Several examples of Christians opposing all violence and means of self defense have been in the news lately, and I can't deal with all such examples. But three particular examples come to mind, and I first want to show you one example from Mr. Robert Schenck in a ridiculously titled article, Christ or a Glock. "Well, first of all you're making an immediate decision that if someone invades your home, they are going to die," Rev. Schenck replied. "So you are ready to kill another human being [read more]
During the 2016 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Bus & Paratransit Conference there was an open discussion hosted on concealed and open carry firearm laws. Firearm carry laws differ from state to state, but the biggest highlight was educating operators on those laws — to ensure that they properly address the situation.
Sgt. Charles Rappleyea, the police liaison for Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) said that Charlotte has a no carry law for all public transit. When they do get a call about someone with a weapon he said that they rarely have a problem.
“When we do, they’re often criminals,” said Rappleyea. “Everyone that we’ve encountered with a concealed permit, we haven’t had a problem.”
Whereas in Dallas, Texas, they have an open carry law. James Spiller, the chief of police and emergency management for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), explained for people with open carry licenses — their gun must be in a holster. With the law it was important to educate the public on the rules.
“In Texas, if they are open carry, as a police officer I can’t just walk up and ask them if they have a licence without probable cause,” explained Spiller.
Which raises the question, how do transit operators determine if the person boarding their bus or train with a firearm is legally authorized to do so?
“They have a button, if they’re uncomfortable they can press the button to show ‘hey someone has boarded with a gun’.”
Sorry folks, but feeling “uncomfortable” isn’t a good enough reason. And contrary to the cited article, it’s not only the police in Texas that cannot just walk up to someone without probable cause. All stops must be valid “Terry stops.”
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.
The upshot of this ruling means that the conduct of an action that is perfectly legal doesn’t and can never constitute reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed. And yet apparently the Charlotte Mecklenburg police are still stopping people who are in the process of open carry and asking for concealed handgun permits, contrary to both established law (since N.C. is a traditional open carry state) and court decision.
Why is this happening? What possible excuse can CMPD have for this behavior? Moreover, I think Sgt. Charles Rappleyea isn’t being forthcoming. I think he’s mistaken, or not telling the truth. I think the CMPD has no data on how many stops they have made on mass transit for open carry (stops which are contrary to or not in accordance with the law) and how many of those stops involved concealed handgun permit holders (besides, one doesn’t need a CHP to legally openly carry in N.C.). And I think he’s not being honest about the judgment that while CHP holders aren’t a problem, there are actual criminals who are openly carrying firearms in mass transit situations. In fact, I doubt that the CMPD has had any documented stops of criminals openly carrying on board bus or rail. Is the CMPD “fabulating” for the benefit of the conference?
If so, the CMPD can correct me here, but in the absence of such correction, I’ll stick to my guns – pardon the pun.