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View Full Version : Federal judge: Concealed carry on MARTA is probable cause of criminal activity


joelberg
12-22-2009, 1:49 PM
via: http://www.examiner.com/x-5619-Atlanta-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m12d15-Federal-judge-rules-concealed-carry-is-probable-cause-of-criminal-activity

Federal judge holds that carrying a firearm concealed justifies detention and disarmament, as does carrying a firearm on MARTA.
(btw, MARTA is the public train and bus system in Atlanta)

"Northern District of Georgia federal judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. ruled today that carrying a firearm on MARTA justifies forcible detention by the police, in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed over the half hour long detention and disarmament of GeorgiaCarry.Org member Christopher Raissi."

court documents: http://www.georgiacarry.org/cms/2009/12/15/judge-issues-order-in-marta-case/

MidnightSon117
12-22-2009, 2:01 PM
It looks like the problem is calling what happened a "concealed carry" incident. Even if he's at his car, he's still in public...and the fact that this Raissi guy was seen holstering no longer makes it "concealed". This seems more like a case of brandishing.

spddrcr
12-22-2009, 2:37 PM
i dont blame the guy for carrying on MARTA, and having family that lives in Georgia I know lots of other people that carry while riding MARTA as it is not safe to ride without carrying a weapon.

bigcalidave
12-22-2009, 2:55 PM
As soon as he produced the license he should have been free to go! What right do they have to further check him? Trying to make sure that he's the same person as the license says? Or the license is valid? Still shouldn't take more than a few minutes. At least it sounds like he didn't get beat down in the parking lot. He should have been more careful in holstering the gun...

ilbob
12-22-2009, 4:34 PM
I question the wisdom of attacking this situation and the airport problem in the federal courts. It seems to me that the issue is really what the state law actually means and it would seem most appropriate for that to be litigated in state court.

The main issue really seems to be how poorly the law is written. Maybe instead of filing lawsuits, the lawyers ought to help the legislators who are drafting them to come up with better crafted acts.

Shotgun Man
12-22-2009, 5:23 PM
It looks like the problem is calling what happened a "concealed carry" incident. Even if he's at his car, he's still in public...and the fact that this Raissi guy was seen holstering no longer makes it "concealed". This seems more like a case of brandishing.

Brandishing implies displaying the weapon in a menacing, threatening manner. I don't believe there's any evidence of that.

Glock22Fan
12-22-2009, 6:09 PM
I thought carrying a concealed weapon on Marta, with a CCW, was legal? Or did this case take place before that became so?

Nope: this incident took place after it became legal.

So, the presumed crime was that he did not in fact have a CCW (firearms licence). Surely the presumption of a crime was over once he produced his licence? Why did it then take another 30 minutes to clear him?

This is yet more judicial harrassment.

MidnightSon117
12-22-2009, 7:36 PM
Brandishing implies displaying the weapon in a menacing, threatening manner. I don't believe there's any evidence of that.

This seems to be two issues. The officer's conduct, and the court's decision

If there's a perceived threat because of something that happened before (like the officer encountered a similar scenario that went bad), I can understand why the officer may feel threatened or at least cautious. I'd rather err on the side of caution, like the officer did. In either case, getting caught holstering/drawing a firearm without justification is the big no-no. If he ccw holder was more discreet, this wouldn't have happened in the first place.

They took him aside, detained him for half an hour, and gave him back his fierarm. Doesn't seem like any real abuse happened, from what was written.

The blanket statement the court stated after is what bothers me:
"Judge Thrash held that merely carrying a concealed firearm justifies such detention and disarmament."

sholling
12-22-2009, 8:22 PM
We need to keep this in context. Under their laws he could have open carried therefore being seen with a weapon is no big deal. Yes it would be nice if he were more discrete but he was well within his rights.

spddrcr
12-22-2009, 11:28 PM
I havent studied the release for this to much but alot of are wondering why and how this could have happened. Ill preface this by stating that racism is alive and well in the south and that it works both ways. what would be a simple misunderstanding in some places can take on a whole differnt situation and tone in georgia. again i dont know what makeup the people involved were but i have seen what would have been simple traffic stops turn into people going to jail based on race.
I do hope that is not the case.

GaryV
12-23-2009, 7:19 AM
Having read most of the documents, I'd say that the judge was partially right. The officers saw the gun, and saw that he concealed it. Since carrying concealed without a license is still a crime in GA, they had reasonable suspicion that he was committing a crime, so they had the authority they needed for a Terry stop. As the judge pointed out, having a license is an affirmative defense to the crime of carrying concealed in GA, so it is up to the citizen to show that he has a license, not up to the officers to demonstrate a reason to believe he doesn't.

However, the judge then screws up in saying they then had authority to check to see if he was a prohibited person after he produced his license. The exact same standard applies as to the license, except in this case not being a felon is NOT an affirmative defense to possession of a gun by a felon, so it is on the officers to produce evidence that would lead them to believe such to be the case before they investigate that separate crime. They should have returned his gun and released him once he produced his license (and, if they have the means to do so, checked its validity).

Yes, he could have OC'd, but he didn't. After allowing an officer to see that he had a gun, he concealed it in the officer's view. That set up reasonable suspicion of a crime. The judge was correct on allowing the initial detention and securing of the gun. But the only crime they could reasonably suspect was CC. Once they had exhausted their investigation of that, they should have let him go. The judge was wrong in saying that they could additionally check his status as a non-prohibited person.

WokMaster1
12-23-2009, 8:03 AM
i dont blame the guy for carrying on MARTA, and having family that lives in Georgia I know lots of other people that carry while riding MARTA as it is not safe to ride without carrying a weapon.

The art of legal concealed carry includes not talking about it & only letting those that need to know, know. Most importantly not showing the weapon.

I agree about MARTA. Certain areas are fine but once you head up from Five Points station to the airport, it can get dicey.

MidnightSon117
12-23-2009, 4:50 PM
The art of legal concealed carry includes not talking about it & only letting those that need to know, know. Most importantly not showing the weapon.



After allowing an officer to see that he had a gun, he concealed it in the officer's view. That set up reasonable suspicion of a crime. The judge was correct on allowing the initial detention and securing of the gun.


Exactly! He was futzing around in a car and exposing his firearm, then hiding it. Come on, I expect any LE to come question me at that point, regardless of CC or OC.

Shotgun Man
12-23-2009, 5:32 PM
Exactly! He was futzing around in a car and exposing his firearm, then hiding it. Come on, I expect any LE to come question me at that point, regardless of CC or OC.

Just because you expect it doesn't mean it is right.

I would expect to get mugged walking the streets of Oakland at night. In a better world, I would expect to be safe.

MidnightSon117
12-23-2009, 5:42 PM
Just because you expect it doesn't mean it is right.

I would expect to get mugged walking the streets of Oakland at night. In a better world, I would expect to be safe.

That doesn't relate.

"I expect a crime to happen to me, even though it's not right" is not the same as, "I exposed my concealed weapon in front of LE and I know that's not right".