Tag Archives: concealed weapon

Sheriff Claims Open Carry of Guns is Illegal in Reno, Nevada (Anonymous Submission)

Open Carry Gun Rights Nevada Second Amendment Restrictions Laws

This was recently received, via the submission form, from an open carry advocate in Reno who wishes to remain anonymous. It recounts his encounter with a member of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department during a traffic stop in Reno, NV. More importantly, it addresses some questions that arose due to the fact that this particular police officer was under the impression that openly carrying a gun in Reno is illegal (spoiler: it’s very legal). Additional comments and reaction is included below.

I’ve made some spelling, grammar, and punctuation corrections, as well as adding links throughout for informational purposes, but in terms of content, this is the story in its entirety as received:

I moved here about a year ago and have been open carrying in Reno, Nevada since I arrived, never had much trouble had a lot of people come up to me and ask about it.So, today I decided to register and post (on NVCopBlock.org) because on the way home from moving stuff out of storage we got pulled over by a sheriff on a motorcycle. He gave us a ticket for my derpy friend not having his registration on him, but otherwise everything went fine.

We immediately told him we were both armed and open carrying. He didn’t even draw or look to worried, just told us to put our hands on the dash. Then three seconds later, told us to get out and switch the license plates around because he had the registration sticker on the front plates not the back so we did that while he was issuing the ticket.

Open Carry is Completely Legal and Unrestricted in Nevada

Afterwards, he gave us the ticket and asked us why we were open carrying and then proceeded to laugh when we told him it was our right and its for our own protection etc., etc…He mocked us and said we should just relax and enjoy life sometimes…(Whatever that means?) I then replied, ”well we can’t exactly carry you around with us 24 hours a day and 7 days a week sir.”

We bantered back-n-forth a bit and then, when we were about to leave, he said ”If I really wanted to be an ass, I could cite you for open carrying in Reno, because the Reno city ordinance overrides the state law about open carrying in the state of Nevada.” He then went on to tell us we should look it up and probably not open carry anymore and kept saying ”he was pretty sure it overrides the state ordinance.”

When he said that it came off VERY threatening and I wanted to start an argument right then and there, but that probably wouldn’t of been the best idea…

Artist Rendering of the Person who Submitted this Story

I got his name and badge id…if I can do anything with it…So I started googling….and I’ve researched the laws here A LOT before I even started open carrying…every time I hear something I always look it up…but for a sheriff to bring some BS city of Reno code that overrides the constitution and state law made me research some more…and that’s how I found this thread and I’ve since printed up 10 of your excellent pamphlets! Thanks!

I’m 99.99% certain that he is incorrect…and please correct me if I’m wrong…but how do police, cops, sheriffs, whatever not know the law? This is mind boggling….

ALSO what should I do with a officer who DOESN’T know the law and tries to do something about me legally carrying ?

I wish I would of recorded the whole ordeal…isn’t there like a hotline I can call and it records my stuff? and then I can download the call on my computer?

As stated earlier, it is very much legal to open carry in Nevada, which of course includes Reno. I regards to Reno law taking precedence over state laws, nothing could be further from the truth. The first problem with that idea is that there aren’t any Reno statutes prohibiting open carrying of firearms. The second flaw (and the reason for the first one) is that the State of Nevada specifically restricts local jurisdictions from passing gun laws that impose more severe restrictions on gun rights than those imposed by state law.

NRS 244.364, NRS 268.418, and NRS 269.222 state that the legislature reserves to itself the right to regulate the transfer, sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transportation, registration and licensing of firearms and ammunition in Nevada, and that no county, city or town respectively may infringe upon these rights. (emphasis added)

In relation to the Constitution, we’re unfortunately at the mercy of whoever is interpreting it and in the case of gun laws the Supreme Court interpreted it to mean that states have a right to restrict how and where citizens may exercise the Second Amendment . Which is why there are varying degrees of legality for openly carrying firearms throughout the different states.

Fortunately for those of us living in Nevada though, our state has one of the most liberal (in the literal sense) applications of gun laws. In fact, with the exception of the requirement to register guns in Clark County (which has been eliminated since this incident happened and never applied to Reno, regardless) there are no restrictions on open carry within Nevada.

However, less fortunate for us is the reality that it really isn’t that unusual for “police, cops, sherriffs, whatever” to not know the laws that they are planning to enforce and often there’s little or nothing we can do about it. In answer to the question of what you should do when confronted with a heavily armed government employee that doesn’t understand gun laws, my advice would be to assert your rights, while attempting to avoid a confrontation that could go very wrong. When in doubt, the safest bet is to wait it out and then file a complaint after the fact (that’s where that name and badge number come into play). Sometimes it can actually make a difference.

And of course, we advocate always recording any interaction that you have for police to create a unbiased record of exactly what happened and why. I’m not personally aware of any service that records  downloadable audio, but Bambuser.com has put out a great app that allows you to record and stream live video from your cell phone that is instantly posted to the internets and therefore can’t be erased or tampered with if the phone is confiscated.

Then get that video to us

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Erik Scott’s Murder: What Happens in the LVMPD, Stays in the LVMPD

erik-b-scott-slain-by-lvmpd-employees-zerogov-copblock

On July 10, Erik Scott, a West Point and Duke graduate, went shopping at Costco in Summerlin, Nevada. He was carrying a concealed firearm, as permitted by Nevada state law. Witness and officer reports differ on what happened next. Allegedly, Scott began acting bizarrely, and would not leave the store. Some accounts indicate Xanax and pain killers were in his system after subsequent testing.

It is not disputed that police were called to Costco, and upon seeing Scott, demanded that he drop his weapon (this was recorded on the 911 call, as well as confirmed by a witness). As Mr. Scott reached for his holstered gun (which never left the holster) to drop his weapon, police shot him 2 times in the chest, 5 times in the back, killing him (more here).

The officers involved in the shooting were subsequently found to be “justified,” and of course were not charged with anything. No doubt this case raises many issues; the first one is that of the right to concealed carry. If you can be shot for “acting bizarrely” while posing no threat to anyone, then effectively, there really is no right to concealed carry. The right does not in fact exist if you have the “right to carry” but can be shot arbitrarily.

Of course, there are always the typical apologists who justify police violence with the fact that the victim was non-compliant and thus deserved to be forced into submission. One would think these apologists have nothing to say here; Mr. Scott was shot precisely because he was obeying commands to “drop the firearm.” How can one drop a firearm without touching it? A lot of police justifications center around the fact that several witnesses saw Mr. Scott reaching for a weapon. There is no doubt the 911 recording reflects officer commands for Scott to drop the weapon; in essence, he was shot precisely for obeying police commands. But what are facts to zombie-like police apologists, rushing rabidly to defend tyrants? Lynn S (who is either totally uninformed or an idiot) had this to say in response to a news article on the matter:

If only Mr. Scott would of obeyed the policemans commands this would not be a issue. I hold a ccw card and that is the 1st thing they teach you OBEY a cop if confronted.Maybe a few too many pain pills ??? Sorry to the family , but quit trying to place the blame on the police and take a good look at your son. –Lynn S

Victim-blaming. Tell the dead guy with 7 bulletholes and a heartbroken family and fiancee that it’s their fault. Classic. And classy, I might add (sarcasm). I used to think people were nuts for demanding blind obedience to cops. Now I see it’s not just blind obedience to cops; it’s just a very general, obsequious love -fest for cops. This unfounded deference borders on the obscene; even when you do obey them, when they shoot you it’s still your fault, not theirs.

The story continues to get sketchier from there. Costco, a major wholesaler operating on the international scale, claims its surveillance camera was broken for days leading up to this incident. As such, no footage was available.

Shai Lierley, a Costco security guard now alleges he knew at the time the video was not working, and had arranged for repairs. Yet, initial news articles did not mention any alleged malfunction. It seems strange for Costco to turn (blank) security tapes over to police without mentioning any malfunction if they knew the camera was broken. This article indicates Costco and police refused to comment on the video initially. It is again odd Costco wouldn’t just say such footage didn’t exist if they were aware the surveillance system was broken.

Further, it appears police sent the hard drive to a forensic analyst, allegedly to recover footage. Since when can you recover footage that doesn’t exist? If you knew your camera was broken and failed to record something, it doesn’t make sense to send it to a forensic analyst for retrieval. You can’t retrieve something that never existed in the first place.

Admittedly, this is all speculative. However, even assuming there was no foul play with the convenient lack of surveillance, it is unquestionably ridiculous that a man can be shot for reaching for his gun when armed officers specifically commanded him to drop his gun.

When the story first broke in July, witness accounts differed from the police accounts. With a few minor discrepancies, 4 witnesses interviewed immediately afterward did not know why Scott was shot. None of them saw Scott brandish a weapon. One witness said, “There wasn’t even time for someone to react…The guy didn’t pull a gun. There was no gun in his hand, there was no gun on the ground.” Another witness similarly did not see Mr. Scott threaten anyone. A July 28 update indicated there were floods of witnesses calling the station offering to give accounts.

Another eyewitness referenced in this article who was right next to Scott claims he didn’t have a gun in his hand or appear to be hostile in any way. The witness further said that once Scott was down and clearly not a threat, police treated his lifeless body “like a sack of potatoes.”

Metro Police Officer William Mosher testifying at the coroner’s inquest

More recently, witnesses at the coroner’s inquest have largely backed police accounts of Scott brandishing a weapon, holding a gun, reaching for a gun, or something to that effect. In the eyes of the jury involved in the coroner’s inquest, this appears to have justified the murder. It is unclear why this is the case. Even assuming the witnesses claiming Scott made no threatening move were all lying, witnesses supporting the police’s account of events actually make this murder even more ridiculous. If Scott was reaching for a weapon, he was doing so under police orders.

The level of incompetence required for a team of allegedly trained police to scream for a suspect to drop his weapon, but then to shoot him when he attempts to do so is almost incomprehensible.

Well, police have succeeded at their job. No one was made safer. A man is dead because of their incompetence and shameless use of violence, but their approval ratings are doing just fine.

his was originally posted at CopBlock.org

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