Open-Carry Experiment Shows Cops Don't Know Their Own Gun Laws

By Jon Campisi
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 150 | Posted May. 17, 2011

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It was late last week when gun-rights activist Mark Fiorino joined PW for a stroll around downtown Philly. The Montgomery County man, who was featured on the cover of yesterday’s Daily News for his stance on carrying pistols openly, walks down 15th Street toward Sansom, attracting nary a look.

Eventually, one man offers a double-take. The head turn probably has something to do with the fact that Fiorino’s belt contains an openly holstered firearm alongside his cell phone and keys. After all, Fiorino’s story hadn’t yet appeared in the Daily News, so his face wasn’t yet recognizeable.

Surprisingly, that one brief stare was about the only bit of reaction Fiorino received on that particular day, a few days before the Daily News story broke. But minimal public feedback is often the norm. People typically go about their business unaware that someone like Fiorino has a gun strapped to his hip—even when it’s in full view. “For the most part, it’s either a look or a dismissal or nobody notices,” says Fiorino. And unbeknownst to many Pennsylvanians, “open carry,” or the act of carrying one’s firearm unconcealed by clothing, is actually quite legal. Even in Philadelphia, legal gun owners who have a license can wear their holstered handguns in plain sight. In the rest of the state, open carry requires no license. Still, despite the law being quite clear on the issue, open-carry advocates like Fiorino sometimes find themselves in the crosshairs of an ignorant public.

But what happens when the ignorance comes from the very people who are paid to uphold the law? For open carriers like Fiorino, it’s a problem that can have dire consequences.

Like the time he found himself with a gun pointed at his head. Back in February, when he was visiting his native Northeast Philadelphia, his gun attracted the attention of a passing city cop. After a 40-minute ordeal in which Fiorino was ordered to the ground and detained, the cops eventually cleared him for release, but not before they got in a few choice words. But it wasn’t the profanity used by the responding officers—audio from Fiorino’s recorder was posted to Youtube—that totally offended Fiorino. Rather, it was the lack of police knowledge regarding the open-carry law. “I obviously did a ton of research beforehand,” says Fiorino. Police, he says, ought to do the same.

Not that Fiorino totally faults cops for having a heightened sense of awareness. But he does take issue with the fact that officers aren’t being trained to respect law-abiding citizens. “In my experience, in the city, it’s always been negative,” Fiorino says of his interaction with Philly cops, many of whom appear unaware of the legality of open carry. “There’s always a lot of attention with the police because they know you’re armed and they automatically perceive you as a threat,” he says.

One city cop, who requested anonymity, said that he was unaware carrying a firearm openly within the city limits was legal. “To see somebody carrying a gun in full view, it’s kind of, I would say, scary in a big city,” the officer says. But as Fiorino sat on a bench at Dilworth Plaza talking about his cause, very few eyes glanced his way. Passers-by didn’t even seem to notice him—even though his gun was out in the open on his left hip. “Nobody’s screaming or running around,” Fiorino says.

Still, the officer maintains that the sight of a gun on someone without a badge could cause a problem. “When people see you doing that, people assume you’re a police officer,” the cop says, adding that even off-duty, most city cops carry concealed. “I think all guns should be concealed.”

Fiorino says open carry is meant to raise awareness, to let people know that they still have rights. And in Philadelphia, they are, thanks to people like Fiorino.

“Technically, the answer is yes,” says Lt. Fran Healy, a special adviser to Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. “You can carry openly within Philadelphia as long as you have a license.” Healy, who is also an attorney, doesn’t dispute the claim that city cops are often ignorant on the open-carry law, which has been on the books since 1995. He says it’s just never been a problem, that citizens were simply never observed carrying openly in the city. He adds that incidents such as Fiorino’s have prompted the PPD to better train its officers. The training has come in various forms, Healy says, including educating beat officers during roll call and conducting “teletype training,” which is when a sergeant receives a message from the commissioner that is passed down to his or her subordinates. “When they [officers on the street] know the law, that helps them respond better,” he says. “These [citizens] are decent people. They’re not criminals.”

But Healy certainly understands why the sight of someone openly carrying a firearm might put off some cops. “The bottom line is this: If I stop you and your behavior and conduct is such that I feel at risk … I personally may have my gun out,” he says. “That doesn’t mean I’m pointing it at your head. I don’t know who or what you are yet.”

The other factor contributing to cops’ confusion is that according to state law, a license is needed to carry openly in the city, but it’s not required in the rest of the commonwealth.  Because of that, officers don’t technically have cause to detain an open carrier without reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime having been committed. But in Philly, because a license is needed, law enforcement officers contend they have authority to stop people to make sure they’re legit. Gun-rights activists take issue with this, saying probable cause is still required for a police stop. They liken it to driving: Officers aren’t legally allowed to stop everyone who is driving a car to ensure they’re licensed, unless a violation has been committed.

Healy, however, says it comes down to an “officer safety” issue, meaning if an open carrier is spotted, there might be brief police interaction. “I think the officers are well justified in Philadelphia … to do an investigation,” he says. “We just want to confirm that you’re lawful, and we’ll let you go on your way.”
Add to all that the convoluted wording of the state law, which essentially makes open carry de-facto legal: “No person shall carry a firearm, rifle or shotgun at any time upon the public streets or upon any public property in a city of the first class unless:(1) such person is licensed to carry a firearm; or (2) such person is exempt from licensing under section 6106 of this title (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license). The second bullet point generally refers to law enforcement and others for whom their job requires the carrying of a gun. Because the law doesn’t explicitly say open carry is legal, some question whether it really is. State law also doesn’t make a distinction between open versus concealed carry. “By not addressing it, the Legislature has left it open,” Healy says. “The statute is vague, which leaves a little bit of a problem.”

To gun-rights advocates, the law is quite clear. After all, if there isn’t a law against something, anything, it’s legal, right? Proponents of open carry were so adamant about getting their message out that they organized a rally in Center City last weekend. One of the activists was Derek Price, who on May 14 was strolling up the steps toward City Hall wearing black pants, a blue button-down shirt, a black vest and a gun on one hip. The Harleysville resident arrived for a gathering organized by members of the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association. “Open carry, concealed carry, it’s totally up to the individual,” said Price, 38, who has been open carrying since getting his license in 2007. 

Price, like the others attending the rally, aim to make open carry more visible. One woman came up to Price, asking him to point her in the direction of the Ritz Carlton. “Perception is everything,” Price said.
As more protesters arrived, it seemed as though the rally had the makings for some interesting feedback. Again, nothing. Here they were, a group of about 25 or so gun-toting average Joe’s, walking through the outdoor plaza at City Hall, and nobody seemed to notice. “We’ve been standing here, what, 20 minutes?” Price asked. “Nobody’s complained.”

Finally, Healy arrived with officers from the department’s Civil Affairs Unit, the armband-clad cops who monitor protests and labor disputes, and off the group went. During the next four hours, the gun-wearers and a handful of cops, all in plainclothes, strolled downtown Philadelphia. There were stops outside police headquarters and the District Attorney’s Office. Since federal law was recently changed to allow for firearms in gun-friendly states to be brought into national parks, the group figured it would stop by and take a photo near the Liberty Bell, too. “Exercising our Second Amendment where the Second Amendment was signed,” one member could be heard calling out.

Over the next four hours, the group walked, held signs and handed out pamphlets to members of the public. A few people cast stares. Some asked questions. None seemed worried or concerned in the least. That’s the way it should be, the open carriers contend. Even Healy seemed pleased with the results of the peaceful protest. “These interactions can be positive,” he said at the rally. “I’m looking at this as more of an educational thing on both sides.”

Ted Noga, the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association member who organized the rally, was also pleased that everything went off without a hitch that rainy Saturday. “I’m quite impressed with the response by the police department,” he said.

Lt. Lisa King, head of the department’s Gun Permits Unit, said her division is now working to amend language on a supplemental sheet accompanying the firearms license application that says a licensee must conceal. The wording on is old, she concedes. King, who attended the rally, says didn’t even know the practice was legal before it was brought to her attention.

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Comments 1 - 150 of 150
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1. Anonymous said... on May 17, 2011 at 08:07AM

““I think the officers are well justified in Philadelphia … to do an investigation,” he says. “We just want to confirm that you’re lawful.."

So in that case the Philly Police can pull over anyone they see and ensure they are lawfully allowed to drive a car? Where will it end in Philly? Can they simply walk into your home on an investigation to make sure you are lawfully allowed to live there?”

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2. kadar said... on May 17, 2011 at 08:21AM

“Thank you Jon.”

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3. mounty said... on May 17, 2011 at 08:23AM

“"Lt. Lisa King, head of the department’s Gun Permits Unit, said her division is now working to amend language on a supplemental sheet accompanying the firearms license application that says a licensee must conceal."

Well, that's just plain illegal of them. PA state law contradicts that supplemental sheet, and state law takes precedence. Did Lt. King learn nothing on Saturday?”

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4. Gary said... on May 17, 2011 at 08:46AM

“Aside from the legality of open carry, which I do on occasion, what I find more disturbing is the ignorance of the law by the police, and the profane and vulgar language used on a law abiding citizen. Now, to cover up the embarassment to the police, thay have charged Fiorino with disorderly conduct and risking a catastrphe because back up units called by the original officer, "could have been in an accident" Give me a break, the cop that called for the back up should be charged with risking a catastrophe since he did not know the law.
No wonder people in Philly go out of state to get a carry permit, the cops in Philly use every obstacle they can to make it difficult to obtain a carry permit in the city. AND, these are the people we depend on to enforce the law???????”

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5. USMCRich82 said... on May 17, 2011 at 09:02AM

“"Healy, however, says it comes down to an “officer safety” issue, meaning if an open carrier is spotted, there might be brief police interaction. “I think the officers are well justified in Philadelphia … to do an investigation,” he says. “We just want to confirm that you’re lawful, and we’ll let you go on your way.”

Basically saying that even though they will work to recognize lawful open-carry, they're still going to harass you in the interest of "officer safety." Wonderful.”

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6. Aaron said... on May 17, 2011 at 09:55AM

“"Healy, who is also an attorney, doesn’t dispute the claim that city cops are often ignorant."

There you go, I fixed that for you.”

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7. Nick From Philly said... on May 17, 2011 at 10:07AM

“Philly cops don't know the law? Noooooo! Say it isn't so! Mark Fiorino is really lucky that he did not get shot because Sgt. Dougherty felt his "safety" was at risk. Not to get racial, but I wonder how that incident would have turned out if Mark was black and from North Philly.”

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8. Gary said... on May 17, 2011 at 10:22AM

“Nick, a black man with a gun???? He'd be dead now!!!”

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9. RobDJ said... on May 17, 2011 at 11:53AM

“BRAVO Mr Fiorino for bringing this to the front page. I carry OC in Phila and have had a LTCF for 35 years. Personally it is a matter of temperature and clothing comfort. Somtimes I can't conceal, other times I don't wish to. I have however taken to wearing my license in an open credentials tag when in the city just to make the 'job' eaiser for the PPD. Hey PPD we are on YOUR side, remember that!”

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10. Anonymous said... on May 17, 2011 at 11:53AM

“This isn't the first time that our District Attorney has charged crime victims with offenses--and this won't be the first time that those charges will fail.
All this makes me wonder why anyone would want to live or work in a North American equivalent equivalent of a South American tin pot dictatorship!”

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11. Yes I Carry said... on May 17, 2011 at 11:56AM

“@Mounty - I believe Lt. King's statement is meant to advise that the department form will be changed to *delete* the notation that a licensee must carry concealed - the form is old and out of date.

Nice article, Mr. Campisi - thanks for covering the story with an open mind and little bias. Refreshing change from the media of late....take care!”

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12. RobDJ said... on May 17, 2011 at 12:05PM

“Additionally.... I have in hand the Municipal Police Offiecers' Education & Training Commission materials (Act190) which all PA LEO departments were required to complete in 2009 and it clearly states that the act of open carry in itself does not constitute the need for intervention by the LEO. That said the whole big bad cop attitude is pervasive through out the department. Granted some of it is a gut fear reaction because these guys get shot at way to often in this crime ridden cesspool of a city. It is at the least a precarious situation.

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13. Ted John Noga said... on May 17, 2011 at 01:05PM

“If you want more information or if you want to contribute to marks legal fund please go to PAFOA”

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14. Ted John Noga said... on May 17, 2011 at 01:09PM

“If you go to PAFOA and search for:

"Official Philly OC Rally Activity Thread" you'll find details about the march and our visit to the liberty bell

"Arrested by the Philadelphia Police for Open Carry" you'll find more details about marks case and the incident

"[FUNDRAISER] Holding Philadelphia Responsible" you'll find ways to help contribute to marks legal fund.”

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15. Andrew Shemo said... on May 17, 2011 at 02:57PM


thanks for the very good article. gun activist appreciate any positive news articles we can get.

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16. Josh D. said... on May 17, 2011 at 03:37PM

“Nice article Jon.”

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17. Biz Miller said... on May 17, 2011 at 04:25PM

“I wonder if I might openly carry my bow and quiver of arrows next time I visit Philly? Think that'd look stupid? No more stupid than carrying any other lethal weapon.

Three Police Officers and a number of citizens were shot dead in Philly during 2008 when I stayed in your beautiful city. I watch with despair as the stack of bodies continues to pile up due to guns held by civilians: People shot by mistake. People shot for dissing someone. People being shot dead just because someone 'got mad'. KIds finding Pop's loaded gun in a drawer and shooting a sibling. If there were no guns, concealed or otherwise, they would all still be alive.

Has anyone ever foiled an attack by using a firearm, and has this happened often enough to justify the needless carnage? Has anyone done the math, or is it just that people feel safer carrying guns? People who only feel safe carrying a weapon need to find other ways of addresing their inadequacies.

I love your city, but the gun culture is nuts!”

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18. Anonymous said... on May 17, 2011 at 05:33PM

“This punk went in search of a face-off with PPD......otherwise, why was he recording? He'll F around in the wrong place and wish the cops WERE with him. DUMMY”

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19. Anonymous said... on May 17, 2011 at 06:11PM

“I am ok with them checking him see if it is a problem...I am not ok with the Jack Boot manner in which it was handled....Most policeman are good guys doing a job...but you have that few who are embicles with a badge who think they can do whatever they want......GET RID OF THE BARNEY FIFES....we've had a couple recently in our town, who flagerantly abuse their authority...and have an attitude and manners that inflame the simplest situation.....SHOW RESPECT GET RESPECT.....disrespect me and talk to me in a condescending manner and that's what you will get in return......BE NICE...I'LL BE NICE.....don't escalate a situation with and almighty , I'm god and your nobody attitude....BE PROFESSIONAL.!”

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20. Anonymous said... on May 17, 2011 at 09:04PM

“The most rediculous part of all this is the fact that people who want to commit a crime generally conceal their weapon until they plan to use it. Criminals don't generally carry around guns on their hips. They act as if open carry is a danger, when in fact, it is a deterrent for crime.”

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21. Anonymous said... on May 17, 2011 at 09:22PM

“Looking at this pragmatically as an X Philly person there are 2 issues. Philadelphia Police are generally not spooked but need training on how to handle situations professionally. I can understand that fear is a factor in the language and that coralling a known criminal or perp requires strong street language that is understood. Reading the body language in this case was absent. You tend to side with the legal gun guy. Ohio does.
Looking at the gun guy you would think he picked the wrong location for his demonstration. When I was in my 30's I had a license to carry but would never think even today, open. Calling attention to ones perceived power of a firearm is a law enforcment cadre and expected. Private citizens carry should be private in my opinion. The case should be closed and lessons learned. But to take this person to prosecution is crazy and will reflect badly on the Philadelphia Police. The nation is following this case. Revenge is not the answer. Eat Embaresment”

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22. M Thompson said... on May 17, 2011 at 11:03PM

“The cops should be more worried about the many citizens who are illegally carrying guns.

The criminals will always have guns, no matter how many laws there are against having them.”

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23. francisco paine said... on May 18, 2011 at 12:22AM

“Quoted :

““I think the officers are well justified in Philadelphia … to do an investigation,” he says. “We just want to confirm that you’re lawful.."

So in that case the Philly Police can pull over anyone they see and ensure they are lawfully allowed to drive a car? Where will it end in Philly? Can they simply walk into your home on an investigation to make sure you are lawfully allowed to live there?”

End Quote

It also means that they can random drug test citizens walking down the street. It also means that they can detain parents walking with their children until the parents prove that they are in fact the parents of the kids. It also means that they can detain every guy walking down the street until said guys can prove they didn't rape anyone.

And for those confused on the legality of open carry. Laws are passed to make restrictions. LTCF laws restrict conceal carry as defined in the law, and any kind of carry in Philadelphia(city of the first class).”

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24. ShaBANK said... on May 18, 2011 at 07:38AM

“17. Biz Miller? Ur BOLD, ur BRASH, Ur OUTSPOKEN... but alas, ur just IGNORANT!!! Save ur useless comments for arguments with ur mother.

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25. BHirsh said... on May 18, 2011 at 09:40AM

“Biz Miller wrote: "Has anyone ever foiled an attack by using a firearm, and has this happened often enough to justify the needless carnage?"

You ask the first question and move on presuming that the answer is in conformity with your belief, when it is decidedly NOT, and then spuriously link criminal acts using firearms to the lawful exercise of a fundamental right, when one has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

The answer to your first question is yes, violent attacks are foiled by personal use of firearms every day. Not only is this reflected in locally/regionally published anecdotal news stories on a daily basis, but Prof. Gary Kleck, a criminologist at FSU actually did a study in 1994 of defensive gun uses, and his sampling projected as many as 2 million per year.

The answer to your second question is that 'needless carnage' is not determined by lawful firearms ownership and use - it is determined by criminals committing crimes.

Revisit Logic 101 and bone up.”

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26. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2011 at 09:47AM

“Yea because Criminals open carry. lol. Bottom line - Cops are and will always be overreactive with firearms. Its not their fault, their lives are on the line every day but they should be informed, they should be respectful, and they should remember that a well armed citizen may just save their life one day!”

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27. Ron said... on May 18, 2011 at 09:47AM

“Please write to the Philly DA in support of Mark and opposition to tyranny... I did.”

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28. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2011 at 09:52AM

“This reminds me of someone who posted on PAFOA....they were open carrying while cycling and asked a Philly Cop for directions. The LEO obviously pro 2nd diodnt ask for their LTCF and it was a very positive encounter. Stupidly the poster wanted to know how to contact the LEO's supervisor to praise that partucular LEO. Sadly this may have backfired in pointing out to the supervisor that the LEO failed to ask for a LTCF and may have gotten him in trouble if the supervisor was one of the many Philly anti-gun Leos!”

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29. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2011 at 09:57AM

“Once again the LEO's reveal their true agenda. They care not for the public's safety but only that of Officers!
"Healy, however, says it comes down to an “officer safety” issue, meaning if an open carrier is spotted, there might be brief police interaction. “I think the officers are well justified in Philadelphia … to do an investigation,” he says. “We just want to confirm that you’re lawful, and we’ll let you go on your way.”

What he REALLY means by this statement is that they will do WHATEVER they want for "officer safety" when they see any gun regardless of a lack of citizen complain: "that Officers are justified in pointing a gun at you, pushing you into the dirty pavement and treating you like a criminal and detaining you as long as they darn well please"”

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30. RIch U said... on May 18, 2011 at 10:14AM

“WHen is the last time you saw a criminal carry in the open. I do not live in PA. however, the intent of showing that you are taking your second amendment rights seriously is inportant these days.

In Texas, it seems everyone carry's and their crime rate is very low. It may help in PA!”

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31. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2011 at 10:23AM

“I have more gun rights in PA (with my non-res) than I have in my home state of NY.”

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32. Liberty Lives said... on May 18, 2011 at 10:27AM

“@Biz Miller

Dear Biz, move to Russia. If you don't want freedom you don't have to have it. There are plenty of places you can live where your movements, freedoms and liberties will be closely monitored and regulated. The founding fathers never, never, never intended the USA to be as legislated, taxed, governed and manipulated as we are. Mark Fiorino is a patriot. He exercised USA Freedom and was harassed, cursed and abused for it. Shame on us. Shame on you Biz Miller.”

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33. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2011 at 10:59AM

“I guess those Philly officers were sleeping during their annual and required MPOETC up dates several years ago that SPECIFICALLY addressed the fact that open carry is 100% completely legal in PA, to include Philly!!!!!

If any member of the Philly police department states they were not aware of the law, they should be forced to take remedial training!!! What other laws don't they know about??????”

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34. tim said... on May 18, 2011 at 11:07AM

“It doesnt take a real rocket scientist to figure out, IN ANY SITUATION, that criminals have just a tad more sense than to openly carry a firearm.
That being said, if these idiot cops would use a modicum of caution and calmly approach and talk with the armed person, they would probably find said person has more brains than the police. Really, who in their right mind would openly carry when cops have become so reactionary and gutless!”

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35. Larry in NJ said... on May 18, 2011 at 12:23PM

“First, I offer kudos to PW for their fair and unbiased reporting of this disturbing event.

Secondly, I am appalled at the the reaction of Lisa King for wanting to change the existing law, and especially at DA Seth Williams's threat to press charges against the victim. Have these people no shame!”

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36. Publius 2012 said... on May 18, 2011 at 01:15PM

“Double standards everywhere. You can't stop a black man on the street because a black man just robbed a store nearby and if you do you are considered a racist. You can't ask a hispanic individual for his "papers" in the instance of an illegal invader report because you would be called a racist. But you (i.e. police) can stop someone in an open carry situation because they may not have the legal authority. Double standards everywhere. What if the person was black or oriental or hispanic? Ooooohhhhh out comes the race card again. Doublestandards everywhere in Philthyadelphia.”

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37. SIKDAR said... on May 18, 2011 at 01:33PM

“The officer is absolutely wrong here. There was no exingency to the situation that required the officer stop this guy immediately. In this situation, the officer should have called for backup (routine backup, not emergency backup in order to avoid potential danger to the the public from a speeding police car). Until backup arrived, the officer should have stayed back and observed. Again, Fiorina was not engaging in any crime, so no hurry was needed by the police. Then, when backup arrives, the officers can approach and ask questions. No need to dominate Fiorino or show how tough the cops can be. The Philly officers involved and their supervisor use the excuse of cops getting harmed in the line of duty as the reason for the forceful actions by the police. However, it was this officer that created the dangerous situation...not Fiorino. If he was so darn worried about his safety, then why confront Fiorino alone? There was no hurry. He wanted to show how tuff he was, that is all”

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38. P. Moore Freely said... on May 18, 2011 at 01:35PM

“Welcome to Filtydelphia, May I see your papers? Bunch of Nazis!”

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39. Matthew White said... on May 18, 2011 at 01:47PM

“Hammond, In police doesn't know the law either! Indiana has the same open car law and I was stopped outside of my job and was told by the officer that I was suppose to have my weapon concealed!! Sounds like the cops need to learn the law!!!”

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40. Frosty J. said... on May 18, 2011 at 01:59PM

“The question is, if you have a CCW permit, WHY oh WHY on God's green Earth would you carry OPENLY?

Note: If you answer this question with the punchline to the joke, "Why do dogs lick their [genitals]" then you FAIL. I'm looking for a legitimate reason why a CCW permit holder would want to walk around Philly with an openly carried weapon instead of a concealed weapon. Emphasis on "legitimate."”

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41. gjtopr said... on May 18, 2011 at 03:24PM

“I agree with Frosty J. When CCW permits are cheap and easy to get in PA, why would you open carry? I have had a permit for over 20 years and I NEVER open carry, except on the range. I have a holster or fanny pack for every situation. I carry my gun for protection, not to prove a point. It's better when the criminals don't know who's armed.”

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42. Superlite27 said... on May 18, 2011 at 03:35PM

“Frosty J:

What is the point of having rights if you voluntarily agree to forfeit them?

The point IS "because we can". Unless you want to argue the point of having something expressly allowed...while simultaneously arguing that nobody should do it?

It's like saying, "It's perfectly fine to eat this cake....but you shouldn't.", or "There's nothing wrong about wearing this shirt...but you shouldn't."


Yet, people dare to say "You have the RIGHT to do so.....but you shouldn't."?

Paraphrasing what I said before: A right is not a right if everyone agrees never to exercise it.”

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43. Massachusetts Gun Owner said... on May 18, 2011 at 04:49PM

“Keep in mind, criminals don't open carry for the reasons they don't want to get caught, A lot of the police officers know who are criminals but can't do nothing because the criminals are protected by special interest groups like the ACLU keeps them from doing so, these criminals that I see walk the streets in my state and no one will stop them and they are called illegal immigrants and they have weapons on them because they don't care, this is one of our major problem with these people are gun crimes, unlicensed driving & stealing. If I had my way I would profile people to see who is illegal and who is not and do away with the firearms permit system like Vermont, Alaska and Arizona has and create and stand your ground system on a national level, This will give good law abiding people the right to live with out fear of being sued or going to jail for protecting them selves from these creeps, There are a lot more issues to deal with then to hassle someone open carrying lawfully.”

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44. Canada Man said... on May 18, 2011 at 04:57PM

“You (in the USA) have Rights provided you by your constitution. Be proud of them,Live by them, and above all, USE THEM OR LOSE THEM. Consider yourselves Very Lucky.”

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45. creep0321 said... on May 18, 2011 at 05:13PM

“Frosty J:

I can think of two reasons right of the bat why I would open carry; 1) depending on the season, and clothing im wearing, it may just be more damn comfortable and 2) simply having the gun on your hip can deter a crime from happening in the first place, instead of having to draw the weapon once the crime is underway.”

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46. 2simple4u said... on May 18, 2011 at 05:26PM

“@ Frosty J:
here's your answer: I carry large sums of cash as part of my job. I want to make sure that anyone with thoughts about taking said cash, knows that it could cost them their life. If it can dissuade one attempt it is worth it.

How's that?

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47. Penn. said... on May 18, 2011 at 05:30PM

“Philadelphia doesn't have the right to tell you and/or enforce their own firearms laws. There is something called Pennsylvania firearms preemption law and forbids individual cities to create their own gun laws. You should be able to carry a firearm openly without a license anywhere in Pennsylvania including city of Philadelphia. The notion by this ignoramus that there will be a language change that requires a firearm to be concealed even with the license is outrageous and should be challenged in court of law.”

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48. Concerned Citizen said... on May 18, 2011 at 05:53PM

“For anyone who cares to listen to the audio cited in the article, it can be found by searching for "Philadelphia Police Open Carry". It will be the first link in the results. It's honestly disturbing that the police who are supposed to uphold the law do not know it.

I am not a gun owner but that is my own choice. However, Mark Fiorino was profiled and the police should be held accountable for this heinous act.”

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49. From California said... on May 18, 2011 at 06:05PM

“A similar thing happened recently in San Diego, but in that instance the guy was also wearing a Kilt near the ocean. Both situations point out the need for Concealed Carry licenses to be much easier to get in California. Once that happens, then I'm all for creating a regulation prevent the open carry of guns on the city streets, since it will just freak out some people for no good reason, but in the mean time, the Constitution allows us to bear arms, and if you can't conceal carry, then open carry is your only choice.”

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50. VA-Sheepdog said... on May 18, 2011 at 06:27PM

“While open carry is legal in many places, I rarely carry that way. I prefer to keep a low profile. You are more than welcome to open carry. I say more power to you.

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51. Chas C-Q said... on May 18, 2011 at 07:05PM

“To those giving Lt. King a hard time: the paragraph is poorly written. What she was saying is that the "supplemental sheet" _now_ states that concealed carry is mandatory, and thus is out-of-date; and will be changed to conform to the current law.”

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52. Montie R said... on May 18, 2011 at 07:54PM

“The cop that started all this should be FIRED. Another arrogant barny fife.
I have lived most of my 47 years in Arizona (an open carry state).
And I have run afoul of a couple of barneys not knowing the law.
Both were reprimanded one was fired.
In Arizona we are now allowed to carry concealed without a permit.
Sometimes I carry openly sometimes I carry concealed.
This is why the second amendment was written the way it was
The right of the PEOPLE to keep and BEAR arms shall NOT be infringed.
ALL of these politicians who pass ANY legislation that hinders legal ownership and use of firearms including carrying are breaking the law and should be kicked out of office.”

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53. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2011 at 08:05PM

“Don't blame the cops. Not many civilians know this law, so it is unfamiliar for the officer to see somebody openly packing. And based on these comments, many people have contempt for police officers, so they should be aware if they see a gun. He should have treated the carrier better and known the laws, but his life is at stake EVERY DAY. Also, stop playing the race card. You only do that because you know that once you do, everybody takes your side so they are not called rascists.”

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54. TN Biker said... on May 18, 2011 at 08:07PM

“Why does it never occur to the LEOs or be instilled in training the obvious idea that it is not the gun they see on peoples hips they need to worry about, it's the ones they don't see.”

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55. fr8dog said... on May 18, 2011 at 08:19PM

“If you think you’ll get hassled by ignorant cops in Philly for “open carry”, just try it in LA or San Francisco, where it’s still “technically” legal. At the very least you’ll spend several hours in jail while police try to figure out the law. Yes. cops in CA are just as ignorant as in PA re: gun carry laws. A worse scenario is you’ll spend those hours in a hospital recovering from how the cops will treat you. And the absolute worst case scenario: you’ll be taken to the morgue as a result of police “Over Reaction”. No one in their right mind carries openly in CA. If the cops don’t beat the crap out of you, the bad guys may kill you for your gun. It’s all a question of who gets a piece of you 1st. I’ve carried a gun in CA for over 40 years: Always Concealed. And No, I don’t have a CCW permit. Hardly anyone gets a permit in CA unless they’re a celebrity, a politician or “contribute” at least 5K to a sheriffs “election campaign”. CASH is preferred.

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56. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2011 at 08:21PM

“These officers who violated this young mans rights should be fired !”

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57. Bob said... on May 18, 2011 at 08:39PM

“Many thanks to 'Concerned Citizen', for your open-minded observation of the rights of others. Yes! You do have that choice. That's exactly the way it's supposed to be. A matter of choice. Just because we have certain rights under the Constitution, doesn't mean that we all have to exercise all of them. You made your choice, and I'm sure most everyone can agree that we respect your choice. You are the exception, rather than the rule, as far as I can see. You made your choice without trying to deny anyone else their rights or choice. A most refreshing idea, for a change. Again, many thanks.”

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58. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2011 at 08:49PM

“There is no law prohibiting open carry in Massachusetts
CITY OF NEW BEDFORD,MA, A man was walking down the street with a gun in his holster on the outside of his clothes. An elderly woman was looking out of her window and called the Police. They arrived in (3) cars with lights flashing and (6) officers got out and stopped and questioned the man who showed them his CCW License and other ID. The police then took him in one of the cruisers and brought him to the Police Station. There they locked him in a cell and the next day they brought him to court and charged him with disturbing the peace and inciting a riot (Inciting a riot because one of the officers stated that many cars had stopped and people got out to see what was happening and that put the Police Officer in fear of his life.)AT the conclusion of the case the Judge gave the man his license,ccw and freedom back and gave the Police a speech about their lack of knowledge of the law etc. The man had to pay for his own lawyer.”

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59. Reality Check said... on May 18, 2011 at 09:06PM

“Don't make this an open carry or concealed carry issue, this is a "rights" issue. If you have rights and cannot use them due to the ignorance of those charged with protecting them, something is wrong. These ignorant Philadelphia Law Enforcement Officials violated this man's "Rights" Instead of protecting him (their sworn duty) they disrespected him, were abusive to him, and were clearly wrong in their knowledge of the law. These officers should be fired, charged and tried by a jury of citizens.

The Police Lt. trying to change the wording of the law, she should be removed as well.”

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60. Dan said... on May 19, 2011 at 08:29AM

“Good for PA that Open Carry isn't restricted. I could never understand why police would be concerned if a person was open carrying. Look, it's simple. Real criminals conceal their weapons until they decide to break the law. They have to conceal them so their victims are unsuspecting. Having a firearm out in the open and on your belt tells the criminals that you're the worst target ever to commit a crime upon. Officers of the law shouldn't be afraid of Americans who pratice their 2nd Amendment out in the open. They should be afraid of the jerk who's hiding their pistol while entering a bank. Of course, it's common sense. I doubt it if authorities will ever understand common sense.”

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61. Anonymous said... on May 19, 2011 at 10:27AM

“This is what happens when retards are put in positions of police power. These cops needs firing, none of this pay without leave shit. Learn your fucking job or get fired. Plain as that.”

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62. granpa bobby said... on May 19, 2011 at 11:49AM

“it comes down to attitude in texas..during a traffic stop keep your hands on the wheel inform the officer you are carrying and have your permit wont have a an ass and you will have a problem..if you dont have a permit..your going to jail”

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63. J.F. Wolfington said... on May 19, 2011 at 12:34PM

“This may have already been covered - and if so I apologize - but, the real "bad guy" here is the state legislature. I don't blame the police here, because there are SO MANY LAWS on the books today that no human being could possibly know them all. Most police forces have had to adopt the policy of: well, if an officer doesn't like something, just arrest those involved and we'll figure out later if any laws were broken. This is not good for public relations. The police are in a no-win situation. (Interestingly, in PA, it is my understanding that a citizen has NO right to resist an unlawful arrest.) With that said, the police officers involved in the instant case did not acquit themselves in anything like a professional manner. I don't think anybody comes out looking good in this.”

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64. Bob Rush said... on May 19, 2011 at 01:17PM

“This is primarilly a training issue that requires an unbiased trainer who kows and understands the law. This cop over-reacted. Someone could have been killed; including the cop. This was not the cops fault. R. Seth Williams, Philadelphia DA, should be fired. Instead of resolving or working the issue, Mr. Williams elected to percecute the person who brought this problem to light. Because of his failure to act in a responsible manner Mr. Williams will be responsible for the death of one of our citizens or the death of one of our police officer.”

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65. Dominick Parisi said... on May 19, 2011 at 02:57PM

“If firearms were to be illegal, then only the criminals would have weapons to wield freely at innocent citizens. An armed citizen is a safe, law abiding citizen.”

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66. Earl said... on May 19, 2011 at 06:35PM

“Officer safety? Bull. If anyone practices "situational awareness," it should be a cop. Knowing where a potential threat lies by seeing an openly carried firearm should be comforting whereas if the observer looks around and sees none, he would have to wonder how many threats lurk under shirts and cooats.”

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67. Bori PA LTC Holder said... on May 19, 2011 at 11:35PM

“Lt.King the Phila.licensing officer didn't even kenw that this action OC a weapon was legal she said.Mr.Healey should trained the PPD officer about this LAW and the Supervisors ( Sgt's.) shall make every officer read it during Roll Call on every shift so they don't forget when they're on patrol trhu the City.”

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68. MAx said... on May 20, 2011 at 01:54AM

“When citizen turned around, and saw the cop pointing a gun at him, and he the citizen is legally allowed to open carry, at that point, because the stupid cop doesn,t even know his own job, was the one breaking the law.So what would have happened, if citizen shot the cop in self defense.When the cop said"i,m gonna fu**** shoot you, what would happen legally, if he shot the cop????”

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69. max said... on May 20, 2011 at 02:14AM

“The fact of the matter is, and i think the average person would agree, at one time, people trust in the police, was very high, but now, most are just as, if not more so afraid of the police, as the criminals.Police have a very hard job, and they are making it even harder for themselves.I am Canadian, never been to Phily yet, but even I KNOW you can open carry there, i think the police were well aware he was allowed to open carry.The cops just don,t like it.This new breed of cop, are all ego, and their gun is their ego, .Police are a direct Masonic run operation, they are the ones dictating the policy,s behavior.This whole affair i believe was orchestrated against this gun activist , to circumvent the constitution, per creation of the Masonic directive of a police state.”

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70. good cop said... on May 20, 2011 at 06:18AM

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Officer Michael Dougherty's ignorance does not excuse his reckless endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon, his childish and unprofessional disorderly conduct, his unlawful arrest and abuse of process. What Sgt Michael Dougherty did was very dangerous, reckless, negligent and stupid. Sgt Michael Dougherty recklessly endangered lives. Sgt Dougherty committed aggravated assault, threatened a peaceful lawful citizen with deadly force, acted in an extremely unprofessional, childish and emotional manner, and lied (but thankfully was caught on tape). Thankfully the victim, Mark Firorino, remained calm, professional, orderly and rational and was able to deescalate the reckless situation Officer Dougherty created. Officer Michael Dougherty should suffer serious discipline and if he should remain on the Philadelphia police force at all, Sgt. Michael Dougherty should never be permitted to carry a firearm while on duty again. Officer Michael Dougherty's rec”

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71. Mark Roote said... on May 20, 2011 at 06:39AM

“Lt. Lisa King, my comment is directed to you:
Go ahead and change the language on the application you offer in your county you ignorant jackass, that doesn't mean the language on my application in my county will be changed, and it certainly won't change the law where the PA Legislature said that "Cities, towns, and municipalities are prohibited by PA law from enacting laws prohibiting concealed or open carry" (Ref: 18 PACS ss6120)”

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72. sparkymarktoo said... on May 20, 2011 at 07:01AM

“In Milwaukee City, police shot 56 dogs most of which occurred in front of their owners. I guess the mace or tazer just don't have the same effect as the smell of nitro in the morning....

Shooting a dog in a highly populated neighborhood where a bullet could ricochet off the pavement, sidewalk...and kill a child watching tv in their own home or someone walking or driving down the street. And people claim that police officers are "trained" to use their side arm safely? What a laugh!”

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73. Tyson in Illinois said... on May 20, 2011 at 10:23AM

“Our rights weren't granted to us (americans) by any form of government period. Our forefathers realized that our rights were granted by God or Natural Rights. Meaning your born with them and No One can take them away. Cops have no right to stop people based on them carrying openly or concealed unless a crime has been committed by the subject. The fact is most people probably near 99% don't really believe the cops can protect them. Move to a bad part of any city and you will know that on the first day. Its up to the citizen to be their own first line of defense against evil. If cops had it their way citizens couldn't own any guns period or any weapons and they could detain you for any reason and charge you for any crime without evidence. We all wish we could make our own jobs easier dont we. That just isn't reality. Cops just need to learn to deal with it. The cop in the story should have been fired and charge with assault.Being ignorant of the law isn't an allowable defense.”

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74. Dave said... on May 20, 2011 at 01:31PM

“The real need for open carry is to protect those that carry concealed. In concealed carry only states, if anyone sees your firearm, you get charged with brandishing a firearm or worse. Try as you may to keep your firearm concealed all the time, sometimes you move just the wrong way, your clothes get stuck on something, whatever and your firearm could be exposed for a second or two. If someone happens to it, you are in for all kinds of trouble. If they would just fix the concealed carry laws so accidental exposure is not a crime, we'd all be better off. Open carry can be a fix for that, and it works for me. Personally I prefer to carry concealed so I don't have to worry about someone trying to steal my firearm from me. But most current concealed carry only laws are too restrictive and open law abiding citizens to being charged with crime because someone just happened to see my concealed firearm.”

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75. Josh said... on May 20, 2011 at 03:54PM

“During our open carry rally last Saturday, I was shooting the siht with Lt. King and I said, "What criminal would carry a gun openly?" And she said, "Maybe they think that they can blend in with people(OC'ers) like you." After I heard that, I had nothing else to say to her. That was probably the most ridiculous answer that she could have given me.”

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76. Anonymous said... on May 20, 2011 at 04:52PM

“I love the liberals who claim this guy was looking just to get attention and entrap the officers. I also love when liberals worry about the cost of guns on our healthcare system.

Do the liberals feel this way when their activists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton come to town and try to entrap people?

Do liberals feel this way about the cost of gay anal sex on our healthcare system or is that one a sacred cow? We all know that the diseases from gay anal sex cost more than firearms on our healthcare system.

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77. gunrightadvocatephilly20111 said... on May 20, 2011 at 07:41PM


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78. 2ndammendmentphilly said... on May 20, 2011 at 07:49PM

“What needs to happen is we need to vote in a new mayor, we need a new chief of police, a new DA and actually have an uncorrupt city government and police that does not treat everyone with a gun permit as if they were criminals. The open carry issue and the florida loophole accusations are bogus. The Pennsylvania Attorney general makes the gun laws. I am going to educate them if those bozos can just open the link I have attached! <--This is the pennsylvania agreement that allows citizens of Philadelphia to use non resident gun permits to carry.”

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79. Anonymous said... on May 20, 2011 at 07:58PM

“All I know is if they ever need my help for anything or think that I owe them something or I care about them or will cooperate with them to help. I will tell them that they infringe gun rights and I have absolutely no respect for them and just go tough it out but I dont owe them anything and I am sickened by their acts.”

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80. freeman said... on May 21, 2011 at 10:50AM

“When a cop points a gun at your head, throws you on the ground, cusses you out and violates your rights, he is acting outside of his office. Therefore, you sue him personally with a BIVINS ACTION, and take every bit of property he has. That will be the check on the rogue actions.”

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81. Anonymous said... on May 21, 2011 at 02:40PM

“There is a large successful jewelery store in my city. Where the salespersons carry sidearms openly. In my opinion, it deters crime and makes the customers feel safe.”

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82. Tom said... on May 21, 2011 at 04:10PM

“I appreciate that Mr. Fiorino wants to help gun owners and promote carry/gun rights. I am very glad that he taped his encounter. But in my opinion, he broke law. The cop was an ignorant jerk and bully and broke the law as well. But when Fiorino didn't comply, despite being legal, I think he broke the law. It's like when you see the argumentative people in traffic stops get tazed because they wont get out of the car and wont comply. They broke the law. I don't see any difference here.

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83. Anonymous said... on May 21, 2011 at 11:14PM

“"Office Safety"? No this is about power and authority. The Fiorino stop was less than 'bad' and now the PPD must save face because they do not know the laws that they are paid to enforce. I am particular troubled by the cowardice found in the statements "I don't know who you are". This excuse for bad behavior is coupled with 'officer safety'. I totally respect the officers from youth in my PA hometown and they have my support. Now, I just wonder if this generation is nothing but gun toting bullies \ former summer school students.”

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84. Anonymous said... on May 22, 2011 at 09:25AM

“This guy should team up with either or the NRA to get his legal/court fees waived...maybe start a donation through those organizations. I know I would donate to his cause....

Let's just hope that Florida gets the right to open carry next :)”

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85. Big Ugly - Wyoming said... on May 23, 2011 at 10:32AM

““To see somebody carrying a gun in full view, it’s kind of, I would say, scary in a big city,” the officer says.

He is correct - when 'we the public' see some under-trained, bully with a badge, it is kind of scary. The 'average' private 'Citizen' who carries is generally better trained with that weapon than is the average policeman - WE THE PEOPLE practice more often with our weapons

" Lt. Lisa King, head of the department’s Gun Permits Unit, said her division is now working to amend language on a supplemental sheet accompanying the firearms license application that says a licensee must conceal. The wording on is old, she concedes. King, who attended the rally, says didn’t even know the practice was legal before it was brought to her attention. "

Let me get this straight!
Lt. King would rather a bunch of people walk around her city ARMED AND CONCEALED? If someone is carrying a weapon openly - there is a much reduced risk that that person is planning to do something "bad".

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86. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2011 at 01:26AM

“I tell you what these cops took an oath to protect the constitution and they dont do that. All these Nazi's cop do is bust on people constitutional rights! One poster on hear said the he or she keeps the permit in site so the cops know that person is on the cops side is sadly mistaken. These Nazi police are the not on the side of the people or the constitution! Why should the gun owners of Pennsylvania be on the cops side. They drew the line in the sand.

The R3volution Contiues,
Ron Paul 2012”

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87. true religion jeans discounted said... on Jun 3, 2011 at 03:19AM

“Nice work on putting together a very interesting post.”

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88. Richard from NC said... on Jun 3, 2011 at 09:30AM

“That Healy really believes a cop can detain someone without clear, articulable and reasonable suspicion shows a basic ignorance and even stupidity of not just Philly Cops but cops in general.

Supreme Court Case law Ohio v. Terry Outlining these restrictions, the Court said that no police officer may lawfully stop and detain a person for questioning unless the officer first observes unusual conduct that arouses a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. A stop may be no longer than necessary to confirm or dispel an officer's suspicion and must not be unnecessarily restrictive or intrusive. During the period of detention, no searches may be performed unless the officer has an objective and particularized basis for believing the suspect is armed and dangerous. Any search must be limited to the suspect's outer clothing and may be performed only for the purpose of discovering concealed weapons. Evidence obtained during searches that comport with these restrictions, the Court said.”

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89. Cowboy said... on Jun 7, 2011 at 05:32PM

“Iv said it for years...cops know the rules, NOT the laws. I should be able to strap on my pistol and go get coffee if I wanted. It's the old adage, if you outlaw guns...only outlaws would have guns. I think at 6ft 2 in - 220 lbs, I'm pretty sure I'm getting home safe tonight, but if I had my pistol on my hip where anyone could see it, I KNOW I'm getting home safe. I live in the "hood" and if you were wearing your pistol the thug looking for an easy mark would think twice about violating you. I think it's on the lines of "locks only keep honest people honest". A criminal isn't likely to mess with some one with a gun on their hip, it's as simple as that. They will wait for an obviously unarmed person to rob.”

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90. Anonymous said... on Jun 7, 2011 at 07:05PM

“Meanwhile, the Jews who brought Blacks to this country (youtube, david duke, jews and slavery) are merrily strolling around without a care in the world, their ill gotten loot keeping the justice system and legislature wrapped around their finger.”

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91. WillieG1951 said... on Jun 7, 2011 at 07:40PM

“For me the entire crux of this article had nothing to do with the police not knowing their own gun laws. . There are a lot of laws they know nothing about. The statement that "police aren't trained to treat law-abiding citizens with respect"! They treat you like a perpetrator whether you've done anything or not. . This has to change!”

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92. jc said... on Jun 7, 2011 at 08:21PM

“The cops argument makes no sense, If someone was carrying a gun illegally, would they purposely carry it it openly for a cop to see?
Personally I feel perfectly safe around legal gun owners, its the criminals that conceal guns in their clothes that scare me.

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93. Ralph Jr. said... on Jun 7, 2011 at 08:29PM

“These lowlife thugs behind badges care not a rip about public safety. The braindead violent gangmembers behind badges don't like the fact that they're not the only ones who can carry guns legally.”

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94. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:37AM

“What else can we say.....many cops are stupids!
An intelligent man uses a gun for only defense.
A cop uses a gun to feel his power and dominance.
That comes from having a real small Johnson!”

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95. rjhuntington said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 08:21AM

“What person having an illegal gun would carry it openly? What person with criminal intent would openly carry a gun?”

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96. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 11:31AM

“This just in....cops are ignorant thugs. They are power hungry and were never smart enough to go to college and get real jobs. So they have to harrass decent Americans. Intelligent, law-abiding Americans have to teach cops about the law because cops are too dumb and corrupt to even bother reading statutes and laws that they are supposed to be enforcing. A publicly paid for mafia, what did you expect?”

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97. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:37PM

“If they were not so f'ing stupid, they wouldn't be cops.”

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98. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:39PM

“"I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn't make it worse." --- Brendan Behan”

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99. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:43PM

“Just goes too show that most cops are just p^^^ies with guns.”

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100. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 01:24PM

“get the guns from the cops how many by-standers have been shot by these blast happy yokels..cops should be the last people to have guns.”

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101. Buck said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 01:44PM

“90% of crime in philly is committed by the blacks. Whites need to open carry at all times, i'll be carryin long arms. Most of these ghetto ass black cops are criminals and racist against whites. Be careful white brothers and sisters!”

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102. Saul said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 01:52PM

Where did you get that statistic from? Serial killers are always white! Yeah, come into my hood walkin down the street with long arms. You will get your cracker white ass beat!”

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103. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 01:56PM

“We all need to start wearing T-shirts with the actual laws written on the front and the back when going anywhere so that the stupid cops can read them.

Photographers and videographers need to have T-shirts like this relating to their rights, and gun owners need to have them for their rights. This of course, assumes cops can actually read.”

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104. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 03:58PM

“When cops are ignorant of the law they make one up and apply it full force, and woe be unto you if you "resist". It is a known fact that the ranks of police are filled with mediocre levels of IQ. This is intentional during the selection process. If you are too smart you'll never be a cop; apparently you can be dumb as a doorknob and that's ok though.”

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105. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 05:12PM

“"North American equivalent equivalent of a South American tin pot dictatorship!” Hey watch it buddy , I live in So.America wear my pistol everyday, rarely hassled by vagrants and in ten years have been asked to show my permit once!

Read more:”

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106. Youngboa said... on Jun 9, 2011 at 08:05AM

Whites commit more violent crime in philly than blacks and hispanics combimed you bitch ass cracka. You belong on jerry springer bitchass white trash punk”

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107. Bilejones said... on Jun 9, 2011 at 10:58AM

“The police are a far bigger threat to the people of Philly than people like Fiorino.”

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108. Anonymous said... on Jun 12, 2011 at 08:05AM

“Jon, a bit ignorant of those "Gun-rights activists," wouldn't you say? They failed to do their research and realize that police do not need "probable cause" to stop any person, they merely need "reasonable suspicion." Very hipocrytical, eh? By the way, if a citizen calls in to police that someone is open carrying and for the police to investigate it, they are going to do so, as there is concern by the citizen. The police will not know the circumstance why or what preceded. They will do their job and make sure that the citizens of this Commonwealth are safe. Or maybe they will take this rally into consideration and when you call because there is someone with a gun on your porch knoacking on the door, we will see they are only displaying their firearm proudly and we wont even approach them. After all, they don't have the right..... Right???”

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109. Anonymous said... on Jun 12, 2011 at 08:10AM

“Young boa, you just committed harrasment via communications with that tongue. Should be considered a hate crime as well. Racial slurs were made during the commision of that crime. If only life were fair.....
By the way, what do all of the pictures look like of the people that killed the past ten or more Philly cops? I am curious.”

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110. Richardhg said... on Jun 13, 2011 at 08:48PM

“Maybe it is not yet clear to you, so let me spell it out.

The US has become a vast criminal conspiracy, ruled by an elite class for whom there are no consequences. The police can kill with relative impunity. Like, a one year sentence for the murder of an unarmed man (check out Mehserle), or run prostitutes and drugs (check out Contra Costa County, in the Bay Area in California). And California still has laws that allow the public to video police misconduct, unlike the East Coast, which is now stripping citizens of their most basic rights, while elevating their new criminal class, Government servants.

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111. Anonymous said... on Jul 1, 2011 at 01:28PM

“Who gave Lt. King the right to change the law on the application? So if the cops don't know the law, or if they don't agree with the law they can just change it as they see fit on some form?

Are you kidding me? Now you all know why I left the decrepit city of philadelphia with it's nazi police and corrupt bureaucrats...that city can rot !”

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112. Anonymous said... on Jul 15, 2011 at 12:04AM

“No follow up to story to be found in any philly news sites about the cities request for a continuance. What a surprise”

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113. Anonymous said... on Jul 18, 2011 at 04:00PM

“The Phila Gun Unit also requires everyone who receives a License to Carry Firearms (NOT a CCW) in Phila to sign a document. They must sign it before receiving the License. It requires that a driver inform the police that they are carrying a firearm if they are stopped. This requirement was invented by Phila and is not in any State law. If a License applicant balks at signing the document, they do not receive the License. If they do not inform police that they are carrying during a traffic stop, the License will be cancelled. For some reason, Phila Govt thinks that all those persons living within the borders of the city are morons. Luckily, they have no power over those normal citizens living just on the other side of the border streets. Apparently there is a 50 point IQ difference on the two sides of those streets in the minds(?) of Phila officials.”

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114. shadowrider said... on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:38AM

“I am a law abiding gun owner in PA and will give my feelings on a couple issues here...1) i feel any officer of the law that acts in the manner that this officer did should lose his job period...VERY unprofessional. 2) yes it is our right to choose to carry open or concealed(with proper licenseing), and i am all for open carry however even though it is a form of harassment to be stopped and asked for ID eventhough technically we are not required to give doing so i feel this only adds fuel to the fire and defeats the purpose that we as law abiding citizens are trying to accomplish here, and that is spread the word that open carry IS legal (PA) and thereby creating less of a shock factor. 3) yes the law does not require us to present ID upon confrontation but why not do it and and in most cases be treated decently and go on your merry way without issue. In my opinion to my fellow law abiding gun owners who press a small issue such as ID are really no better than the officers.”

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115. Former NYer said... on Aug 3, 2011 at 07:34AM

“Though I am completely in favor of a persons right to choose how to carry their gun. I wouldnt open carry. Having a pistol is no advantage. Not having the other guy know you are carrying is the only slim chance you have of defending yourself successfully. There is nothing stopping a guy, or group of men from grabbing you and taking that gun. The only reason I think all states should be open carry, is in the event you are carrying concealed, and your gun happens to show, no police agency can arbitrarily bust your balls about it showing. In Connecticut, it is legal to carry open, but the police will use the "disorderly conduct" ploy to take your permit away. In Connecticut they have a vauge "suitability" clause that the police can use to take away or deny you a permit.”

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116. Eye for Truth said... on Aug 10, 2011 at 10:20AM

“Philly cops are a joke. The newbies might as well be trash collectors. You need no education, and the training itself is a joke. My 88 YO grandmother could pass the course in a wheelchair. Pay is meager, and the standards are incredibly low. Mall security would rival any Philly cop on the so-called 'force" today.”

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117. snuffy smith said... on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:36PM

“107, I don't know what you've been smoking(probably more than one illegal substance) but the only place Whites commit more crime than blacks and hispanics is where there ARE no blacks or hispanics. The only issue that concerns me about open carry of a weapon is that some numbskull with an anti gun agenda sees it and falsely accuses the person of pointing at them, just to cause a scene. You know who the authorities will believe, right?”

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118. PROTECTION CONNECTION said... on Nov 21, 2011 at 02:50PM

“Buy a large O.C. Pepper Spray.”

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119. JohnK625 said... on Dec 30, 2011 at 02:33PM

“Cops don't carry guns to protect the public, they carry guns to protect themselves, just as I do.”

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120. tony holmes said... on Jan 7, 2012 at 05:14PM

“what you guys dont know is that philly police ARE allowed to pull over anyone they wish and "investigate". There is no probable cause in philly. google live stop program. philadelphia poice have stolen a gun from me in my backyard. then dropped the charges, and kept my legal gun. they told me i had to get a lawyer to get the gun back. Philadelphia police are masters at circumvention of the constitution. So if they are "allowed" to just stop and investigate anyone in any car, then they will surely stop and investigate someone with an open weapon. AS you can tell from the officers in this blog that they are scared for their lives. So they use this as an excuse to infringe on your rights. I've heard stories of philly police stealing guns from pepole WITH licenses. I have a friend who knows for a fact that police officers raid their respective weapons lockers and steal weapons to sell back to the streets. when i tell this to officers, they immediatley say " thats not me.”

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121. MRM_the_First said... on Jan 16, 2012 at 04:14PM

“These cops are idiots. It is not the person carrying a visible firearm they should be worried about. With that person they already know what he (or she) has. It's the gangbanger thug that they should be worried about. with the thug they have no idea.

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122. Anonymous said... on Feb 14, 2012 at 09:30PM

“I don't own a gun, and I don't know all the rules concerning guns. I'm assuming that a person can openly carry a gun in bars and restaurants in Philadelphia. If I saw someone standing next to me in a bar, or sitting next to me in a restaurant carrying a gun, I would leave. I wouldn't be comfortable with a loaded gun so close to me, especially with people drinking. If someone was openly carrying on the street, I don't think I would notice it.”

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123. Ned said... on Feb 15, 2012 at 12:52PM

“How did we let the gun nuts take over like this? BAN ALL GUNS. GUNS kill. But I'm not a hypocrite, if nobody cares then I'll practice my draw so I can wear a six shooter out in the open. That way if one of these gun nuts goes crazy he can be dropped.”

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124. Jack Riper said... on Feb 15, 2012 at 01:00PM

“While I support the efforts of the Philadelphia Police they are dead wrong on this issue. There is no excuse for a seargeant not to be trained correctly and achieve that rank. It's like the blind teaching the blind. And it has been proven time after time that cops lie to protect each other. So, the DA charges a victim with a crime in order to intimidate them and punish them financially... This is out of control and the responsible parties should take responsibilty and resign immediately.”

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125. Anonymous said... on Mar 7, 2012 at 12:14PM

“You people are all losers. Your right to carry a firearm openly??? When you strap on a vest to go to work everyday with the threat of violence always there then you can talk about the need to be armed. Guns like it or not are violent weapons and people are shot everyday by non law abiding citizens. If you are stopped by the police and investigated for openly carrying in "the city of the first class" you will be investigated to see if you are complying with the law and have a license to do so. This bum mark whatever was looking for a lawsuit and it seems he got it. Hope he never has to use that gun he treasures so much for everyone to see.”

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126. brian said... on Mar 12, 2012 at 09:40AM

“the cop should of shot him well he got his 25 grand form the city so hes happy hope some criminal shoots u with your own gunby the way sorry u were bullied in school”

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127. said... on Apr 30, 2012 at 03:23PM

“Ok honestly I live in North Carolina where I have a CHP and depending on what I'm wearing and the weather I choose to conceal and open carry my firearm Fayetteville police don't stop and question me I'm hispanic born and raised in New York City where the carrying of guns are prohibited by a law abiding citizen now my opinion is if you wish to buy a firearm you should at least take a safety course on how to properly handle a firearm I got my training from the military I did three years in fort Bragg in the 82nd ABN DIV as 11B and either way the carrying of a firearm is a right not a privilege”

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128. Chris said... on May 31, 2012 at 09:06AM

“Yanno, I don't know if all these police officers are REALLY police. I'm going to have to stop all of them and get their ID's and do a background check on each of them...I mean, they're driving around with guns and POLICE cars! They could be fugitives!”

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129. Anonymous said... on Jul 3, 2012 at 08:37AM

“Wow A Cop who don't know there own laws,Go pound sand cop!”

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130. Anonymous said... on Jul 3, 2012 at 08:41AM

“Wow A Cop who don't know there own laws,Go pound sand cop!
US vs DeBerry Can not stop someone just because they open carry.
Philly cops suck anyway!”

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131. Gator Pa. said... on Jul 30, 2012 at 02:54AM

“The police do not want any of us law abiding citizens to have guns, especially in filthadelphia. I will gladely hand in my firearm when all police agencies do the same. This will keep us on an even playing field. Then we will see how how the police will cry about all the criminals and repeat felon offenders having firearms. Criminals will always have guns. It will never change. Stop harrassing open carriers/learn the laws and be respectful and you the police will see how we law abiding guns ownwers make your second class city safer.”

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132. Gator Pa. said... on Jul 30, 2012 at 03:15AM

“Police have no right to stop anybody who openly carries and is not committing a crime in Pa.. They have no right to ask you for a ID if you are on foot and not committing a crime. People didn't start video taping police actions because of you tube they started it because most cops abuse their authority and when they do they just lie for each other and guess who wins. Thanks to modern technology we can expose these scumbags for who they are and for what they stand for. Believe me the police are just as worried about your video camera as they are of your gun and I'm yet to see any officer killed in the line of duty with a video camera. The good old video camera has ended more police careers than guns will ever in philly. And who knows the way they like to change the laws you might need a permit to carry a camera in the city soon. Our founding fathers are rolling in the grave and our liberty bell needs to be honored or moved to a place of honor.”

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133. shake-n-bake said... on Jul 30, 2012 at 12:28PM

“To the cop who puts on his vest everyday and wants all of us to believe he is he man the hero. You chose that career. That was your choice. You choice to be a police officer should never interfere with my choice to open carry. Remember, you are here to enforce the law not make your own. How would you like it if some cop ran his hands all over your old lady just because he thought she had a knife in her bra. You make all the decent cops look bad. With modern video scum buckets like you will be career mall security.”

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134. Anonymous said... on Sep 25, 2012 at 12:21PM

“LOL at the Cop who stated they need to arm themselves against NON Law abidding citizins who shoot at the police !
Why do you think PA Citizins Carry ? For the same reason you do ! Maybe if some of you idiots actually treated law abidding people as such, you would actually Clear some cases ( that means Solve Crime ) w the help of law abidding witnesses who carry guns to protect their loved ones from Thugs who have managed to take over every aspect of the city..
If you break the Law as a Cop, what makes you better then the criminal ? You are supposed to have rules and abide by them, you are supposed to be Better then criminals, thats why you are Police ! That Badge, Gun and authority is there because the Public allows you too ! Remember that, or get outta Law Encorcement you dolt !”

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135. DickWeed said... on Oct 5, 2012 at 12:10AM

“Hire cops that have triple digit IQ's and most of the problem will be solved.”

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136. Anonymous said... on Nov 4, 2012 at 08:48PM

“On this Earth, we have to right to carry any kind of weapon we want, at anytime. It is a human right. No one can tell you yes or no. A true free man is his own authority. Cops are hired guns for a group of people who choose not to carry guns on them personally. But, if you choose, you are you're own best cop.

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137. Anonymous said... on Dec 7, 2012 at 11:46AM

“All I can say is I think its great that Pa is a state that you can carry your firearm in. And would like to add that to all of you out there that think that if you take our guns away you will be saving a life. Think again!!! Here is one fact you need to think about. Mexico did this took the guns away, What happened? What is happening? The only ones that have guns are the criminals no ifs ands or buts about it. They are killing people left and right down there because they know no one can shoot back. Mexico says that the USA needs gun control too . Now what would happen if the USA did have gun control you might ask save a life ? NO we would be living in what Mexico is now!!! Think long and hard about it if you want gun control move to Mexico for just 2 or 3 days and I know you would be hight tailing it back to the God Ol USA!!! Give guns back to every man and woman in Mexico and it WILL stop the killing !!!”

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138. Anonymous said... on Dec 12, 2012 at 11:13PM

““We just want to confirm that you’re lawful, and we’ll let you go on your way.”

read: guilty as proven innocent”

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139. Anonymous said... on Feb 9, 2013 at 10:46AM

“FYI.. The supreme court ruled, Law Enforcement is not bound to protect the public. Sadly they are not peace officers any longer they are enforcers only now days. This what happens under the maritime flag flying in these court rooms now. your gulity until proven innocent, and why we see adjucations and not convictions anymore . Please awaken and learn why that military war flag is in our court rooms. the maritime flag looks like the real flag its fringed in gold though. that fringe signifies the treasury has been raided by the way/”

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140. abolish the supremes said... on Feb 9, 2013 at 10:55AM

“FYI.. The supreme court ruled law enforcers are not bound to protect the public. law enforcers are only revenue raisers in modern times. Please wake up and learn why the maritime flag flies in Americas court rooms. That gold fringe on the imposter flag makes it a war flag and exactly why its behind the judges. its a signal of whose jurisdiction you are under. Welcome to the batlefield.”

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141. Anonymous said... on Feb 12, 2013 at 01:22AM

“What are these knuckleheads so worried about? Law abiding citizens are, well, law abiding. Ever see one criminal open carrying? My guess is no.”

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142. JoeDog said... on Feb 23, 2013 at 02:05PM

“This guy sounds like pretty much of an 455h0l3

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143. CapnCaveman said... on Apr 25, 2013 at 01:49AM

“I have a permit and I carry both concealed and openly. I have to say, I don't really see the harm in a police officer in Philly asking to see an open carrier's permit. To me, it's no more an infringement on my rights than a drunk driving checkpoint where, yes, they are stopping everone who is operating a motor vehicle, without prior cause, to find those doing so illegally and under the influence.

As a father and concerned citizen, I think the rest of our state should reserve this right, also. Honestly, if an officer feels suspicious of someone with a weapon, they should be allowed to investigate, f it is kept to a quick and simple check. What is the harm in that? If you don't want checked, get a permit and conceal.”

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144. jose luis gonzalez said... on Jun 1, 2013 at 10:05PM

“Excuse I have a question to ask? Well number 1 I'm fully aware about the whole open carry situation. But my main question is if I at a cook out and place my gun openly on the table is it illegal”

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145. Street SmartCity Boy said... on Jun 8, 2013 at 07:16AM

“So if I'm a clever bad guy and I want to get a gun I wait till I see and open carrier then jump him and take his. Likely that the victim won't see it coming and have time to draw. Just sayin'”

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146. Anonymous said... on Feb 24, 2014 at 04:22PM

“how many criminals does anybody know that will take the time to strap on a rig to carry their weapons either concealed or open. No that usually doesn't happen usually the criminal comes in with a gun stuck in his waistband and then use it so my thing is if your legal and license you're carrying it properly whether it be open or concealed”

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147. John D. Hopkins said... on Mar 26, 2014 at 06:05AM

“"Police must confirm or investigate?“
Do they have to checkmy pic every time drive?
Shoud all hammer carriers not be checked to see if they are licensed carpenters? Must they also have au union card?

Ignorance of the Constitution is so widespread the law in most cases shoiluld be irrelevant.”

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148. law abiding citizen said... on Apr 7, 2015 at 08:16PM

“if cops don't know the laws, what is it that they are doing out there? this is the best example that why we are responsible for our own well-being. i know it is hard for many sheeps to understand this logic. lol”

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149. Paul Davidson said... on May 22, 2015 at 08:20AM

“Great article. Thanks for the info, this is really a helpful post. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a carrier permit form, I found a blank form in this link This site PDFfiller also has several related forms that you might find useful.

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150. Paul Davidson said... on May 22, 2015 at 08:20AM

“Great article. Thanks for the info, this is really a helpful post. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a carrier permit form, I found a blank form in this link This site PDFfiller also has several related forms that you might find useful.”


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