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Encounter with Police

ShawsDQ

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I currently live in Connecticut and have several pistol permits (CT, FL, NH, ME). I recently took a weekend trip up to Bennington, VT with my two brothers to just have a relaxing weekend and do a little hiking, sightseeing, etc. Since Vermont doesn't require any permit to carry a handgun, so one of my brothers and I decided to take our guns along. From my understanding, Vermont appeared to be pretty gun friendly from everything I’ve seen online. The first night we were there we both decided to open carry while out and had no issues. The problem came later that evening back at the motel. Before going to bed we decided to remove the magazines and keep the guns unload. Not necessary, but we figured it was a good idea to keep them unloaded while sleeping. Not like it would take very long to load them if we had an issue during the night. The guns were just placed on the table in plain sight.

We had a medical issue around 3 am that morning with my older brother. He is diabetic and his blood sugar got too low and he had a seizure in the motel bathroom. Since we were traveling and didn’t have the necessary shot to get his blood sugar back up, it was necessary to call 911 and get him some medical help. Under normal circumstances I probably would have put the guns away to not cause any alarm, but as you can imagine I just didn’t even think about this at the time. The first to arrive to our room were two officers who said the paramedics should arrive shortly. I was assisting my brother on the bathroom floor for several minutes while the officers ask some basic questions (Where you from?, etc.). Because we were on the opposite end of the room and there were several bags also on the table, I don’t believe the guns were visible from where everyone was standing. One officer then said to my brother if it was ok if he had a look around the room. My brother then replied that he would mind and didn’t think it was necessary. The officer ignored his request and started looking around. Since they were right on the table it didn’t take long for him to see the guns. The officer then asked my brother why we had guns. My brother then said he did not feel comfortable answering any more questions. As you can imagine, the officers are now getting pretty upset. He asks one more time why we have guns in the room. Again, my brother says he will not answer any more questions. At this time one of the officer handcuffs my brother and the other officer ask me to get out of the bathroom and put my hands on wall. I was also searched and handcuffs. During this time my other brother is still unresponsive and lying on the bathroom floor, the paramedics have still not arrived. I can’t determine how they thought we were a threat. We were both assisting my brother in the bathroom and there were two unloaded firearms on the other side of the bedroom? Nonetheless, they separate both of us and start the usual questioning. During this time, they are running our information and checking the serial numbers on the guns. They ignore our request to not be searched and start going through all of our bags. I start to answer some basic questions about where I work, how long I've worked there, but after a few questions I realize this has nothing to do with anything and realized no matter what I said, it wasn't going to help. From this point forward I decide to exercise my right to not answer any questions. It’s very obvious they are getting upset that we wont answer why we have guns or why we are in Vermont. I'm sure it would have been easier to just answer their questions, not like we were doing anything wrong, but I know everything is going to come back fine, why bother? Its pretty clear they are taking their time after all our stuff comes back clean. I continue to ask why we are being detained. They keep stating it is necessary for the safety of the paramedics. Still can’t figure out how we are a threat to them? In total we were in handcuffs for about 45-50 minutes until the paramedics left. At that time one officer said that things would have gone a lot different if we had just answered his questions. I honestly believe that the reason we were detained was because we exercised our 5th amendment rights to not answer any of his questions.

I'm sure I could have handled the situation better. I probably only answered about 5% of their questions after getting handcuffed. Looking back I really shouldn't have said anything.

I'd like to hear anyone’s suggestion. Should we have just been honest upfront? I could have easily just said we have guns for self defense. I just believe that I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone why I own a gun. I don’t think things would have gone differently even if we did cooperate. I believe these guys had the mentality that nobody but cops should have guns. One of the officers kept telling me that if we were in New York we would have been in serious trouble. Not sure how that was relevant at all, we are in Vermont! Based on the fact he kept asking questions about CT law and how he was familiar with NY laws, I’m pretty sure he was from New York. It may explain his attitude about guns.

It seems weird to me that we were even detained. Are they going to detain everyone and run their information every time they see someone with a gun? Looks like they would be wasting a lot of time by stopping everyone they see caring a gun, or every time they see a gun in the house even though they are there for completely different reasons.

Please let me know your suggestions and what you would have done differently.

Thanks,
Chris
 

Alex

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Personally, I would have said they were just for self defense, You have to think both ways, LEO walks in, there's a gun on the table and no one is giving them any reason why there is a gun on the table, if I was on his end, esp. because your not from Vermont, I would feel uncomfortable as well. You have to realize that they deal with all types of people everyday... I am sure many people will disagree with me, but I have several LEO friends, and I understand some of the stuff they deal with daily.
 

Grapeshot

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Do you have any support information/data/cite for this event?
Stories without documentation are just well, stories aren't they.

Are you anticipating contacting an attorney or otherwise following through?
Presuming that this is a possibility, this is NOT the place to be discussing this.

Yata hey
 

ScottNH

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Alex wrote:
Personally, I would have said they were just for self defense, You have to think both ways, LEO walks in, there's a gun on the table and no one is giving them any reason why there is a gun on the table, if I was on his end, esp. because your not from Vermont, I would feel uncomfortable as well. You have to realize that they deal with all types of people everyday... I am sure many people will disagree with me, but I have several LEO friends, and I understand some of the stuff they deal with daily.

I fail to see what this has to do with it. Are "out-of-stater's" looked at as more threatening than "Vermonters?"

I thought that attitude was a caricature of small-town Southern law enforcement.
 

Thundar

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Calling for an ambulance for a diabetic in distress is not RAS.

Having firearms in Vermont is not RAS.

Asserting your 5th A right is not RAS.

"EMT safety" does not trump your rights.

FInd a lawyer, go get 'em.
 

LRS76251

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[align=left]Something doesn't feel "right" with this story, but I'm not throwing the BS flag...yet. There has been a lot of malarkey making rounds on the forums lately and it doesn't make the gun community look too bright in the public eye. Thats all I'm prepared to say about it for now.[/align]
 

vermonter

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QUOTE: "I fail to see what this has to do with it. Are "out-of-stater's" looked at as more threatening than "Vermonters?"

Take a look at the men in these photos, they are from Connecticut: http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=8870465

THIS is what's coming Vermont on a daily basis. Even if you don't look like them and you are from CT, MA, NJ, or NY you will be looked at with suspicion if you are young, drive a fast or trashy car, or wear hip hop clothes. I have been stopped for minor traffic stuff (I drive aold carwith a cracked windshield and a bad inspection sticker). I always hand the officer my NH & FL CCW with my DL and inform him I am carrying. They always ask why am I carrying, and I state "for personal protection". It has never escalated past that b/c I respect the officers and know he is dealing with A LOT of trash from NJ, NY, MA and CT. I am sure you boys are outstanding citizens having thoses CCW's, but you need to understand what is happening in VT. If you have nothing to hide why not say: "go ahead officer, have a cursory look,BTW here are our CCW's and there are firearms on the table for personal protection. I am just letting you know for your safety". Who can argue that? I am not defending the cops, but I do know that VT police are the LEAST likely in the nation to violate your civil rights. If you stayed in one of the MANY fleabag motels in Bennie, it will be assumed you are there for drug activity.
 

ShawsDQ

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Alex wrote:
Personally, I would have said they were just for self defense, You have to think both ways, LEO walks in, there's a gun on the table and no one is giving them any reason why there is a gun on the table, if I was on his end, esp. because your not from Vermont, I would feel uncomfortable as well. You have to realize that they deal with all types of people everyday... I am sure many people will disagree with me, but I have several LEO friends, and I understand some of the stuff they deal with daily.
I appreciate your opinion and understand the other side. I might have said for personal defense if I had been asked. You have to understand though that the first time I was asked any questions related to the guns, I was already in handcuffs. Nothing said would make any difference at all.

My brother decided to exercise his 5th amendment right, so I decided to do the same.

Regardless, I do not see how this along can escalate the situation and warrant the detainment.
 

ShawsDQ

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LRS76251 wrote:
[align=left]Something doesn't feel "right" with this story, but I'm not throwing the BS flag...yet. There has been a lot of malarkey making rounds on the forums lately and it doesn't make the gun community look too bright in the public eye. Thats all I'm prepared to say about it for now.[/align]
Something doesn't "feel" right? You can say that about any story you've ever heard. Not sure exactly what I'd gain by making this situation up...

If by not “too bright” you are referring to individuals that come to conclusions without knowing the facts, then there seems to be plenty.
 

ShawsDQ

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vermonter wrote
If you have nothing to hide why not say: "go ahead officer, have a cursory look,BTW here are our CCW's and there are firearms on the table for personal protection. I am just letting you know for your safety".
I can certainly see your position. I also have the thought that regardless if you are guilty of a crime or not, it should not change the way you handle your rights. I cannot think of any situation where I would allow myself to be searched.

On a side note, it is very ironic that I decided to wear my "RIP US CONSTITUTION" t-shirt to bed. One of the officers did question the meaning. How appropriate.
 

ScottNH

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vermonter wrote:
QUOTE: "I fail to see what this has to do with it. Are "out-of-stater's" looked at as more threatening than "Vermonters?"

Take a look at the men in these photos, they are from Connecticut: http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=8870465

THIS is what's coming Vermont on a daily basis. Even if you don't look like them and you are from CT, MA, NJ, or NY you will be looked at with suspicion if you are young, drive a fast or trashy car, or wear hip hop clothes. I have been stopped for minor traffic stuff (I drive aold carwith a cracked windshield and a bad inspection sticker). I always hand the officer my NH & FL CCW with my DL and inform him I am carrying. They always ask why am I carrying, and I state "for personal protection". It has never escalated past that b/c I respect the officers and know he is dealing with A LOT of trash from NJ, NY, MA and CT. I am sure you boys are outstanding citizens having thoses CCW's, but you need to understand what is happening in VT. If you have nothing to hide why not say: "go ahead officer, have a cursory look,BTW here are our CCW's and there are firearms on the table for personal protection. I am just letting you know for your safety". Who can argue that? I am not defending the cops, but I do know that VT police are the LEAST likely in the nation to violate your civil rights. If you stayed in one of the MANY fleabag motels in Bennie, it will be assumed you are there for drug activity.
Interesting! So, there is no home-grown trash in VT? What a Nirvana you've discovered there!

I wonder how you'd feel if NH LEO's automatically suspended the rights of any "trash" coming in from VT? I certainly don't like the way this is headed.
 

Jay

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Okay my 2 cents being a gun owner/carrier and an EMT as well. Do I believe in people excersizing their rights. Yes to a degree. You had a diabetic emergency you called 911 you allowed the cops into your home ie. the motel. Did you guys do anything against the law NO. Do I think it would have been easier if you just answered questions from the beginning and have not been shady. Without a doubt. You should have come clean about it being for self defense in this situation. If they stopped you minding your own business on the street, and not doing anything illegal except carrying openly. The cops can go pound sand as far as I am concerned. As an EMT our first duty is to protect ourselves that means guns are secured by cops in whatever means neccesary so I can do my job. Such as help your hypoglycemic brother. Especially in a motel known for drug activity I do not care if you claim to be related to the pope. I know Bennington very well my girlfriends parents live their, the cops are usually pretty good in that town. I also know that if you have permits from Connecticut having grown up there. That you guys probably have no criminal record because CT does not hand out permits unless you have the background of a saint. So I am sure you are upstanding citizens. So next time you call 911 and invite the cops and Paramedics to your home. If you leave your guns in plain view just answer their questions you will save yourself a headache in the long run.
 

Grapeshot

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LRS76251 wrote:
[align=left]Something doesn't feel "right" with this story, but I'm not throwing the BS flag...yet. There has been a lot of malarkey making rounds on the forums lately and it doesn't make the gun community look too bright in the public eye. Thats all I'm prepared to say about it for now.[/align]
I do not disagree. I have not had a response to the below previous posting either.

Do you have any support information/data/cite for this event? Stories without documentation are just well, stories aren't they.

Are you anticipating contacting an attorney or otherwise following through? Presuming that this is a possibility, this is NOT the place to be discussing this.
Lacking a definitive response, leaves this story and this thread both swinging in the breeze.

Yata hey
 

NewHampshireNative

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ScottNH wrote:
vermonter wrote:
QUOTE: "I fail to see what this has to do with it. Are "out-of-stater's" looked at as more threatening than "Vermonters?"

Take a look at the men in these photos, they are from Connecticut: http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=8870465

THIS is what's coming Vermont on a daily basis. Even if you don't look like them and you are from CT, MA, NJ, or NY you will be looked at with suspicion if you are young, drive a fast or trashy car, or wear hip hop clothes. I have been stopped for minor traffic stuff (I drive aold carwith a cracked windshield and a bad inspection sticker). I always hand the officer my NH & FL CCW with my DL and inform him I am carrying. They always ask why am I carrying, and I state "for personal protection". It has never escalated past that b/c I respect the officers and know he is dealing with A LOT of trash from NJ, NY, MA and CT. I am sure you boys are outstanding citizens having thoses CCW's, but you need to understand what is happening in VT. If you have nothing to hide why not say: "go ahead officer, have a cursory look,BTW here are our CCW's and there are firearms on the table for personal protection. I am just letting you know for your safety". Who can argue that? I am not defending the cops, but I do know that VT police are the LEAST likely in the nation to violate your civil rights. If you stayed in one of the MANY fleabag motels in Bennie, it will be assumed you are there for drug activity.
Interesting! So, there is no home-grown trash in VT? What a Nirvana you've discovered there!

I wonder how you'd feel if NH LEO's automatically suspended the rights of any "trash" coming in from VT? I certainly don't like the way this is headed.
Vermonter is right Vermont is getting hit hard with scum from NY,MA,NJ,CT and not just the gang bangers and drug pushers. But people who move from the above said states to Vermont and try and impose their home state guns laws on the rest of us. NH is getting hit hard with the over flow of scum from MA most notably Manchester,NH. Has turned into scum port of NH. That's not to say NH nor VT does not have it's own red neck's and drunks/ all around trouble makers. But for the most part they never take it to far. The over flow bring mass amounts of drugs and crime to each state and do not care about life or who they may hurt when they start shooting. Is anyone state perfect hell no but Vermont is close to it. 90% of the local born and raised vermonters would go out of their way to help someone in need it's a vary nice state.
 

ShawsDQ

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Grapeshot wrote:
LRS76251 wrote:
[align=left]Something doesn't feel "right" with this story, but I'm not throwing the BS flag...yet. There has been a lot of malarkey making rounds on the forums lately and it doesn't make the gun community look too bright in the public eye. Thats all I'm prepared to say about it for now.[/align]
I do not disagree. I have not had a response to the below previous posting either.

Do you have any support information/data/cite for this event? Stories without documentation are just well, stories aren't they.

Are you anticipating contacting an attorney or otherwise following through? Presuming that this is a possibility, this is NOT the place to be discussing this.
Lacking a definitive response, leaves this story and this thread both swinging in the breeze.

Yata hey
I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for. Were you hoping I had the entire incident on video?

I was under the impression that this was a good place to post your stories to discuss with others. Maybe someone can learn from this, maybe I can learn from others suggestions. I guess I was wrong.

Although I have been on this site for some time, this was my first post. When I read stories from the site I have no reason to believe they are lying. I am not sure why you need proof? When your friends tell you a story do you always tend to assume they are lying unless the prove otherwise.
 

LRS76251

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Question I have is this...whowas attending toyour olderbrother while hewas having the diabetic seizure? Am I understanding correctly that BOTH of theofficerson scene were more interested in securing you and your other brother instead of attending to your older brother's immediate medical needs (the reason for the call to 911 in the first place)? I am having a very difficult time believing that BOTH officers would ignore your older brother while he's in the middle of having a diabetic seizure in favor of harassing you and your other brother unless both you were acting extremely suspicious at the time. Even then, the SOP is to render medical aid FIRST then sort out the rest later. Something isn't adding up here unless the OP has left out some vitaldetails about what happened. This is my take on the OP's situation. If I'm reading this wrong, please set me straight.
 

Jay

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LRS76251 wrote:
Question I have is this...whowas attending toyour olderbrother while hewas having the diabetic seizure? Am I understanding correctly that BOTH of theofficerson scene were more interested in securing you and your other brother instead of attending to your older brother's immediate medical needs (the reason for the call to 911 in the first place)? I am having a very difficult time believing that BOTH officers would ignore your older brother while he's in the middle of having a diabetic seizure in favor of harassing you and your other brother unless both you were acting extremely suspicious at the time. Even then, the SOP is to render medical aid FIRST then sort out the rest later. Something isn't adding up here unless the OP has left out some vitaldetails about what happened. This is my take on the OP's situation. If I'm reading this wrong, please set me straight.
I am only speculating here, and I understand where you are coming from. Unfortuantly none of us were there. However the first duty of the cops is to make the scene safe for the Paramedic/EMT to enter. Also to I do not know if Bennington cops are first responders, but if they are not they can not render medical aid any way. Again the first duty an EMT/Paramedic has is to make sure the scene is safe. If it is not safe they(we) do not treat. Again these guys could be upstanding citizens, but we do not know that.
 

LRS76251

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[align=left]Since whenis an accredited LE agency's officersnot taught at least basic first aid?? I've been in LE for a long time and we were always taught to render aid first if there isn't an EMT/ParamedicON SCENE, however, you don't do anything more than your scope...thats what theParamedics are for. You revert to LE duties only AFTER rendering aid. Maybe small departments are different or something, but what you are saying makes no sense. However, I do agree with you IF and only IF there are Paramedicson site and they attending to the person's medical needs. Otherwise, hell NO!! If you have 2 or more officers, then one renders aid while the others secure the scene until thebus/paramedics arrive.[/align]
 

Jay

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LRS76251 wrote:
[align=left]Since whenis an accredited LE agency's officersnot taught at least basic first aid?? I've been in LE for a long time and we were always taught to render aid first if there isn't an EMT/ParamedicON SCENE, however, you don't do anything more than your scope...thats what theParamedics are for. You revert to LE duties only AFTER rendering aid. Maybe small departments are different or something, but what you are saying makes no sense. However, I do agree with you IF and only IF there are Paramedicson site and they attending to the person's medical needs. Otherwise, hell NO!! If you have 2 or more officers, then one renders aid while the others secure the scene until thebus/paramedics arrive.[/align]
Again I do not know what the cops training is in this town. I have been an EMT for sixteen years most of the time in CT. The cops are taught basic first aid in the academy first responder level. Some departments do not require the officers to keep there first responder. I can not tell you how many times I have personally gone to the scene of medical patient, and the cops are not rendering any medical aid. They are usually just taking information from family etc.
 
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