A Wash. state man taking photographs while legally open carrying a holstered firearm was confronted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers outside the Port of Tacoma Thursday, which led to one of the officers pulling his firearm on the man.
The man, who goes by “Rogue Reflections” on Youtube, was confronted by security guards outside the port demanding to know his name and why he was taking photos. When he legally refused to comply with the guards request, security called for backup claiming the man was “being aggressive.”
Once U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrived, one officer began asking the man if he was authorized to take photos outside the port. The officer was seemingly unaware of the numerous court rulings upholding the first amendment right to do so, despite a new push by the Department of Homeland Security to label photography as terroristic in nature.
Once “Officer Daniel” noticed the mans holstered firearm, he quickly drew his, yelling “gun” while nearly hyperventilating at the sight of a legally armed citizen, seemingly unaware of the open carry laws within the state.
“Is my hand on my holster? Am I making any threatening gestures toward you?” the man asked Daniel.
After Officer Daniel refused to give his badge number, a supervisor arrived asking if the man had his permit to carry a firearm, despite no permit being required to open carry. The supervisor went on to inform the man that he had every right to take photos while on public land before telling him he was free to leave.
Some argue that the man open carrying was asking for trouble while others say he was simply engaged in legal activity, exercising his rights.
Open carry has become an increasingly popular practice, done by some who wish to inform the public of its legality and constitutional history as well as those who simply prefer to carry openly as a deterrent to criminals. While more officers are becoming knowledgeable and properly trained on the practice, even more are still unaware and continue to violate the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Last March, Master Sergeant C.J. Grisham was accosted and illegally arrested by officers for “rudely displaying” his hunting rifle while hiking with his 15-year-old son in Texas.