Odd how these open carry stories all sound the same, regardless of where they occur. Former President BJ (Bill) Clinton promised to put 100,000 new cops on the street. Is it possible he hired them all from the former Soviet Union?
On Saturday July 5, 2008 at approximately 20:30, my daughter, (redacted), and myself pulled into Netty’s Ice Cream Shop at 4568 Woodville Road in Northwood, Ohio for an ice cream cone for her birthday. We were riding my motorcycle for the evening. When we arrived at Netty’s, there was a short line so we stood in line for a few minutes before we were served. After receiving our ice cream cones, we returned to my motorcycle and began having a conversation.
At about 20:40, a Northwood Police car came flying into the parking lot. The officer jumped out of his patrol car and walked over to a man wearing a gray shirt, baseball cap, and blue jeans. The officer and the man in plain clothes had a short conversation and then proceeded to approach me and my daughter. I told the police officer that I held a CHL and was carrying my gun. Both men then identified themselves as Northwood police officers. The uniformed police officer then told me that he didn’t want to see my concealed handgun license (CHL) but wanted my drivers license. I gave them my identification. The off-duty officer (ODO) stated that he was concerned that I was open carrying a gun with children in the area, referring to his children that were with him. I then asked him if his children had ever seen his gun since he was a Northwood police officer. He never answered my question. Both officers then proceeded to tell me that my gun had to be concealed. A “spirited” conversation then ensued about the law on concealed carry weapons. I stated that open carry was legal and stated dates and cases to prove my knowledge of the concealed carry laws. The ODO stated that I was wrong and that it was not legal. The uniformed officer then stated that open carry was illegal. I began to repeat myself to the uniformed officer when a third officer arrived and the ODO left.
The uniformed officer that had arrived stated that open carry was illegal. I told him that I had spoken with the Ohio Highway Patrol (OHP) and that they stated that open-carry was legal. He then stated that the OHP lied to me. He then told me that the Northwood Police Department had me on videotape at Speedway on Woodville Road in Northwood, Ohio, carrying open and that I was impersonating a police officer. This particular Speedway is not posted regarding carrying a concealed weapon on premise. I then asked him if I looked like a police officer since I have over 30 tattoos and multiple piercings over my body. He agreed and stated that I didn’t look like a police officer. I also stated that I didn’t have to wear a uniform to carry a gun and that I had the documentation to prove my information was correct but the officer wasn’t interested in seeing the documents. He also stated that if he arrived at a call and saw me, because of my appearance, that I would be the first person he would take down. He continued threatening me by stating that because I didn’t wear a uniform I would get shot because of my appearance. As our conversation continued the officer stated that if he arrived at the company I patrol in the area (redacted) and had seen me with a gun he would “pop” me because of my appearance. The officers said that they would let this instance slide this time but if it happened one more time that they would arrest me and let the judge decide who was right. I asked the officers on what grounds would they arrest me on and neither officer could answer my question.
The officer that had my ID gave it back to me broken. When I told him that it was a new ID and that he had broken it in two, he shrugged his shoulders and said oh well. The officers then turned and went back to their cars and left.
The following night, I returned to Speedway and the young girl at the counter stated that the officers were there asking if she was scared of me and the fact that I carry a weapon in the open and her reply was that she felt safer with me around because I stop in every night to check on her at various hours of the night and that was more than the police department has been doing for her.