Monday, September 21, 2015

Illegal Open Carry Detention in North Las Vegas

Credit: Jose E. E. T., Facebook
On a Las Vegas Facebook firearm group, a member posted his experience with North Las Vegas police illegally detaining him at the Cheyenne Sports Complex while openly carrying his handgun.

The poster stated: “I was with a couple of friends in the parking lot a cop pass by and just started to tell me put your hands behind your back [...].” His firearm was not confiscated, however the officers did walk him back to his car, presumably to lock the gun in the car.

A full account from the poster is pending as Nevada Carry has requested a full interview for more details of the incident. What can be gleaned is that the poster was detained without probable cause for being in possession of a firearm in a park. He was not arrested or cited, but his was illegally prohibited from openly carrying his firearm.

As readers know, state law prohibits local authorities from regulating the carry of firearms or prohibiting them from local parks. This law was strengthened this year by SB 175 and SB 240. North Las Vegas just recently repealed its illegal firearm laws. Under state and city law, simply carrying a firearm openly in a city park would not be grounds for a detention (and wouldn’t be anywhere else carrying a firearm is permitted). Unless there are details we are not aware of, this was a totally illegal detention and a violation of civil rights.

North Las Vegas police have an incredibly bad rap when it comes to open carry. Before state preemption laws were enacted in 1989, carrying a firearm was highly restricted and per city ordinances, required a concealed firearm permit, despite state law being silent on open carry. After the preemption laws went into effect, sporadic illegal searches, seizures, and detentions occurred for those in violation of city ordinances. People openly carrying were stopped and detained. Firearms carried legally in vehicles were illegally seized. Anecdotal evidence states that minorities were disproportionately affected, profiled, harassed, and discriminated against.

Despite officers’ behaviors changing over time and preemption laws, rumors persisted that it was still illegal to have a firearm in a vehicle or carry one openly. These rumors were conclusively disproved here.

The risk was that a rogue officer who engaged in illegal, unconstitutional acts would still enforce them always existed. Yet the prevalence of these incidents has declined precipitously over the years to the point it has become almost a non-issue. The editor of Nevada Carry and others in the open carry movement have carried openly in North Las Vegas many times without incident. Sadly, racial profiling, open disdain of armed citizens, and unconstitutional and unethical police behavior is apparently once again raising its ugly head in North Las Vegas.

Nevada Carry has asked North Las Vegas police for a comment. 

1 comment:

  1. Follow up article: