebration, shall file an application for a special use permit with the park superintendent. All applicants shall enter an indemnification agreement with the Department and obtain general liability and property damage insurance, with limits as determined by the Secretary or designee, which are reasonably necessary to cover possible liability for damage to property and bodily injury or damage to persons which may result from, or be caused by, the public exhibition of pyrotechnics or any act(s) or omission(s) on the part of the applicant(s) or the applicant’s agents, servants, employees, or subcontractors presenting the public exhibition. The Division Director or designee may deny an application as deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, or to protect the natural resources of the park unit.

History Note: Authority G.S. 14-269; 14-410; 14-415; 14-415.11; 14-415.24; 113-8; 143B-135.16; 143B-135.43;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. October 1, 1984; January 1, 1983;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 2, 1997;

Temporary Amendment Expired September 29, 1998;

Amended Eff. January 1, 2014; April 1, 1999;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 12B .0901 Eff. April 1, 2017.

Thank you for your inquiry and we hope this information adequately addresses your concerns.

Sincerely,

Bryan Dowdy


Bryan,

Thank for your thoughtful reply.  You are correct about hunting – I was thinking about area appurtenant to the state park.  I appreciate the correction.

However, the administrative code to which you referred simply does not say what you said it says.

It discusses concealed carry, and since when I recently visited Mt. Mitchell I have a CHP, I complied with the law as written.  However, the admin code is simply a recapitulation of already existing laws concerning the carry of concealed handguns throughout NC.

The admin code simply does not say that open carriers must be permitted, and that still appears to me to be in contravention of state law.

Sincerely,

Herschel Smith


Mr. Smith,

Subsection (a) of NCAC 07 NCAC 13B .0901 FIREARMS:,  clearly states that no person except authorized park employees, agents, contractors shall carry or possess firearms unless they have a concealed handgun permit or fall within one of the categories in G.S. 14-269 (e.g. law enforcement officers, retired law enforcement officers, active duty military when acting under orders to be armed, etc.).   This prohibition is defined as open or concealed carry of any firearm.

This original Administrative Code prohibiting the possession or carrying of any firearms, open or concealed has been in place for at least 30 years with the exception where we amended the Rule in January 2014 to allow persons with Concealed Handgun Permits to possess a concealed handgun on State Park lands.

(a) Except as provided in Paragraph (b) or G.S. 14-269, no person except authorized park employees, their agents, or contractors, shall carry or possess firearms, air guns, air soft guns, paint ball guns, bows and arrows, sling shots, or lethal missiles of any kind within any park.

Sincerely,

Bryan Dowdy


I understand your position Mr. Dowdy.  I don’t want this to be contentious, I just want clarity and I think we’ve achieved that.  One final question, sir.

I note that you’ve referred to administrative code, not general statutes of NC.  To me, this is an important distinction.  I work in an area where we must comply with the CFR, but everything is open to interpretation since these are “rules” and “regulations” rather than “law.”  As such, Congress never voted on them – they merely empowered someone else (i.e., the executive) to make such rules.

I take it that you see the administrative code as regulations / rules, but your agents apply those regulations as laws?  If so, then you have effectively banned unpermitted carry when it is not banned by state law (as long as said carry is open).  I see that as a constitutional and legal issue ripe for litigation.

Thank you for the exchange sir.

Herschel Smith

My readers and I have discussed the difference between “law” and “regulation” in excruciating detail before, so there is no reason to recapitulate that conversation.

To date I have not received a response to this last email.  As you can see, my charge is that the NC State Park Service and appurtenant groups (NC DoJ) have promulgated regulations (i.e., that all carry of weapons in state parks must be permitted, whether open or concealed) that are simply not supported by state laws, since North Carolina is a traditional open carry state.

At least, contrary to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, he doesn’t assert that open carry is disallowed in state parks.  This is smart and complies with North Carolina law, but the requirement for permitting in state parks for open carry simply does not.  This is ripe for litigation in my opinion.

The Open Carry Of Guns In State And National Parks In North Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

WRAL.com:

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said, for example, that visible sidearms wouldn’t be allowed at a similar rally in North Carolina.

“Protests, you cannot carry,” Harrison said, adding that gun owners need to know the nuances of the law.

Those who carry guns openly can’t do so at organized sporting events. Schools are off limits, and so are state and federal parks.

Upon reading this, I sent a note to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, and since the note didn’t mirror to my own email address, I will reproduce it here as best I can remember.

“Mr. Harrison, as best as I am aware, and I have recently discussed this with a ranger who represents North Carolina on these issues, you are flat wrong on the open carry of weapons in North Carolina state parks.  Furthermore, you don’t control the regulations for national parks, and no such regulation exists for national parks, except that you must comply with the laws of the state, and North Carolina is a traditional open carry state.

You have communicated material false information to readers.”

I have yet to receive a reply.

The New York Times And Everytown: Ban The Open Carry Of Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

John Feinblatt of Everytown:

When militia members and white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, Va., last Saturday with Nazi flags and racist placards, many of them also carried firearms openly, including semiautomatic weapons. They came to intimidate and terrify protesters and the police. If you read reports of the physical attacks they abetted, apparently their plan worked.

They might try to rationalize their conduct as protected by the First and Second Amendments, but let’s not be fooled. Those who came to Charlottesville openly carrying firearms were neither conveying a nonviolent political message, nor engaged in self-defense nor protecting hearth and home.

Plain and simple, public terror is not protected under the Constitution. That has been the case throughout history. And now is the time to look to that history and prohibit open carry, before the next Charlottesville.

Historically, lawmakers have deemed open carry a threat to public safety. Under English common law, a group of armed protesters constituted a riot, and some American colonies prohibited public carry specifically because it caused public terror. During Reconstruction, the military governments overseeing much of the South responded to racially motivated terror (including the murder of dozens of freedmen and Republicans at the 1866 Louisiana Constitutional Convention) by prohibiting public carry either generally or at political gatherings and polling places. Later, in 1886, a Supreme Court decision, Presser v. Illinois, upheld a law forbidding groups of men to “parade with arms in cities and towns unless authorized.” For states, such a law was “necessary to the public peace, safety and good order.”

In other words, our political forebears would not have tolerated open carry as racially motivated terrorists practiced it in Charlottesville. They did not view open carry as protected speech. According to the framers, the First Amendment protected the right to “peaceably” — not violently or threateningly — assemble. The Second Amendment did not protect private paramilitary organizations or an individual menacingly carrying a loaded weapon. Open carry was antithetical to “the public peace.” Lawmakers were not about to let people take the law into their own hands, so they proactively and explicitly prohibited it.

Today, the law in most states is silent on open carry — and because most states do not explicitly prohibit it, it becomes de facto legal. Because it is legal, open-carry extremists take full advantage of this loophole, typically operating up to and even past the limits of the law. They carry everywhere, and the predictable result is the open carry of semiautomatic weapons in Charlottesville.

“They came to intimidate and terrify protesters and the police.”  This is so ass backwards on so many accounts it needs to be addressed.  First of all, the police weren’t intimidated.  Period.  The police have automatic weapons, MRAPs, and other weaponry that the militias didn’t have.  Feinblatt isn’t considering the possibility that the police were complicit in the whole thing.

But complicit in what?  The protest was by the militias, not Antifa.  They had permits, Antifa didn’t.  They were peaceable, Antifa wasn’t.  I said Feinblatt isn’t considering the possibility that Antifa and the police were on the same side, but in reality, he probably knows it and doesn’t want a conflict to go to waste to craft his anti-gun message.  But the point wasn’t to intimidate, but to protest.  Their carbines didn’t even have rounds chambered.  I’ve tried to consider whether I would have allowed myself to be put in those circumstances without a chambered round, and I think the answer is a resolute no.  The militias showed great restraint, contrary to the picture painted by Feinblatt.

Next, consider his statement that “Historically, lawmakers have deemed open carry a threat to public safety. Under English common law, a group of armed protesters constituted a riot, and some American colonies prohibited public carry specifically because it caused public terror.”  Prove it.  And when Feinblatt tries to prove it, consider what we already know.

In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statues comparable to those of the early Saxon times. In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were “well armed”; in 1631 it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to “bring their peeces to church.” In 1658 it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and in 1673 its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would then require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms and in 1644 it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed.

When the British government began to increase its military presence in the colonies in the mid-eighteenth century, Massachusetts responded by calling upon its citizens to arm themselves in defense. One colonial newspaper argued that it was impossible to complain that this act was illegal since they were “British subjects, to whom the privilege of possessing arms is expressly recognized by the Bill of Rights” while another argued that this “is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defense”. The newspaper cited Blackstone’s commentaries on the laws of England, which had listed the “having and using arms for self preservation and defense” among the “absolute rights of individuals.” The colonists felt they had an absolute right at common law to own firearms.

But Feinblatt says “colonies.”  What colonies, when?  Prove it.  I want proof, Feinblatt.  Be specific.  As for his notion that the militia didn’t carry their weapons for the purpose of self defense, so the second amendment cannot apply (“The Second Amendment did not protect private paramilitary organizations or an individual menacingly carrying a loaded weapon”), he misses the point of the second amendment, or more specifically, he really knows the point but wants you to miss it.

The second amendment is specifically about what he says it is not.  It is about the amelioration of tyranny, not personal self defense.  But since he reserves the right of collective violence only to the state, he never applies his missive to the police, who were complicit in the sins of Charlottesville.  He applies it to the only peaceable, law-abiding men there that day.  Because night is day, black is white, and every day is backwards day to the progressive.

Regardless of the moral backwardness of Everytown and their ilk, you should expect that our battle to ensure legal open carry in all fifty states will get infinitely harder, and there will be many attempts to reverse the open carry laws already on the books.  You can count on it.

The First Amendment As Protection For Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Tyler Yzaguirre:

The United States is a nation built upon individual rights and freedoms.

One in particular that is often fought over is the “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” or more simply put, the right to carry a firearm.

Open carry is the act of publicly carrying a firearm on one’s person in plain sight. The majority of states allow citizens to open carry a firearm without a permit.

Surprisingly, Texas is not one of those states.

Now while this may seem shocking at first, most of these open carry states place burdensome restrictions on the act. These include location restrictions such as high schools and certain cities, state buildings, police stations, and shopping malls. With all these restrictions, open carry isn’t as permissible as it sounds.

The First Amendment has historically been much more difficult to limit than the Second, so extending Freedom of Speech to encompass the open display of firearms needs to be addressed. The case for open carrying being protected under the First Amendment can be made through symbolic speech.

The United States Supreme Court has answered the issue of firearms being protected by the Second Amendment through DC v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). In regards to open carry from a legal perspective, we must look to the state laws rather than the Constitution.

However, there has been no Supreme Court case deciding whether or not the act of open carrying is protected by the First Amendment.

Open carrying a firearm is an action; it is symbolic speech because it is a public statement. As history has shown us, actions and public statements, are protected by the First Amendment under symbolic speech. Examples of this include students in Des Moines wearing armbands to protest the Vietnam War, waving flags that may be seen as offensive and even flag burning.

Symbolic speech relies heavily on the context within which it occurs.

According to Delaware’s leading Open Carry organization, “self-defense is the foremost reason for open carry.”Another leading reason as to why law abiding citizens open carry firearms is for educational purposes.

People want to bring attention to the fact that they have the right to bear arms and that they can legally and safely exercise that right.

Well, this is an interesting perspective indeed.  Since I open carry from time to time and have strongly advocated open carry legislation in my neighboring state of South Carolina, I have addressed the issue of open carry with my readers.

I have said in no uncertain terms that I do not open carry to “make a point.”  I open carry because I hate concealed carry.  It’s uncomfortable and tactically inferior to open carry, and in the summer if I conceal I sweat my weapon, which not only causes rust and corrosion, but makes it a lint-magnet as well.  I have very practical reasons for open carry.

But I have also made it clear that any calls to LEOs because someone openly carries would be a good opportunity for 911 operators to educate the public: “What do you mean he was carrying a gun, ma’am?  Was he brandishing it, holding it, waving it around or threatening someone with it?”  “No?  Okay then, he isn’t violating any law in North Carolina by simply carrying a holstered firearm.”

There is no prima facie reason that open carry cannot be legitimately for the reason of making a statement or for education purposes.  I’ve just never personally taken that stance for myself.  But the author makes a good case for such behavior being protected by the constitution, and I see this as ripe for litigation.

South Carolina LEOs, Open Carry And Myrtle Beach Follies

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

We’ve discussed at length the South Carolina LEO opposition to open carry legislation and the Senators’ deference to these guys.  Previously we saw that Chief Joseph Hill of the Horry County Police Department said “I don’t have any personal objections to it other than it doesn’t fit the culture of Myrtle Beach.”

To this, Josh said the following.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

The “culture?” Myrtle Beach has absolutely zero culture. It’s a disgusting shithole filled with tourist traps, trash, gross and loud foreigners, drunks, assholes, criminals, and for some reason that continues to escape me, Ohioans.

The Ohioans can have it.

Now we find out just what kind of “culture” Myrtle Beach really has.

At least seven people were injured early Sunday morning in Myrtle Beach after someone began shooting during a crowded street fight, police said.

The chaotic scene was captured and streamed on Facebook Live by a man staying at a nearby hotel.

Bubba Hinson told the Myrtle Beach Sun News that he was in town for a firefighters’ convention when he spotted a large crowd blocking traffic on the street below his room at the Holiday Sands North hotel.

“I thought they were dancing. That’s why I started filming it,” he told the newspaper. “Then, they started fighting. Then, they started shooting.”

Myrtle Beach police said in a statement that, just after midnight Sunday, a fight broke out on Ocean Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in the seaside South Carolina city.

Before officers arrived, a man in the fight pulled out a gun and shot one person, police spokesman Lt. Joey Crosby said.

An armed security guard who was already on the scene witnessed the disturbance and fired at the shooter, Crosby said. The shooter then hijacked a car and fled — but not before firing additional gunshots at people in the crowd, Crosby said.

Here is reaction to the event.

Bob Pisani: “Tell all my friends & family to stay in North Myrtle  because MB isn’t safe for families anymore.Not like it was 7/8 years ago. Went down the Boardwalk today. Bad vibes. Won’t even think of going there after sundown. Rhodes gotta go.”

Regis von Wagner: “Good idea for vacation is to stay away from Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach beach once was a really nice vacation destination. Today it is a dump. Maybe this will help get the word out.”

the video of the shooting that happened last night on the strip is wild. Myrtle Beach really is a crazy place.

— brian knight (@thginkb) June 18, 2017

Laura Wiggins Russell: “We came home early from our vacation Friday from Myrtle Beach because of all the junk that was going on. It was white kids, black kids and Hispanic kids doing all crowding up the streets all night long. They were loud disrespectful and had no fear of the law. The cops were extremely out numbered. During the day all these kids were running the families off the beach because of girls taking their tops off and kids being drunk. It ruined our family vacation. We will not return to Myrtle Beach.”

Kenny Rutherford: “Welcome to Murder Beach! Precisely why I haven’t been there in many years. The young thugs have taken it over and now it is not a desirable destination for myself and many others. People wonder why there is so much racial tension in the US. Here is a prime example.”

Michael S Ford: “Rhodes thinks he has a top not tourist town?…No Bro, you got a town that I very rarely visit, and I’m only five miles away…I even drive around it now.”

David Byers: “My family and I got back from our yearly vacation to MB a couple of weeks ago…While leaving a restaurant I was accosted by a man that claimed his car was broke down and wanted assistance. I got a bad vibe from the guy and noticed his car was in an area off from the street alone near some empty broken down buildings…It felt like a set up. He became upset, verbal, and crowded me, it almost turned bad. I asked him to step away which he did. Never have I had anything like that happen in MB. It has always felt like a safe place but that has changed. I will not be back to MB next year. This video confirms that decision.”

The fact that a near mass shooting happened right beside of me last night in Myrtle Beach haha Classic Senior Week

— Joshua Sayers (@jsayers54) June 18, 2017

Topless girls with your family around you, drunken people staggering around, gangs fighting and dominating the streets, and shootings.

This is alleged to be why S.C. LEOs are opposed to open carry.  Here is the thing and a quick note to S.C. LEOs.  I couldn’t care less about your problems, and I haven’t been to Myrtle Beach in so long I can’t remember the last time.

But if you think a criminal culture is justification for preventing me from openly carrying, you have it all backwards.  What do you think is going to happen with open carry – crime?  Gang fights?  Drunken kids?  You have all of that now.  Don’t come crying to me about your Myrtle Beach problems.

Myrtle beach is a shit hole that deserves to go out of business.  If you don’t want that to happen, then run the hucksters, low rent dives, criminals, unaccompanied minors, tourist traps, fat ass red necks and other low rent trash out of town.  Make it a gated community with higher rent, or do whatever you want to do.

But just don’t use this as some sort of justification for denying open carry.  It isn’t, and you know it.

Eighth U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals: Police Cannot Stop Open Carriers For Open Carry Where Open Carry Is Legal

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Dean Weingarten on a recent Eighth Circuit decision:

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August reversed that decision and ruled Officers Nathan Kaiser, Tobias Hite and Shane Jensen violated his Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

The judges took issue with the reason for the stop, saying a report of a person with a handgun isn’t enough to create a reasonable suspicion of a crime, and in Nebraska and Lincoln people can openly carry handguns.

[ … ]

Officer Kaiser relied on an incident report that did not contain information sufficient to create reasonable suspicion that Duffie had already, was, or was about to commit a crime. See United States v. Hensley, 469 U.S. 221, 227 (1985) (extending Terry to the investigation of completed crimes). Nebraska law permits individuals who are at least 18 years old to open carry handguns in public. See Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1202, 28-1204 (2009). The City of Lincoln does not restrict an individual’s right to open carry except in certain locations. See Lincoln, Neb., Mun. Ordinances § 9.36.130. Moreover, the mere report of a person with a handgun is insufficient to create reasonable suspicion. See Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266, 272 (2000)

I thought I found all of the articles on and instances of open carry, but I missed this one.  I’m glad that Dean wrote on this.  It adds to our collected wisdom and information concerning what the courts think of this kind of behavior by the police – at least, some courts, even if they refuse to do anything about it.

For God’s sake.  The 58-year-old black pastor is a double amputee.  He fell all over the place trying to comply with the idiot’s command.  He injured himself and under other circumstances I can see death resulting from his fall (if he had landed differently).

The only disappointing thing about this judgment is that the cops weren’t fired and put in prison.  The circumstances are not necessarily similar to but dovetail with the decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where they found that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police violated the rights of Nathaniel Black, even though Black was apparently a criminal and did indeed break the law.

Nathaniel Black was part of a group of men in Charlotte, North Carolina who local police officers suspected might be engaged in criminal activity. In particular, Officers suspected that after seeing one of the men openly carrying a firearm – which was legal in North Carolina – that there was most likely another firearm present. When police began frisking the men one by one, Mr. Black wished to leave, but was told he was not free to leave. Officers chased Mr. Black and discovered that he possessed a firearm; it was later discovered that he was a previously convicted felon. Mr. Black was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Mr. Black moved to suppress the evidence against him. His suppression motion was denied, he entered a guilty plea preserving a right to appeal the denial of the suppression motion, and he was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, however, determined that the officers had improperly seized Mr. Black, suppressed the evidence against him, and vacated his sentence.

This was the right decision.  Open carry is legal in North Carolina, and without this being a “Terry Stop” – and it most certainly wasn’t – Mr. Black should not even have been detained.

If you are a CLEO or a Chief of Police reading this, listen to me well.  If open carry is legal in your state, you cannot stop someone for open carry.  I know it sounds so obvious and common-sense that this shouldn’t have to be said.  But apparently with the police it does indeed have to be pointed out – again, and again, and again.

Only an idiot doesn’t understand this, or if you understand and refuse to implement and comply, you’re just a criminal with a badge.

The Indiana Supreme Court On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

Guy Relford writing at WIBC.com:

On Monday, the Indiana Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated ruling in Thomas Pinner v. State, which addresses the issue of whether police officers may detain and question a person based only on a report that the individual has a gun.  In agreeing with the Indiana Court of Appeals’ decision handed down last August, the Supreme Court ruled that officers violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures when they detained and questioned Thomas Pinner after a taxi driver called 911 to report that Pinner had dropped a handgun when exiting a cab at a movie theater.

Under rules announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1968 case of Terry v. Ohio, a police officer may briefly detain and question a person if the officer has a “reasonable articulable suspicion” that the person is engaged in criminal activity (or in the words of SCOTUS, “that criminal activity is afoot”).  If the officer also has a reasonable suspicion that the person “may be armed and dangerous,” the officer may conduct a brief pat-down of the person’s outer clothing to check for weapons.  Together, this process is called “stop and frisk” or a “Terry stop.”

Before the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday, there has been a long-standing debate in Indiana.  On one side, many police officers and prosecutors have argued that a Terry stop is justified based on a report that a person is carrying a gun – or an officer’s own observation that the person has a handgun – because the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is carrying a handgun illegally until the officer confirms that the person has a handgun license.  On the other hand, defense attorneys and Second Amendment advocates have countered that the mere possession of a handgun, without some additional indication that such possession is illegal, does not justify the detention of the individual to investigate – much like police are not allowed to randomly stop vehicles to confirm that a motorist has a driver’s license.

In the opinion handed down last August by the Indiana Court of Appeals (and written by highly-regarded Judge Melissa May), Indiana resolved that issue for the time being by holding that “the mere possession of a handgun, which is legal, cannot produce reasonable suspicion to justify a Terry Stop.”  The court went on to state that “the State has not directed us to a reason why the police believed when they stopped Pinner that his possession of the gun was illegal, nor has the State asserted any other criminal activity was ‘afoot.’  Accordingly, we are constrained to hold the stop of Pinner was not supported by reasonable suspicion.”  Thus, without a basis to believe that Pinner was carrying a handgun without a license – or engaged in some other illegal activity – detaining Pinner to investigate his possession of a gun violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

In Monday’s opinion, the Supreme Court wholly agreed with Judge May’s analysis.  Specifically, the court ruled that a police officer, based only on a tip that a person possesses a handgun, may not detain that person to confirm that he has a license to carry …

[ … ]

Said the ruling:

“The United States Supreme Court has previously declared that law enforcement may not arbitrarily detain an individual to ensure compliance with licensing and registration laws without particularized facts supporting an inference of illegal conduct. See Prouse, 440 U.S. at 663 (‘hold[ing] that except in those situations in which there is at least articulable and reasonable suspicion that a motorist is unlicensed or that an automobile is not registered, or that either the vehicle or an occupant is otherwise subject to seizure for violation of law, stopping an automobile and detaining the driver in order to check his driver’s license and the registration of the automobile are unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment’). In like fashion, we decline to endorse such behavior to ensure compliance with Indiana’s gun licensing laws.” 

This case is actually similar to the case of Nathanial Black decided by the Fourth Circuit.

Nathaniel Black was part of a group of men in Charlotte, North Carolina who local police officers suspected might be engaged in criminal activity. In particular, Officers suspected that after seeing one of the men openly carrying a firearm – which was legal in North Carolina – that there was most likely another firearm present. When police began frisking the men one by one, Mr. Black wished to leave, but was told he was not free to leave. Officers chased Mr. Black and discovered that he possessed a firearm; it was later discovered that he was a previously convicted felon. Mr. Black was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Mr. Black moved to suppress the evidence against him. His suppression motion was denied, he entered a guilty plea preserving a right to appeal the denial of the suppression motion, and he was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, however, determined that the officers had improperly seized Mr. Black, suppressed the evidence against him, and vacated his sentence.

Like Indiana, North Carolina is an open carry state.  Simply openly carrying a gun isn’t grounds for detention.  It must be a so-called “Terry Stop,” and openly carrying a weapon, since it is entirely within the law, isn’t justifiable reason to detain an individual.

The Indiana Supreme Court got this right.  I’ve argued similarly against the new open carry law in Texas, pointing out that “… licensed open carry in a state with no stop and identify statute for enforcement is a shooting-by-cop waiting to happen.  And I certainly don’t support empowering the police state any more by giving them a stop and identify statute.  That would be making something bad even worse.”  As stops must be Terry Stops, and since Texas has no stop and identify statute, and shouldn’t because they are unconstitutional (despite what the courts have said), LEOs in Texas are left with no direction concerning open carriers.

I don’t want LEOs in Texas to be given more direction, any more than I want that for LEOs in Indiana.  I advocate simple observation of God-given rights, and living by the covenant to which we are all obliged, i.e., the constitution.

Constitutional Carry Update In Alabama, Texas And South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Mark Chesnut:

Three states—Alabama, Texas and South Carolina—are currently vying to be the next state in the nation to do away with the requirement for law-abiding gun owners to be licensed by the government to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense.

This expansion of the “permitless,” or constitutional, carry movement represents a continuation of a march toward freedom occurring throughout the country.

On Tuesday, the Alabama Senate passed that state’s version of an NRA-backed permitless carry measure—Senate Bill 24—by a 25-6 vote. The bill now heads to the House, where it will likely be assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Put simply, SB 24 would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit to lawfully carry in the state.

[ … ]

In Texas, the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety on Tuesday also passed a permitless carry measure. HB 1911, which passed in the committee by a 6-2 vote, eliminates the requirement for obtaining a license to carry for law-abiding citizens who would otherwise meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for that license.

[ … ]

Meanwhile in South Carolina, efforts to pass permitless carry legislation are also moving forward. Like the House version, the Senate bill—SC Constitutional Carry Act of 2017—allows those who are legally permitted to own, carry or purchase a firearm to do so without having to obtain a permit. Open carry, which allows for a person to carry a firearm exposed on their person, also would be permitted.

Since the last time we discussed the status of constitutional (and open) carry in South Carolina, it’s been difficult to get a read on the status of things.  The House has passed a bill, while the senate is currently debating one, it seems.

But Martin requested the panel suspend discussion on his bill, and instead pick up the House bill to increase the proposal’s chances of becoming law by the end of session the first week of May.

“I just want to give people their constitutional rights to carry,” Martin said.

You see where this is headed, don’t you?  The house was able to get something done.  The senate, not so much.  They have their own version, and if they pass something different than the house, it will have to be “worked out in committee,” likely not getting done before they leave.

And it will all have been done by design.  It appears that Shane Martin wants to move things along, but he has run square into the blocking schemes of the collectivists.  Dean Weingarten points to a potential score in our column, though.

There are 27 Republicans in the Senate, and 18 Democrats. Mere numbers are not the entire story when it comes to passing legislation.  In 2016, the Constitutional Carry bill was bottled up and killed in a Senate subcommittee. Senator Katrina Frye Shealy (R) Lexington was one of the primary opponents. She is still on the Judiciary Committee, which is a likely place for the bill to be sent in the senate.

This year she is listed as a sponsor of SC S0449, which is a senate bill quite similar to H. 3930.  If she actually supports Constitutional Carry in 2017, it would be a significant change.

Contact your senators yet again and let them know where you stand.  This is easy, and we all know it.  Use Robert’s Rules of Order, make a motion, second the motion, “call the question” (or stop debate), and vote on the motion.  It’s easy.  I’ve done this many times in church government.  It can be done in two minutes or less.

You know it can be done, state senators, I know it can be done, and my readers all know it can be done.  We’re privy to the games you play, and “we tried ever so hard but couldn’t reconcile the house and senate bills” just won’t do.  That isn’t good enough.  That will never be good enough again.  That excuse has run dry.

So who wants to be the laughingstock?  Who wants to stop constitutional carry, folks?  South Carolina, Alabama or Texas?  Who among the three of you wants to look the most like communist China?  Who wants to prove themselves the most corrupt?  Who wants to paint that target on their backs?  Speak up.  We’re waiting and watching.


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