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  • Philadelphia PD won't Look the Other Way on Open-Carry Gun Owners

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    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011...ry-gun-owners/


    After Altercation, Philadelphia Police Say They Won't Look the Other Way on Open-Carry Gun Owners

    By Stephen Clark

    Published May 21, 2011

    | FoxNews.com


    With a shocking altercation between Philadelphia police and a 25-year-old IT worker putting the spotlight back on open-carry gun laws, local authorities are warning gun owners that they will be "inconvenienced" if they carry unconcealed handguns in the city.

    Lt. Raymond Evers, a spokesman for the city police, told FoxNews.com that gun owners who open carry, which is legal in the city, may be asked to lay on the ground until officers feel safe while they check permits.

    "Philadelphia, in certain areas, is very dangerous," he said. "There's a lot of gun violence." Several officers have been killed in the line of duty in the past three years, local authorities say.

    The warning comes after Mark Fiorino, a suburban Philadelphia IT worker, posted an audiotape to YouTube of his tense, 45-minute encounter with police in February over his exposed handgun. The video went viral and captured national attention.

    After Fiorino released the audiotape, he was charged with disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment. He now faces up to two years in prison.

    "The police department and assistant district attorney are coming after me, in my opinion, to make an example of me because I stood up to them and exposed them for their lack of knowledge," Fiorino said, who called the trial "absolutely inappropriate and a waste of taxpayer money."

    Fiorino said he did nothing reckless, nor did he endanger anyone's life.

    "I had a gun pointed at my chest," he said.

    Only seven states ban the practice of openly carrying guns, and Pennsylvania isn't one of them, according to OpenCarry.org, which advocates gun rights. In Philadelphia, a permit is required to carry handguns openly. But on Feb. 13 a police sergeant who was unaware of the law -- which dates back to at least 1996 when the state Supreme Court referenced it in an unrelated ruling -- stopped Fiorino, who was walking to an auto parts shop in Northeast Philadelphia with a gun on his hip.

    Sgt. Michael Dougherty can be heard yelling out to Fiorino as "Junior," and asking him to show his hands as Fiorino protests having a gun pointed at his chest, prompting Dougherty to call for backup.

    Dougherty grows increasingly agitated as Fiorino offers to show his permit when he is ordered to get on his knees, causing Dougherty to threaten to shoot if he makes a move. Dougherty then unleashed a string of profanities as the two argued over the legality of open carry.

    "Do you know you can't openly carry here in Philadelphia?" Dougherty yells.

    "Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms," Fiorino responds."It's Directive 137. It's your own internal directive."

    When several other officers arrive, Fiorino is forced to the ground as he tries to explain that he's not breaking the law.

    "Shut the f---- up!" Dougherty yells.

    Police found the recorder while searching Fiorino's pockets. Officers eventually released him after speaking to the department's lawyer and being told that he was within his legal rights.

    Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey took issue with Dougherty's language and his lack of knowledge about the law during the altercation, Evers said, but not with the stop itself.

    Evers, who has been an officer for nearly 20 years, said "very rarely do people open carry in Philadelphia." But he added he wasn't make excuses.

    "We weren't as up on that crime code as we should have been," he said, adding that officers are being re-educated on open carry in response to the incident.

    Dougherty is facing disciplinary action pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, Evers said.

    Fiorino's trial is scheduled to begin in July and the district attorney's office emphasizes that Fiorino's response to the police, not his gun rights, are at issue.

    "This office respects and upholds the rights of a citizen to lawfully carry a firearm," Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said in a statement emailed to FoxNews.com. "The permit to carry a concealed weapon, however, does not mean that a permitholder can abuse that right by refusing to cooperate with police."

    Jamerson said Fiorino "allegedly became belligerent and hostile" when police officers "were legally attempting to investigate a potential crime."

    But Fiorino's attorney, Joseph Valvo, said the case is larger than Fiorino.

    "It's my position that this entire prosecution is an effort by Philadelphia authorities to send a message to legitimate gun owners that open carry as a practice is not welcome in Philadelphia despite the fact that it's constitutionally protected behavior and that's offensive to me as a citizen and as a lawyer," Valvo said.

    Gun rights advocates say they're are also offended.

    John Pierce, a co-founder of OpenCarry.org said, Philadelphia police have sent a clear message to gun owners that will chill their rights to openly carry.

    "Even if it's legal, we can punish you financially and by disruptions in your life," he said.

    But the district attorney's office dismissed as "ludicrous" claims it is seeking retaliation or trying to send a message.

    "This office only charges people with offenses that we think we can prosecute," Jamerson said in an interview with FoxNews.com. "We just don't willy-nilly charge a person with a crime as retaliation for an incident."

    The February incident wasn't the first time Philadelphia police officers have confronted Fiorino about his unconcealed gun. Since July, he has been stopped twice and he has had an audio recorder on him each time in case a cop is having a bad day or doesn't understand the law, he said.

    His handgun was confiscated once for five months, but neither occasion escalated like the third encounter.

    Fiorino said he studied Pennsylvania law for a year before he started openly carrying a gun. He said he carries the gun openly because some of his friends have been held up at gunpoint and he's not willing to allow himself to be helpless.

    Police spokesman Evers said Fiorino appears to be inviting trouble from the law by "surreptitiously" recording his encounters with police.

    "If you put everything together, it was more than him walking down the street to go to an auto parts store -- without a jacket in the middle of winter," Evers said.

    But Fiorino denies that he was looking for trouble.

    "How many times does a convenience store need to be robbed to be justified in putting up a security system?" he said.


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  • #2
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    Just because someone is open-carrying doesn't mean they are legal. Although the chance of that is slim to none.



    If someone needed to be stopped in this situation having them put there hands up, removing the pistol, checking their carry permit and then giving them their pistol back and sending them on there way isn't unreasonable.

    .

    Comment


    • #3
      Since July, he has been stopped twice and he has had an audio recorder on him each time in case a cop is having a bad day or doesn't understand the law, he said.
      "If you put everything together, it was more than him walking down the street to go to an auto parts store -- without a jacket in the middle of winter"
      Those 2 say it all...
      Originally posted by RSGSRT
      We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
      Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

      Comment


      • #4
        If the stop is brief and the person is free to go once the officers ascertain that the person is legitimately open carrying (absent any other legal reason to detain the individual), I see no problem with this. I'm all for people exercising their right to possess a firearm, but we also need to balance that with allowing police to be as safe as possible while performing their duties.

        Comment


        • #5
          Once I get my transfer in.. He will be more than welcome to open carry where I work... And I will be more than glad to make him a guest of the BoP...
          I don't answer recruitment messages....

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by biodole
            Speaking from the side of FL law enforcement (we do NOT allow open carry here). I am very drawn on the issue for 2 reasons.

            1. This is a slippery slope. Giving police the right to stop anyone open carrying, forcing them to law down prone, disarming them, and even handcuffing them until they can verify their open carry status is extremely close to violating human rights issues. The reason I say this is because, if the law permits gun owners to carry guns openly with a license - how does that differ from operating a motor car with a license? It doesn't. Are we allowed to stop someone JUST to verify that they have a driver's license? Absolutely not. There needs to be an infraction first, or some reason for the stop, and some basis for reasonable suspicion in order to go after that person and find if they have a permit and if it is valid. If not, the police if Philly are just going to shake everyone down who has open carry and eventually force them to stop open carrying which is a violation of their rights.

            2. However, because here in FL we don't have open carry, I am not really sure how it feels from the side of LEOs up there. I would assume, however, that if a person is open carrying that there is a good chance they are not planning to use that weapon in a crime, as the element of surprise is totally eliminated. In addition, most criminals have been known to conceal their firearm so that authorities have no way of detecting that they have a firearm. Would it not make logical sense that if a person was planning to use a firearm in a crime that they would conceal it before using it as to not bring suspicion to their person?

            Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. I try to maintain objective reasonableness with virtually everything I do....even from the side of a LEO.
            Somehow, the entire rest of the state can deal with this without these kinds of problems. If the Philly police can't figure it out, I'd say the problem was theirs, not the Citizens.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PavePusher View Post
              Somehow, the entire rest of the state can deal with this without these kinds of problems. If the Philly police can't figure it out, I'd say the problem was theirs, not the Citizens.
              There is also a big difference between the rest of Pennsyltuky and Philadelphia....
              I don't answer recruitment messages....

              Comment


              • #8

                Thankfully, we don't have this issue in VA. We have "open carry" statewide (with the usual exceptions, of course) that does not require a permit and "concealed carry" for those who have permits to do so. Our state has a pre-emption law that prohibits anti-gun mayors or city council members from enacting stupid laws that infringe or restrict the rights of gun owners.

                Don't act stupid and you'll be okay. I don't 'open carry' at all, but am glad that I could if I chose to do so. When I do carry, I do it concealed (yes, I have a permit). This keeps things discreet and allows for some tactical advantage if the SHTF. Concealed-carry avoids the weird looks from fellow citizens, calls to the local police about a "man with a gun" -- and being asked to leave a business because you exercise a constitutional right.

                I am not surprised about the situation in Philly, though.

                The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

                The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

                ------------------------------------------------

                "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

                Comment


                • #9
                  There is no "right" to open carry. Even in the jurisdictions which allow it, it is a privilege (which CAN be taken away).

                  The 2nd Ammendment guarantees that citizens (barring extreme circumstances such as felons, mentally incompetent, etc.) have the right to possess firearms; it DOES NOT guarantee that said citizens can possess them in any fashion they choose.

                  While I agree that in most current OC places the fashion/method of possession hasn't yet been solidified or ruled on, if the OCers keep this crap up it will be due to public outrage.

                  Think about it this way: in the current OC mindset, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a group of people carrying AR's and AK's strapped across their chest with a tactical sling, through a highly populated shopping mall. Do you REALLY believe that will go over well? Do you NOT realize what the response will be?

                  I can guarantee you one thing, if such an incident occurs and the public is later informed that charges could not be brought against those individuals because they did not violate the "letter of the law" the outrage will be so dramatic that you will see the immediate passage of legislation outlawing it.

                  My biggest concern is that the legislatue will once again over-react and go too far in stripping away gun-rights, and possibly threaten reasonable concealed carry.

                  This is where we are headed thanks to the OC folks. It's just a matter of time...

                  -V

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    how about this everyone, this guy was looking for trouble and the cops did a outstanding job dealing with this idiot! everyone's always gotta quarterback what a cop does.. this guy decided to walk with a weapon on his hip, then talk to the cops like they are idiots.. yeah.. did cursing take place.. yes.. so freaking what! how many times does the public talk to cops with yelling & cursing?? many of times. they should revoke this idiots firearms license! and this is not his first time doing this to the police! he just did it in april! every few months this guy wakes up and says to him self, i want to go out with some brass balls and see what i can start! someday he will get his! common sense people do the right thing, idiots are why we have our jobs!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      +1

                      Had this guy followed directions of the Officer, instead of running his mouth it would have been cleared up soon after his encounter. He made the decision to run his mouth, and to have a recorder at the ready, he was looking for a Police encounter so he could have a video to post.

                      His "privilege" to carry should be revoked.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        100% agree with you SGT53! like i said in my last post.. common sense people do the right thing, idiots are why we have our jobs! this guy whether is be a lawsuit, put it on internet is just plain stupid and he will keep doing it to taunt the hard working woman and men on the streets! darn shame!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deputymel View Post
                          how about this everyone, this guy was looking for trouble and the cops did a outstanding job dealing with this idiot! everyone's always gotta quarterback what a cop does.. this guy decided to walk with a weapon on his hip, then talk to the cops like they are idiots.. yeah.. did cursing take place.. yes.. so freaking what! how many times does the public talk to cops with yelling & cursing?? many of times. they should revoke this idiots firearms license! and this is not his first time doing this to the police! he just did it in april! every few months this guy wakes up and says to him self, i want to go out with some brass balls and see what i can start! someday he will get his! common sense people do the right thing, idiots are why we have our jobs!
                          +2!
                          looking for a confrontation, hence the recorder!
                          "I told the cop I would get my permit".....seriously? Im gonna let you lower your arms to "gun on hip" level so you can go through your pockets?? dont think so.

                          +1 to V, also
                          "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
                          The Tick

                          "Are you referring to the secret headquarters of a fictional crime fighter or penal complex slang for a-$$hole, anus or rectum?"
                          sanitizer

                          "and we all know you are a poser and a p*ssy.... "
                          Bearcat357 to Dinner Portion/buck8/long relief

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            if it was a "right", then you wouldnt need a permit to OC
                            "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
                            The Tick

                            "Are you referring to the secret headquarters of a fictional crime fighter or penal complex slang for a-$$hole, anus or rectum?"
                            sanitizer

                            "and we all know you are a poser and a p*ssy.... "
                            Bearcat357 to Dinner Portion/buck8/long relief

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SGT53 View Post
                              +1

                              Had this guy followed directions of the Officer, instead of running his mouth it would have been cleared up soon after his encounter. He made the decision to run his mouth, and to have a recorder at the ready, he was looking for a Police encounter so he could have a video to post.

                              His "privilege" to carry should be revoked.
                              This man was held at gunpoint and arrested for doing nothing wrong, and you don't see a problem with that?
                              Pennsylvania ACT 120 Police Academy

                              Comment

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