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Finally, an explanation for prosecuting Iron Pigs

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  • Finally, an explanation for prosecuting Iron Pigs

    I think that South Dakota prosecutors are wrong, but here at least is an article that explains their position. LEAA (an NRA-sponsiored organization) is supporting the officers.

    Not-guilty pleas to gun charges
    Group says officers in Sturgis had right to carry

    By SCOTT GUTIERREZ
    P-I REPORTER

    A national law enforcement advocacy organization is urging a South Dakota prosecutor to dismiss weapons charges against four law enforcement officers, including a Seattle detective who shot a Hells Angels biker in self-defense during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

    The four officers and a firefighter pleaded not guilty Tuesday to carrying a concealed weapon without a permit after the Aug. 9 shooting at the Loud American Roadhouse. All five men, who belong to the Iron Pigs motorcycle club, appeared in a Meade County, S.D., Circuit Court.

    The Virginia-based Law Enforcement Alliance of America is focused on the case out of concern that prosecutors aren't following a federal law it helped pass in 2004. The Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act of 2004 allows off-duty officers to carry a concealed firearm anywhere in the U.S., barring some exceptions.

    "The reason why we passed this law was so that off-duty police officers would know with certainty what would be legal conduct," said Ted Deeds, a spokesman for the organization, which often takes stands against gun control measures. "In this case, they followed the law."

    Charges were filed against Seattle detective Ron Smith, 43; Seattle officer Dennis McCoy, 58; Scott Lazalde, 38, of Bellingham; James Rector, 44, of Ferndale; and Erik Pingel, 35, of Aurora, Colo. Lazalde and Rector are U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents. Pingel is a U.S. Department of Defense firefighter and would presumably not be covered by the law.

    The law, however, doesn't supersede state laws permitting private entities to prohibit concealed firearms on their property or local or state restrictions on firearms in any government "installation, building, base, or park." South Dakota state law prohibits carrying a gun into a bar.

    "The LEOSA contains certain exceptions under which the law enforcement officer is not protected," Meade County State's Attorney Jesse Sondreal said Tuesday. "We feel that South Dakota's prohibition against carrying concealed weapons in bars is tantamount to one of those exceptions."

    The Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act does not protect officers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or have been removed from duty, or haven't met their agency's standards for qualifying with the weapon. Officers also must carry their police identification.

    Deeds said he has corresponded with Sondreal about the case and pointed to Web sites for Sturgis police and the South Dakota Secretary of State's Office, which include links to the federal law.

    Smith, the off-duty detective, initially faced two felony charges of assault and perjury. On Monday, Sondreal dismissed the assault charge, saying a cumulative review of the evidence showed that he was "defending himself from a violent premeditated attack, and he responded in a manner which was neither excessive nor unreasonable." Smith, who remains on administrative leave, was cleared of a perjury charge a week earlier. The charge stemmed from a mix-up over which gun Smith was carrying.

    The wounded biker, Joseph McGuire, 33, of Imperial Beach, Calif., is charged with aggravated assault. The Hells Angels started the fight, Sondreal said. Witnesses told the Seattle P-I that the Hells Angels took umbrage the officers wearing their club's patches into the bar.

    The Sturgis case is only the third nationwide in which out-of-state police officers were charged with carrying concealed weapons. Two other cases were filed in New York City against a Pennsylvania constable and a U.S. Coast Guard member. In both cases, the law was used as a defense and the judge tossed out the case, Deeds said.

    "My hope would be that before this thing becomes any more a travesty of justice, that the prosecutor would drop the charges," Deeds said.

    The officers' next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 29 at 8:30 a.m. Their attorney could not be reached for comment.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

  • #2
    I think they are wrong as well.

    `(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that--

    `(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or

    `(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.


    It looks like they are trying to combine Section (b)(1) AND section (b)(2).

    Comment


    • #3
      But is the fact that Loud American Roadhouse (I assume) is a bar in question?
      Or just the fact they were carrying.
      "Be safe, have fun, and lock somebody up"

      Comment


      • #4
        Their use of the word "tantamount" suggests that they recognize they are trying to broaden the exclusion. South Dakota law does not allow holders of concealed weapons permits to carry a firearm into a bar, but LEOSA does not depend on what the state's weapon permit laws say.
        Last edited by DAL; 09-21-2008, 12:00 AM.
        Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
        Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by drewdrew View Post
          But is the fact that Loud American Roadhouse (I assume) is a bar in question?
          Or just the fact they were carrying.
          I don't think either of those facts is in question. However, 18 USC 928B does not become inoperative merely because a state prohibits carrying a firearm in a bar.
          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds like it should be simple, except for the firefighter, he might be toeing the line.
            "Be safe, have fun, and lock somebody up"

            Comment


            • #7
              I understand this idea that impaired officers shouldnt have their weapons maybe the DD better just carry and watch out for everyone. Although if **** was hitting the fan I'd take a mildly impaired off duty officer over nobody any day.

              Does seem like the officer should be able to carry especially in bars, parks, and what not. It seems like exceptions should be written into the local and state laws when they make them. I know most ordinances and laws exempt LE or gov. employees in the "discharge of their duties", but maybe that language needs to be changed to include off duty LE concealed carry rights.
              "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

              — John Stuart Mill

              Comment


              • #8
                The text of the local laws does not matter unless they prohibit something that LEOSA allows them to prohibit.
                Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DAL View Post
                  The text of the local laws does not matter unless they prohibit something that LEOSA allows them to prohibit.
                  Ok gotcha I thought that was the deal but I thought the problem in this case was that North Dakota laws prohibit concealed weapons in bars. Or are you differentiating between state law and local laws?
                  "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

                  — John Stuart Mill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Citizen85 View Post
                    Ok gotcha I thought that was the deal but I thought the problem in this case was that North Dakota laws prohibit concealed weapons in bars. Or are you differentiating between state law and local laws?
                    (South) Dakota law does prohibit possession of firearms in bars, but that should not matter any more than if they prohibited possession of firearms in supermarkets or gas stations. Federal law trumps state law.
                    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DAL View Post
                      (South) Dakota law does prohibit possession of firearms in bars, but that should not matter any more than if they prohibited possession of firearms in supermarkets or gas stations. Federal law trumps state law.
                      Yea I agree with everything your saying but I guess somebody doesnt or else there wouldnt be any issue here right?
                      "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

                      — John Stuart Mill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Don't recall exactly where I got it, but this is what I have saved of HR 218 , or "Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004". I bolded some of it.
                        HR 218 is more accurately cited as 18 USC 921 (Public Law 108–277 108th Congress.)
                        18 USC 921 (Public Law 108–277 108th Congress.)
                        Final Text

                        H.R.218: The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004
                        (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)
                        One Hundred Eighth Congress of the United States of America
                        AT THE SECOND SESSION
                        Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the twentieth day of
                        January, two thousand and four
                        An Act
                        To amend title 18, United States Code, to exempt qualified current and
                        former law enforcement officers from State laws prohibiting the carrying
                        of concealed handguns.
                        Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
                        States of America in Congress assembled,

                        SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
                        This Act may be cited as the `'Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of
                        2004.

                        SEC. 2. EXEMPTION OF QUALIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM STATE LAWS

                        PROHIBITING THE CARRYING OF CONCEALED FIREARMS.
                        (a) In General- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
                        inserting after section 926A the following:
                        `Sec. 926B. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified law enforcement
                        officers
                        `(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any
                        political subdivision thereof, an individual who is a qualified law
                        enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required by

                        subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or
                        transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection
                        (b).
                        `(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws
                        of any State that--
                        `(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the
                        possession of concealed firearms on their property; or
                        `(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or
                        local government property, installation, building, base, or park.
                        `(c) As used in this section, the term `qualified law enforcement
                        officer' means an employee of a governmental agency who--
                        `(1) is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention,
                        detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of
                        any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of
                        arrest;
                        `(2) is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm;
                        `(3) is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency;
                        `(4) meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require
                        the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;
                        `(5) is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or
                        hallucinatory drug or substance; and
                        `(6) is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.
                        `(d) The identification required by this subsection is the photographic
                        identification issued by the governmental agency for which the
                        individual is employed as a law enforcement officer.
                        `(e) As used in this section, the term `firearm' does not include--
                        `(1) any machinegun (as defined in section 5845 of the National
                        Firearms Act);
                        `(2) any firearm silencer (as defined in section 921 of this title);
                        and
                        `(3) any destructive device (as defined in section 921 of this
                        title).'.
                        (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for such chapter is amended
                        by inserting after the item relating to section 926A the following:
                        `926B. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified law enforcement
                        officers.'.

                        SEC. 3. EXEMPTION OF QUALIFIED RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM STATE

                        LAWS PROHIBITING THE CARRYING OF CONCEALED FIREARMS.
                        (a) In General- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is further
                        amended by inserting after section 926B the following:
                        `Sec. 926C. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified retired law
                        enforcement officers
                        `(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any
                        political subdivision thereof, an individual who is a qualified retired
                        law enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required
                        by subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or
                        transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection
                        (b).
                        `(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws
                        of any State that--
                        `(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the
                        possession of concealed firearms on their property; or
                        `(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or
                        local government property, installation, building, base, or park.
                        `(c) As used in this section, the term `qualified retired law
                        enforcement officer' means an individual who--
                        `(1) retired in good standing from service with a public agency as a
                        law enforcement officer, other than for reasons of mental instability;
                        `(2) before such retirement, was authorized by law to engage in or
                        supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of,
                        or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and had
                        statutory powers of arrest;
                        `(3)(A) before such retirement, was regularly employed as a law
                        enforcement officer for an aggregate of 15 years or more; or
                        `(B) retired from service with such agency, after completing any
                        applicable probationary period of such service, due to a
                        service-connected disability, as determined by such agency;
                        `(4) has a nonforfeitable right to benefits under the retirement plan
                        of the agency;
                        `(5) during the most recent 12-month period, has met, at the expense
                        of the individual, the State's standards for training and
                        qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms;
                        `(6) is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or
                        hallucinatory drug or substance; and
                        `(7) is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.
                        `(d) The identification required by this subsection is--
                        `(1) a photographic identification issued by the agency from which the
                        individual retired from service as a law enforcement officer that
                        indicates that the individual has, not less recently than one year
                        before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm, been
                        tested or otherwise found by the agency to meet the standards
                        established by the agency for training and qualification for active
                        law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as the
                        concealed firearm; or
                        `(2)(A) a photographic identification issued by the agency from which
                        the individual retired from service as a law enforcement officer; and
                        `(B) a certification issued by the State in which the individual
                        resides that indicates that the individual has, not less recently than
                        one year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed
                        firearm, been tested or otherwise found by the State to meet the
                        standards established by the State for training and qualification for
                        active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as
                        the concealed firearm.
                        `(e) As used in this section, the term `firearm' does not include--
                        `(1) any machinegun (as defined in section 5845 of the National
                        Firearms Act);
                        `(2) any firearm silencer (as defined in section 921 of this title);
                        and
                        `(3) a destructive device (as defined in section 921 of this title).'.
                        (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for such chapter is further
                        amended by inserting after the item relating to section 926B the
                        following:
                        `926C. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified retired law enforcement
                        officers.'.
                        "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                        "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                        >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                        Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Sturgis case is only the third nationwide in which out-of-state police officers were charged with carrying concealed weapons. Two other cases were filed in New York City against a Pennsylvania constable and a U.S. Coast Guard member. In both cases, the law was used as a defense and the judge tossed out the case, Deeds said.
                          That was a crappy case to start with and never should have been tossed, none the less it was and it is now a precedence for it's use. hopefully all officers involved in this can get the same thing with theirs.
                          It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am glad that the officer was able to defend himself and walked away ok, but he was clearly in violation of the laws. I am fully in favor of everyone being able to carry concealed, but within the guidelines.

                            Also, a constable and the Coast Guard are not eligible to be protected under HR 218 if you read the statute.
                            Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stormz5192 View Post
                              I am glad that the officer was able to defend himself and walked away ok, but he was clearly in violation of the laws. I am fully in favor of everyone being able to carry concealed, but within the guidelines.

                              Also, a constable and the Coast Guard are not eligible to be protected under HR 218 if you read the statute.
                              Please explain your reasoning. It looks to me like all three are covered. Two different judghes decided the New York cases.

                              18 USC 926B, which applies to active law enforcement officers, specifies who is covered:
                              (c) As used in this section, the term "qualified law enforcement officer" means an employee of a
                              governmental agency who--
                              (1) is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest;
                              (2) is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm;
                              (3) is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency;
                              (4) meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;
                              (5) is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and
                              (6) is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.
                              Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                              Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                              Comment

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