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Civilian Reactions To Off Duty Carry


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  • Civilian Reactions To Off Duty Carry

    I know this has been asked before, but what is your experience with citizens who respond negatively when you tell them that you're an off duty cop and you're carrying your sidearm.
    I ask this because I was talking to parents recently over the phone. We were just talking about school and how my LEJA classes were going and so on, then the topic moves to what department I might work for and why that one over this one, etc. I mentioned that one advantage of police work is off duty carry. As soon as I said that my mom said "Well you may be allowed to carry in public, but if you expect to go home you'd better leave your gun outside."
    I know this sounds stupid especially since I'm not even an officer yet, but what the heck is wrong with people? Officers have been entrusted with the power to wear half the power of God on their hip when they're in uniform. Apparently some people have this belief that as soon as the uniform goes off, our training is magically forgotten and our good judgement goes out the window with it. If anything the taxpayers are getting more for their money. Keeping police armed off duty gives them the ability to "resolve" crisis situations that require an immediate armed response.
    Whatever, I am continually disgusted by people who can't even trust the police with guns. It's not like guns emit some sort of radiation that causes people to behave irrationally. In fact I'm amazed that the Senate was able to pass the bill to allow pilots to be armed.
    I gotta go to class now so my rant will just have to end this rant.
    Don't Fight Fair!
    Fight To Win!

  • #2
    I remember when I wanted to buy my first weapon. My mom freaked out, but I told her, hey, I am gonna have to have one when I start working. That was the end. It is a tool for you to complete your job, would your mom freak out if you brought a laptop over?


    • #3
      Last year a Toronto officer had his civilian car torched by gang members, they then sprayed a death threat on the wall of the station. How would this officer protect himself off-duty if he ran into some of these gang smucks in a public place, that he obviously ticked off while on duty?

      Also more than once in the States (Canada), off duty officers have stopped robberies because they carried a gun off-duty.

      About a month ago I was driving home late, sitting at a intersection waiting for the light to change, I noticed a couple in a heated argument, the guy started punching the woman. Lucky two officers where having a conversastion in the grocery store parking lot across the street and saw what happened. As a civilian I would have stayed in my locked car, phone the police on cell, stay in car until help arrives. but if I was a off-duty I would have to react because thats what is expected of a police officer to stop the criminal act, then phone the police. To do so I would feel better knowing that I had gun protection.

      Obviously a need excists for off duty officers to always have a gun with them! Especially when you have gun control, the criminals are armed, so having the good guys always armed, just maintains a added line of security......

      "I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state appointed psychiatrist is our "friend."


      • #4
        Many people are just totally ignorant. I can't even talk to most people I meet about guns. When or if they find out I have one they always say, 'Are you expecting a war?' 'Who you gonna kill?' 'Get that out of here' 'It's not loaded is it?' 'nobody needs a gun' 'who do you really think is gonna rob you?'
        'They won't hurt you if you give them what they want.

        I told one of my customers, a man named "jessie" that we needed to do more to protect our rights concerning the second ammendment, and his answr was one of the best I've ever heard. "I hate guns. My sister was killed by a gun."

        [ 10-12-2001: Message edited by: Mike Sullivan ]


        • #5
          No one should know if you are carrying off-duty. Don't tell your Mom you have a piece and she won't find out.
          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


          • #6
            The whole concept of carrying concealed while "on" or "off" duty means that you are incognito, to blend in with the rest of the populus. Why would one want to announce to the public that you are a cop ("off" duty) and packing, especially if you are not involved in any kind of situation. Now if I was going to involve myself in a situation that required my to do so, then I would announce and show proper badge and I.D. Also, if I were talking with a close friend and was off duty and they asked me if I was packing then I would answer yeah or ney.
            I know all the officers of the city police and county sheriff's office back home (small town of about 3,200) and know that most officers and deputies do not carry off duty just out of personal preference. Most of the people in Wyoming own firearms and have their kids out on the range by early ages. Most are used to seeing firearms and generally have no problems with officers that carry off duty. That must just be our "western" mantality and ways of life.


            • #7
              Just a small piece of info. Many of our departmental off-duty incidents where officers were disciplined, were a result of misuse of their weapon while carrying off duty. Even though our department had a very strict policy about getting involved in off-duty incidents, the guys still got involved.

              During my 31 year career and speaking for many of the guys I worked with, I nor they never once encountered a person we had arrested while off duty, not once. I also never once had the need to draw my weapon while off-duty.

              Just my personal experience.



              • #8
                Pardon me if I gave the impression that I walk into stores and say, "Wanna see my gun?"

                It just comes up once in a while, that's all.


                • #9
                  Random QUICK thoughts on this issue (because IF I GET STARTED...)

                  1. I always have it on me or in the car. ALWAYS. The few times I have forgotten it have backfired. I was at a restaurant with other officers and two prior arrestees came in going to the bar section, and saw us, and tried to start trouble. The manager booted them out, but had it not been for another off duty officer who WAS carrying, we would have been in vulnerable in the parking lot.

                  2. Nobody should know you're carrying. PERIOD. End of disscussion.

                  3. Don't get involved off duty (if it's not self defense) unless it's a life threatnig emergency. Enough cops die when they have body armor, OC, walkie, powerful flashlight, responding back up, full size handgun, 1-2 spare mags, and 1-2 sets of handcuffs. A badge and a snub nosed revolver, or a compact pistol alone is asking for trouble. Don't attempt to be a hero.


                  I have always respected your opinions (and still do) but Jesus! Never encountered anyone? JUST TODAY, I rounded the corner in the supermarket and almost walked into a previous DWI arrestee, who was carrying a 12 pack. Fortunatly, he was one of the ones who understood, and was genuinedly remorseful, and I'm sure my treating him decent throughout the process helped, but what if it would have been one of the arrestees who had been choked out. Just last week, I went to another county and in a Wal mart, encountered one who had been a problem, and probably carries a grudge. I can't imagine going to town for a day and NOT seeing a previous arrestee. Again, I'm decent to them IF THEY ARE DECENT, and many shake my hand even after citations and arrests, but you CAN'T do the job and not pee people off. We had a trooper several years ago get beat half to death at the mall by some scumbags.

                  Like I say, I can't even grasp not running into customers, ESPECIALLY for 31 years! Maybe it's because I work in small towns.

                  Years ago, I had a relative who said something I had heard said before, about people who carry guns. My wifes 12 year old cousin (who only saw it since he practically lived with her father) asked "Why are you carrying a gun?" Before I could explain the actual reason, My father-in-law said "Because he's SCARED."

                  This peed me off, but I was ready the next time I heard him tell someone this. The next time he said it I launched into a speech: "Yes. I AM scared. I am scared that one of these maggots the courts can't do anything with will try to hurt me, or kill me, or try to assault my wife (his daughter) and I'll be helpless and just have to die or watch this and not be able to do anything about it. Yep. I'm scared to DEATH I'll be like one of these people with their head up their a** and think nothing bad ever happens. I'm scared I'LL BE THE ONE telling the police "I don't know where he came all happened so fast..."
                  People have more fun than anybody.


                  • #10
                    When I am off duty I run into alot of former clients, thats why I wont even go to the mail box with out a Glock on my hip.

                    And as Dave and Brenner have already said, no one should know your carrying, it your weapon is visible then get a compact firearm and some bigger clothes. It's that simple!


                    • #11
                      Sgt. Dave,

                      I concede that if one works and lives in the same smalltown, the odds of meeting a former arrestee are greater. I happened to have worked in Los Angeles County where there are 10 million people. Again, I never knowingly encountered an arrestee off duty during my career. I know of very few cops that worked with me that did either. If a former arrestee recognized me, they didn't approach me or make me aware of who they were.

                      I guess we were lucky.



                      • #12
                        One of my bosses had to go get his blood pressure checked regularly. He stopped by the medical clinic in uniform one day and was directed into a room. When the nurse came in and saw he was armed and in uniform she said she could not check his blood pressure. She said she was uncofortable being in the same room with an armed man. Another example of gun phobia.
                        If you see me running try to keep up!


                        • #13

                          I know of a good optometrist I can set you up with...


                          • #14
                            Well I've actually had two instances in the past week or so involving my carrying off-duty, and both were positive. Went to a doctor last week for hyper-tension (guess its catchy among LEO's) and was going to have my BP taken and needed to take off my top shirt. I informed the doc just as he spotted my weapon. First he jokingly said his BP just went up...bu then said he felt much safer knowing I was carrying.

                            Second incident was just the other day. Had to go to the local hospital for a renal scan and the nurse was going to take my preliminary BP. Told her about it, and she kind of looked stunned at first, then said she was ok with my weapon. BTW, I carry 24/7 about 99.9% of the time. Actually, once the word got around to the lab crew, everything ran very smooth.


                            • #15
                              On the rare occasions that my little Beretta has been spotted, it never raises an eyebrow. This is the South, we all got guns. I don't know many people around here that don't like guns. Most people know me, and know I'm a cop, so I could probably walk around with my pistol on a chain around my neck without much fuss. My mom's one of these that is kind of uncomfortable aroud guns, but she had to get over it since my dad and I are both cops and gun collectors. (whoever ends up with the most toys, wins.)
                              Road Warrior

                              "Every man dies, not every man really lives"


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