3FULLMAGS+1 wrote:Wonder if Justashooter has made any headway in the issue regarding his....uh....."activities" at the fair?
As a matter of fact I spoke with Captain Stance on the phone to discuss my concerns. As I understand it, Captain Stance is the training officer for the Stark County Sheriff's Office, and as 3FULLMAGS+1 had dealt with him in the past it seemed like a good person to speak with.
The conversation was generally positive, but I suspect that he has had plenty of training and experience in dealing with the public and likely has a solid dose of PR training and background as well so some of it has to be taken with a grain - or even healthy dose - of salt.
I expressed my concerns about the encounter: the nature of the request, the number of deputies involved, the *strong* wording, and the level of intimidation involved. I also questioned whether that type of request was department policy, and whether or not that was consistent with their training.
He said he was very supportive of open carry, and specifically acknowledged open carry as the embodiment of our right to keep and bear arms for self defense in Ohio. He thought that it was possible that the deputies involved may have been reserve / part-time officers and thus less experienced dealing with the public on this issue, but that the way I described the encounter and their request and apparent attempt at intimidation was not department policy, nor was it consistent with their training regarding encounters with open carriers, whether at the fair or any other venue. His take on the 4 deputies being involved was that when a person with a gun call was received, that all officers in the vicinity would respond and that had it been determined that there was a real issue there likely would have been considerably more that responded. His rationale for this type of response is that 90% or more of the person with a gun calls they receive are not law-abiding citizens with holstered sidearms, they tend to be actors with bad intent. As such, *only* having 4 deputies respond meant that word had likely gone out that there wasn't a real issue.
We discussed this a bit, and I expressed additional concern about the tactic used - especially if it was not policy or consistent with training - and that I'd hate to think of others being subject to that approach. He agreed that this would be an opportunity for him to start an internal dialog within the department to educate their staff. A teachable moment as it were.
Before we wrapped up I let him know that as a volunteer for OFCC that along with fighting for legislation to further and restore our gun rights in Ohio that this was exactly the sort of thing we worked against and I hoped we wouldn't hear of any similar encounters. He agreed with that sentiment, and offered to speak with me any time I had any concerns about how their department interacted with armed, law-abiding citizens in the future.