It is your constitutional right?
What if the concerned citizen calls the police? Remember, you’ve done nothing wrong. You are a weapons carry license holder and therefore may carry in public, either openly or concealed. I can’t repeat that enough. If the officer arrives and begins to question you, keep two things in mind:
- In order to carry in a public space, either openly or concealed, you must have your weapons carry license with you. Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-11-137 clearly requires that “every license holder shall have his or her valid weapons carry license in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, or if such person is exempt from having a weapons carry license pursuant to Code Section 16-11-130 or subsection (c) of Code Section 16-11-127.1, he or she shall have proof of his or her exemption in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon… ”
That’s the strict reading of the statute. Furthermore, your failure to do so will be prima-facie evidence of a violation—evidence on its face that you violated the law. If you’re carrying without your weapons carry license in public, the fact that you don’t have that weapons carry license with you is, on its face, evidence that you violated the law. You lose the benefits and protections of your weapons carry license if you fail to carry it and have it with you when you’re carrying a firearm. No license equals bad news and a likely arrest, so make sure you carry your license with you.
- The very same statute, Official Code of Georgia Annotated 16-11-137 states in plain language understandable by every police officer, that “a person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a weapons carry license.”
It is highly questionable whether the mere fact you have a firearm in public provides enough suspicion for an officer to question you about that firearm. But the law is without question, perfectly clear. You are not subject to detention solely to determine whether you possess a weapons carry license.
Don’t respond. Don’t engage
How should you react if confronted directly by this worried shopper, this concerned citizen? I believe this could be the best response: If you don’t have to talk to the police you surely don’t have to talk to a private citizen. If you are worried your responses may be taken out of context by someone who is already on edge about your concealed weapon, don’t rise to the bait.
Complete your bank transaction, your shopping trip, or your cheeseburger, and move along. Don’t respond. Don’t engage. As lawful weapons carry license holders, we often must make more informed and civilized decisions than other people. Don’t give that frightened member of the public the reaction that he or she may want, or that the police may want to justify intervening in the situation.
Don’t engage & “have a nice day”
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