Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carrying

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Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carrying

Postby BB62 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:09 pm

First, some background...

Cincinnati SORTA is the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. "Metro" is the name of the bus component of SORTA.

Cincinnati's latest waste of taxpayer money is the "streetcar", which runs on steel rails and is powered by overhead electricity. It was due to start running this past summer, and an out-of-state friend of mine indicated that he thought he saw that they were going to post 'No Guns' signage. So, I used the streetcar's feedback page to ask "Are people allowed to carry firearms on the streetcar?" (8/9/16)

My query got an initial response (8/12) of "In consultation between Metro and the City, it has been determined that weapons are not allowed on the streetcar. The policy is the same as Metro bus." As you might expect, that produced a records request from me a number of e-mails about the delayed response, finally culminating in a response (9/2) from Andrew Garth, Cincinnati's Chief Counsel for Transportation and Major Infrastructure; copying in another Cincinnati attorney and I believe two transportation people.

Mr. Garth's response in part:

"Thank you for your email inquiry regarding carrying of firearms on the streetcar. I apologize for not responding sooner. I am writing to let you know that the City is in the process of performing a records search and review to determine if there are any documents responsive to your request, which I’ve replicated below along with status updates. We are also using your request as an opportunity to educate persons working on streetcar matters about Ohio’s open carry and concealed carry laws.

As an initial matter, I want to clarify that the streetcar is operated by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, not the City of Cincinnati. The City has no formal policy or ordinance applicable to the carrying of firearms on the streetcar. Accordingly, I must clarify that Mr. Deatrick’s prior email response to you concerning SORTA’s weapons policies in connection with Metro bus was a good faith effort to provide you with helpful information, but his response regarding the applicability of Metro bus policies to the streetcar was premature. If SORTA in its capacity as operator of the streetcar establishes a streetcar-related protocol concerning firearms (to my knowledge, they have not adopted any such policy), the City anticipates that such a policy will take into account applicable Ohio law – including open carry and concealed carry rights. At this time, the Cincinnati Police representatives involved in City streetcar matters are aware of your inquiry and have indicated that they will not interfere with the right to open carry or concealed carry on streetcars consistent with Ohio law. (Note, however, that the revised code (ORC 2923.16) does limit the manner of open on motor vehicles, including in the public transit context.) ..."

I finally received a meaningful response to my records request (10/10), including a document which shows what I believe to be Metro's willingness to be sneaky about their firearms policy (I'll save everyone the detail), which prompted yet another note to Mr. Garth, et al, on 10/11. I haven't received a response to my note yet.

So... that's the background.

The next post is my e-mail to various parties, including Mr. Garth, the other Cincinnati attorney, and the transportation people.
Yes, I do believe in open carry. An openly armed man is clear in his intentions. Concealed carriers are sneaks and skulkers and elitist, boot licking, political contribution making, running dog lackies of The Man. <wink> (thx grumpycoconut - OpenCarry.org)

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Today's e-mail to various parties

Postby BB62 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:10 pm

E-mail sent moments ago to Mr. Garth, the other Cincinnati lawyer, and the two transportation people:

Gentlemen & Ms. Hardin,

I’m not sure who to address this to at SORTA/Metro, so I’ve addressed it to multiple people. I’ve cced officers from CPD because I want to compliment their staff.

This afternoon (10/18/16) at 1:25 PM I boarded an outbound route 19 bus at the intersection of E. McMillan & Vine Street. Boarding with me were two older black gentlemen, one with multiple white bags (of groceries?), the other a fellow with I believe an Air Force Veteran hat. I was wearing khaki shorts, a white shirt with blue horizontal stripes, and a single handgun openly carried in a retention holster on my right hip.

I had a transfer ticket that I gotten from the last bus I was on, and as I boarded I asked the driver (a black female) what I should do with it, since I haven’t been on a bus in a number of years. The bus driver instructed me where to insert the ticket and I did so. Nothing further was said by either of us. The bus was pretty full, but I spotted an open seat in the middle back of the bus, where I sat.

The bus proceeded down Vine Street, stopped once I believe, then turned left on W. Nixon, then right on Jefferson Avenue. The bus stopped at Jefferson & Ruther and a black man in a white shirt (who I presumed to be a supervisor, and was later identified to me as Damien Scearce) got on the bus and motioned to me, saying (I think) “I need you to come up here”, and I said “No, come on back”. He got off the bus, I continued to sit in my seat, and to my shock some of the passengers said ‘These Metro people are so stupid! If you have a license you can carry on the bus!”. Others protested the delay, so I got up and walked to the front of the bus. The supervisor got back on and said “The police are coming”, to which I responded “Good”, and remained on the bus.

At some point during our initial contact (before I deboarded) I told Mr. Scearce that he should get ahold of his superiors because he clearly didn’t know the law, but he responded that he had already done so.

Not wanting to be left in Clifton when my car was in Mt. Airy, and unsure how the CPD officers would handle the matter, I placed a call to 911 (1:39 PM) and asked to be connected to Asst. Chief Neudigate, who I know knows Ohio law. Since I was still on the bus, and it was hard for me to hear, I think I was connected to the Chief’s secretary, who told me that both the Chief and the Asst. Chief were out of town.

An officer (later identified at T. Campbell, PS600, District 5) came to the door of the bus, told me that he knew I was legally carrying, and asked me to get off the bus. I told him that I didn’t want to, I wanted to get home. He said he would take me home once matters were resolved, so I got off. During my initial contact with Officer Campbell, and during our subsequent conversation, he made it clear that “we” (CPD) knew the law, but that Metro’s policy was ‘No guns on the bus unless the person is in uniform”.

I offered Officer Campbell my Concealed Handgun License and ID, which I believe he looked over and gave back to me, then later asked for them again because the Metro Supervisor asked for my information. I didn’t mind giving it at the time, but the more I think about it, I want my personal information eliminated from SORTA/Metro’s records.

Shortly after I got off the bus, one of the older gentlemen (the veteran) I boarded with was ordered to get off by the bus driver. I believe she said something to the effect of “This bus isn’t going anywhere until you get off!”. I asked him what had happened and he said that he had merely said ‘When are we going to move?’ I think the bus driver’s decision was one of spite. I asked one of the CPD officers if she was going to ensure that he got home, and she said that the Metro supervisor would see to it.

Mr. Scearce was completely unhelpful and unwilling to give his name, even moving around when I tried to read his name badge. I only confirmed what I thought I read on his name badge because of the intervention of Officer Campbell. He listed his number as 632-7550.

I briefly spoke to the UC Police Officer (young, white male) who arrived as matters were concluding, then Officer Campbell drove me to my car in Mt. Airy.

The CPD officers on-scene were clearly aware of the law, conducted themselves professionally, and have my compliments. I believe there were a total of three CPD officers near the bus, and two more who arrived and either left or stayed in their vehicles.

On the other hand, gentlemen & Ms. Hardin – you have some decisions to make/serious work to do. First, my e-mail below (10/11/16) has not been responded to, so I’m left to wonder why it is that Mr. Scearce’s inquiry of his superior(s) came back with ‘No guns on buses unless one is in uniform”. That begs the question: Is Metro’s apparent policy in conflict with Ohio law as I’ve described it, or does Metro have a training issue?

I’m sure you can imagine what I might request if various people insist on forcing me to do a number of records requests – both of Metro and of the CPD. I also have my own audio recording.

1) I want SORTA/Metro’s policy clearly spelled out so I can proceed as appropriate, or 2) if SORTA/Metro’s policy is silent on the matter of firearm carry on buses (& the trolley), as is indicated by the absence of signage on the interior and exterior of the buses I rode on today, I want, at minimum, a copy of the training material used to bring all line and supervisory staff up to speed on the law and SORTA/Metro policy.

I hope and expect I will receive a prompt reply to this e-mail.


me
Yes, I do believe in open carry. An openly armed man is clear in his intentions. Concealed carriers are sneaks and skulkers and elitist, boot licking, political contribution making, running dog lackies of The Man. <wink> (thx grumpycoconut - OpenCarry.org)

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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby TJW815 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:19 pm

Sounds like you had an eventful day. Did the officer disarm you to take you to your vehicle? I see many bus rides coming up soon.
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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby BB62 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:29 pm

TJW815 wrote:Sounds like you had an eventful day. Did the officer disarm you to take you to your vehicle? ...

No disarming, lots of apologies from him that "we" (CPD) know the law, and that Metro policy isn't under his control.

As a matter of fact, he didn't even ask to see my CHL - I offered it!

TJW815 wrote:...I see many bus rides coming up soon.

I'm seeing at least one group ride! LOL
Yes, I do believe in open carry. An openly armed man is clear in his intentions. Concealed carriers are sneaks and skulkers and elitist, boot licking, political contribution making, running dog lackies of The Man. <wink> (thx grumpycoconut - OpenCarry.org)

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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby TJW815 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:50 pm

Let's fill the bus and get a few transfers lol
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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby Brian D. » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:22 pm

I stand ready to help "throw SORTA under the bus" by means of multiple OC rides, marches in front of their headquarters or director's home, or disarm to take them to court, use statehouse connections to get them defunded, whatever. I wish our Ohio AG could grow a set and weigh in, but, that's not his style.
Quit worrying, hide your gun well, shut up, and CARRY that handgun!

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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby dademoss » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:23 pm

I always wanted to ride on the Streetcar :)
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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby Chuck » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:57 pm

Excellent job, Jeffry!
My hat is off to your sir!
Ain't activism fun?

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What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of GOD, I will do."
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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby docachna » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:16 pm

Sir, I admire your dedication. If I were still living in Cbus, I would be driving down for a ride-in !!!
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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby fisher » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:26 pm

Positives:

1:CPD knows the law.
2:Random bus riders know the law.

That aside, if this goes the way of a rolling OC event because of SORTA being unwilling to cooperate, count me in.

Thanks for the work you have put in.
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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby BB62 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:49 am

fisher wrote:Positives:

1:CPD knows the law.
2:Random bus riders know the law.

That aside, if this goes the way of a rolling OC event because of SORTA being unwilling to cooperate, count me in.

Thanks for the work you have put in.

Thank you, sir!
Yes, I do believe in open carry. An openly armed man is clear in his intentions. Concealed carriers are sneaks and skulkers and elitist, boot licking, political contribution making, running dog lackies of The Man. <wink> (thx grumpycoconut - OpenCarry.org)

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E-mail to various SORTA directors & presumed outside counsel

Postby BB62 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:51 am

Yesterday the Cincinnati police were contacted and I was thrown off a Metro bus (details below), apparently because of one or both of the following:

1) SORTA/Metro’s illegal, misleading firearm policy
2) Poor communications and/or employee training regarding SORTA/Metro’s firearm policy

This is simply unacceptable.

Since I will be using Metro (buses & trolleys) again, I expect SORTA/Metro to *promptly* take steps so circumstances don’t repeat themselves.

A repeat of this incident, regardless of who the passenger may be, could conclude in a far less satisfactory manner.

I strongly suggest it would be prudent for SORTA/Metro to expeditiously bring its policies and employee training in line with Ohio law.

I look forward to your prompt response.


me
Yes, I do believe in open carry. An openly armed man is clear in his intentions. Concealed carriers are sneaks and skulkers and elitist, boot licking, political contribution making, running dog lackies of The Man. <wink> (thx grumpycoconut - OpenCarry.org)

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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby pirateguy191 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:29 pm

Just let it go. Sheesh......
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby BB62 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:25 pm

pirateguy191 wrote:Just let it go. Sheesh......

You're so right. I should have just ignored their illegal policy and gone about my day... Uh, hold on a second! :wink:

:roll:

SORTA owns and operates Metro buses, and the City of Cincinnati owns the streetcar and tracks - but SORTA operates it. Got it? :D

Before now, I haven't had e-mail addresses in order to communicate directly to the SORTA people, hence my most recent e-mail.

Now, go back to your cage! :mrgreen:
Yes, I do believe in open carry. An openly armed man is clear in his intentions. Concealed carriers are sneaks and skulkers and elitist, boot licking, political contribution making, running dog lackies of The Man. <wink> (thx grumpycoconut - OpenCarry.org)

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Re: Just **thrown off** Cincinnati bus while legally carryin

Postby Brian D. » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:04 pm

BB62 wrote:
pirateguy191 wrote:Just let it go. Sheesh......

You're so right. I should have just ignored their illegal policy and gone about my day... Uh, hold on a second! :wink:

:roll:

SORTA owns and operates Metro buses, and the City of Cincinnati owns the streetcar and tracks - but SORTA operates it. Got it? :D

Before now, I haven't had e-mail addresses in order to communicate directly to the SORTA people, hence my most recent e-mail.

Now, go back to your cage! :mrgreen:


Nah, pirateguy191 lives under a bridge. But as trolls go, it must be a classy bridge like one built by John Roebling. :mrgreen:
Quit worrying, hide your gun well, shut up, and CARRY that handgun!

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