Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Police News

December 6, 2013

ASK THE SHERIFF: Can an officer stop a person for openly carrying a firearm?

DEAR SHERIFF: Do officers have a right to stop/detain me merely because I openly carry a firearm? Can they ask me to display my handgun carry license? Do I need to carry my handgun license with me when I carry?

ANSWER: In a prior column I addressed the issue of open carry and concealed carry, all of which is legal in Indiana with a handgun license. My preference is concealed carry for tactical and practical reasons. While concealed, you tip your hand when you decide, not when someone observes your firearm and forces you to take action on their terms. In addition, many people seem to be disturbed by those who open carry a firearm. This may lead a business or person calling the police to report a “suspicious person with a firearm.”

For those of you who open carry, or someone observes your concealed firearm and they report it to police, at least in Elkhart County, the sheriff/chiefs/state police and prosecutor have all agreed to be consistent in stopping, detaining or asking for a handgun license in accordance to law and the Constitution.

In short, if the carrying of the firearm is the only focus, then an officer does not have a right to stop or detain you, nor ask for your handgun license. However, this does not mean that the officer cannot approach you and engage in conversation with you. This does not mean you are being detained unless the officer says so or keeps you from leaving.

Police get suspicious persons calls all the time and need to determine from the caller or situation what exactly is occurring and whether a crime is being committed or about to be committed. It makes sense that an officer would speak to the person carrying the firearm. If someone starts shooting up a place after a suspicious person was reported but the officers did nothing, then the public would be critical of the police for not investigating.

Text Only
Police News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Egypt Clamps Down on Mosques to Control Message After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?
Poll

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
     View Results