Handcuffed, disarmed for obeying the law

Charlie Mitchener is a 61-year-old general building contractor with an office near Patrick Lane and Fort Apache in Las Vegas. He holds permits allowing him to legally carry concealed weapons in Nevada, Florida, and Utah.

Over the past three years, his office has been broken into five times. “Three of those occasions involved me interacting with Metro,” he wrote to me last week. “Each of the occasions began the same: my introduction, my presentation of my Nevada drivers license and my Concealed Firearms Permit. Prior to today, each Metro officer simply replied thank you, proceeded with his work and then when complete there was a conversation about firearms.”

Things were real different at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning Jan 3, however, when Mr. Mitchener called the Metropolitan Police Department to report the fifth break-in at his office.

“Vin, I hope I did not see the future this morning,” Charlie e-mailed me. “Today was drastically different.”

The responding officer was a lady cop, Officer J. Rogers, badge number 13525.

“Upon presentation of my CFP, the officer asked if I had the weapon on me to which I replied yes. She then said to spread my legs and put my hands behind my back. I complied and she then handcuffed me. While doing so, she said that she wanted to make certain “that we were all safe.”

Officer Rogers stripped Mr. Mitchener of the Glock 19 he was carrying, took the weapon and locked it in her patrol car.

“Bear in mind that she had yet to clear my office (she was waiting for backup for clearing),” Charlie writes. “So, while remote, there was the possibility that the bad guys were still in my office and would come rushing out, finding me, to their delight, handcuffed. Apparently I was not included in her comment ‘that we were all safe.’ It is always nice when law-abiding citizens, particularly myself, are disposable.

“An hour or so later, when she had completed her paperwork, she came back in the office; I was in the rear and did not see her enter. She came to me and said that she had put my weapon in the second drawer on the left in the receptionist’s desk.

“She then said that she could tell that I was upset with being handcuffed ‘like a common criminal.’ I explained that I was extremely upset and told her that it was out of respect to her that I provided my CFP and that the Second Amendment did have some meaning. She replied that the reason she did what she did was because she did not know if I was a bad guy or not. … I thought to myself, ‘How absurd, I apply by the law to obtain permits, and yell it from the housetop that I have a permit and am carrying, just as I presume all bad guys do.’

“I asked if she was following procedure to handcuff me and remove my weapon to which she did not have a good answer, other than I was larger than her. … It certainly reminded me of the stories in New Orleans after Katrina regarding confiscating weapons from the law-abiding citizens.”

Another officer told Charlie that, based on J. Rogers’ badge number, she had probably only been on her own for less than six months and was probably not secure in what she was doing. “It certainly makes me want to provide all the information the next time my office is broken into,” he adds.

I talked to Charlie on Jan. 5. He had called the concealed permit division that morning, and been referred to Internal Affairs, where he reports a detective told him “It all depends on the officers, that if they think it’s the safest thing to do they can do that.

“And he said it’s best not to bring a weapon in this kind of situation.”

Ah. So after going through all the rigmarole required to obtain a concealed weapons permit, it’s best if a business owner who is the first to arrive at his office in the dawn hours to find it’s been broken into NOT carry a weapon? Where the hell would the cops suggest would be a BETTER circumstance into which to carry our legal self-defense weapon — a toddler’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese?

I contacted Metro about this incident Tuesday. Late Friday, a spokesman confirmed Mr. Mitchener’s account as “generally accurate,” stating the officer “acted in a way that was in the interest of her safety.”

Charlie Mitchener followed the law. He has trained at Front Site and with Tactical Response and continues to regularly visit the range. Yet “In an instant, I am in handcuffs (at 61 years old, this was a first), and there were no bad guys in handcuffs with me, just the guy who thought he was doing things correctly,” he writes.

We should not be required to apply for any “permit” to carry a concealed weapon in the first place. Threatening us with arrest if we fail to go through this rigmarole certainly constitutes an “infringement” of our rights under the 2nd and 14th amendments.

As for those who contend we can only exercise this right by “belonging to a militia,” a) I already belong to the militia, as defined by the founders. (“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves?” asked Tenche Coxe, the friend of Madison, in 1788. “The militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves … all men capable of bearing arms,” confirmed Richard Henry Lee in the same year.) But more to the point, after years of answering this memorized red herring, I’ve come to the conclusion anyone who claims the “militia clause” bars or limits me or Mr. Mitchener from bearing weapons of military effectiveness is a wannabe totalitarian murdering scum, and I believe it’s time to stop treating them as anything else.

Mr. Mitchener did everything required of him by law, ordinance, and Metro instructions. The officer handcuffed and disarmed him “so that everyone would be safe”? What a bunch of bull. If the burglar or burglars had emerged, they would have been confronted not by two armed law-abiding good guys, but instead by one small, frightened officer and a handcuffed and disarmed legal occupant. This rendered Mr. Mitchener “safer”?

Please note that if Mr. Mitchener had NOT followed law, ordinance, and Metro request, if he had carried a firearm in his waistband without ever seeking a permit or informing the officer he had it, the tiny officer would have had NO probable cause to frisk or disarm him, and he would likely have remained armed throughout the entire encounter. Thus, he was punished, degraded, and treated like a common criminal BECAUSE AND ONLY BECAUSE he attempted to follow law, ordinance, and Metro’s legally dubious “instructions.”

The cops don’t get it. The Constitution does not say “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless it makes an officer of the government feel safer.”

The biggest reason the American populace are armed was never to fight off bears or wild Indians but to make agents of the government feel unsafe — really, really unsafe — should they try to take away our rights. That’s why a citizen militia is “necessary to the security of a FREE state.” We’re armed and we intend to get more armed. We want progressive repeal of our current “reasonable gun laws” until 14-year-old girls can buy machine guns over the counter for cash without showing any damned “photo ID.”

If these arrogant, uniformed employees of ours who believe they can make up “the law” as they go along really want to treat us as the enemy, they may eventually get their wish, at which point they will discover they’re vastly outnumbered, and “backup” is never quite close enough to solve the problem they’ve created for themselves.

America in 2025, gals: keep at it, and it can be your own private Afghanistan.

14 Comments to “Handcuffed, disarmed for obeying the law”

  1. Patrick Lockerby Says:

    “If these arrogant, uniformed employees of ours who believe they can make up “the law” as they go along really want to treat us as the enemy, they may eventually get their wish, at which point they will discover they’re vastly outnumbered”

    How true!

    Never mind guns, here in the U.K. people have been arrested for using a camera – I kid you not!
    “If we are all under suspicion, then we are all threatened” Dominic Lawson
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/dominic-lawson/dominic-lawson-if-we-are-all-under-suspicion-then-we-are-all-threatened-1857777.html

  2. What do you tell the LEO? - Page 2 - INGunOwners Says:

    [...] remember that if you inform when you don't have to this could happen to you. Whenever you interact with enforcers you should say as little as possible within the law. [...]

  3. Stephen Carville Says:

    At the very least Mr. Mitchener should get a written apology from Officer Rogers’ Captain.Then Rogers should be set straight on who the good guys are and made to understand that bad guys don’t get CCW permits nor tell the cops they are carrying a gun.

    When I read reports like this I can believe that applicants are given extra consideration for low IQ scores.

  4. Rob Says:

    I submit that any two-bit pipsqueak law enforcer who feels unsafe in the presence of a lawfully permitted and armed citizen has no business whatsoever being a police officer. I applaud Charlie Mitchener for the apparent calm with which he handled the situation. I for one could see a large lawsuit coming.

  5. Terry Says:

    These things happen more often than most Americans are aware of. When it comes to political correctness and enforcing laws our constitutional rights are thrown out the window.
    Something similar happened to me in 2007 except it involved my First and Sixth Amendment rights. A cop comes up to me and snatches my protest sign out of my hands, puts the cuffs on and takes me to jail. The charge? Calling an admitted employer of illegal aliens ‘a cheap bastard’.
    I demanded a jury trial and it took 6 times in court before the judge and prosecutor allowed me to have my guaranteed quick and speedy trial. The jury found me not guilty, the cop that arrested me was fired immediately afterwards and a year later I filed suit in court. The charges are malicious prosecution, abuse of the legal process, assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment, civil conspiracy and civil rights violations.
    Federal Court finally took over my case in November because of the charges. My lawyer expects it to be scheduled in the next 3 to 4 months. I will believe it when I see it happen.
    Cops exceed the limits of their powers all the time and should be brought to account for it. Our courts are the same way. Thank God for jury trials because the truth is not important when a prosecutor and judge follow an agenda instead of justice.
    Mr Mitchener should get a lawyer and take it as far as they want to go.

  6. John Brook Says:

    This is truly sad; what are they teaching recruits in the Academy these days? Have NRA and 2nd Amendment Foundation been notified?

  7. John Says:

    Not being there and simply going off of what the article states, I would welcome an armed, trained, citizen with me until backup arrives. She turned her help into a potential victim. Being a police officer myself in Northern New Jersey (USA), we are outnumbered with criminals possessing, and using guns. We (The police) cannot be everywhere all the time, and law abiding citizens should be able to defend themselves. It seems, at least on the east coast, in places like Washington DC, Newark and Camden, NJ, and New York City, places where citizens need protection the most, they are prevented from doing just that. It’s sort of like the “We need a traffic light here” scenario. How many people have to be killed, raped, and hurt before the politicians get their heads out of their asses and allow law abiding citizens the right to defend themselves???

  8. Manny Brillon Says:

    As a 31 year veteran police officer in Ohio I found it completly unjustified and unacceptable for that police officer to disarm a VICTIM of a crime, especially a citizen that is carrying legaly. Then she compounds it by handcuffing him. OK, if she felt that strongly about disarming him so be it, I dont agree with it but she did it. But then she add insult to injury, SHE HANDCUFFS HIM!!!!!! Give me a break, he’s the Victim!!!!! He called the police!!!!!!! Mr. Michener should be angry

  9. Judith Gould Says:

    Vin, I was with you right up til the last sentence. Come on! This type of behaviour is not limited to ‘gals’

  10. Roger.45 Says:

    Here is a link taken from David Hardy’s website, “Of Arms and the Law”.

    This is a decision from the First Circuit concerning CCW permitees and law enforcement officers.

    Law abiding citizens have fewer rights than criminals.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-5619-Atlanta-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m12d31-Court-upholds-police-pointing-gun-at-lawful-carriers

  11. Free In Idaho! » Blog Archive » Disarming The Wrong Man Says:

    [...] Go read the whole thing… this one will get your blood boiling. So after going through all the rigmarole required to obtain a concealed weapons permit, it’s best if a business owner who is the first to arrive at his office in the dawn hours to find it’s been broken into NOT carry a weapon? Where the hell would the cops suggest would be a BETTER circumstance into which to carry our legal self-defense weapon — a toddler’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese? [...]

  12. Carl Rode Says:

    Vin, I’ll say it again, the cops who try to disarm law-abiding citizens are exceeding their authority and should be shot on sight.
    Any Officer of the Court who sanctions such actions should be given a swift trial and hanged on the court-house steps.

  13. Vin Suprynowicz » Blog Archive » CCW: A license to be handcuffed and disarmed Says:

    [...] license to a police officer responding to a burglary call at his place of business Jan. 3 (see my column of Jan. 10), has provided me with his Jan. 19 follow-up letter to the Metro Police [...]

  14. Tim Says:

    Why did he bother calling the police in the first place? What possible benefit could that bring? They will only scribble on some paper and file it away. Case closed. Next time, don’t call the largest criminal gang when you have been victimized by crime.

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