GCO Sues over “Man with a Gun” Incident

GCO filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia against the Sheriff of Richmond County and a Richmond County deputy who detained a GCO member and seized his legally-carried pistol. After checking it to see whether it was stolen, the deputy confiscated the firearm until “proof of purchase” could be provided, and the Sheriff’s Department then refused to return it. The deputy insisted that it is against the law to carry a pistol openly.
This sort of police misconduct is fortunately rare, but it is becoming more common as more Georgians begin carrying firearms.


16 Responses to “GCO Sues over “Man with a Gun” Incident”

  1. sti1911 Says:

    this deputy is a trouble maker any ways i have found 2 complaints filed aginst him since 2007 http://www.augustaga.gov/departments/marshals_office/complaint_detail.asp?AdvSearch=77613
    http://www.augustaga.gov/departments/marshals_office/complaint_detail.asp?AdvSearch=77767 check these links i could find no more info on these complaints but maybe you can

  2. PauldingJustin Says:

    Just read the email about this and this is horrible. I really hope Mr. Mead comes out ahead in this and not only re-obtains his firearm, but gets a hefty settlement for being threatened and having his firearm stolen from him, even if temporarily. Police should NOT act in this manner and SHOULD be properly educated about the laws of Georgia.

  3. victimofcrime Says:

    I just want to get this straight from a layman’s point of view. The police claim that you cannot openly carry a sidearm so they will confiscate it and come up with reasons such as: may be stolen or no proof of purchase? I don’t carry my car payment book with me. Now, what am I supposed to do about the guns I inherited from my late father?

    I don’t like the idea of being charged with disorderly conduct if you question the actions of an officer. I suggest that GCO members carry one of the pocket voice recorders if they are are going to carry. The jury in the O.J. Simpson trial said the recordings were what sealed the case. Otherwise, it is your word against that of the officer. The Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, and the Association of County Commissioners need to be forced to pay out BIG money when law-abiding citizens are detained, harassed, legal guns confiscated. If the GMA, ACCG, Georgia Chiefs of Police, and the Georgia Sheriff’s Assoc. and other political associations saw their members being forced to pay judgements they would put pressure on the Chiefs of Police and Sheriff’s to train their officers.

  4. cag327 Says:

    This is getting so scary these tactics – doesn’t it border on violation of the 4th Amendment – “unreasonable searches, seizures” – –

  5. Vir Quisque Vir Says:

    Why should anyone be asked to provide proof of purchase? They do not even stop you for DUI and ask you to prove it is your car. My sense is the law does not preclude you from carrying open, that is, there is no law the Sheriff can state that makes it a crime to carry open in a holster in Georgia with a GFL. In fact, the stop was without probable cause. The confiscation and failure to return property is also subject to challenge. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to make your point is have the Sheriff be responsible for the city having to pay attorney fees and associated court costs, etc. a time or two. Damages to the plaintiff are also in order. That should be sufficient for almost any Sheriff, except the unusually hard-headed. The vast majority of the time, we are just asking that officials follow the state laws, and NOT make up their own.

  6. rustygray Says:

    My personal view , it is an issue of ego. When we mere citizens appear to be capable of self protection, then the ego of the officer is bruised. This is not true for all officers, but there are many that live through their badge and gun. So when they see a citizen, open carrying, they feel slighted, but they also know that the citizen will not put up a fight and the officer can then feel good about himself for rendering this “menace to society” safe. The same is true for many areas where you see the police hanging out in groups in the safe area of town. It just shows the direction that many of the law enforcement agencies have turned. How many remember when a cop car made you feel safe?? Now we see one and we only want to get away. My own experience is similar. I know deputies that are aware I carry and they think it is great, but have told me that the Sherrif does not particularly like it, and that attitude pervades many of his deputies.
    This is just my opinion by the way and in no way is meant to be maligning to honest, real law enforcement. But we have all experienced the cop with “cop attitude” he feels he has the right to direct us like he is directing traffic. They will let a car load of tough, criminal looking thugs speed by and then stop the soccer mom in the minivan. Why, becuase she will not resist, is no threat to the cops safety, and will simply pay her ticket and life goes on. if the cop pulled over the group of thugs, he might meet resistance, be in danger, have to search the car, find controlled items, and then he has paperwork, lots of paperwork that he really doesnt want to do. Again just my opinion and actual experience. Why does it take 2 deputies, to pull me over when my taillight is out, but a guy in a beat up caprice with 22″ rims, smoke billowing out the windows, and NO brake lights, rolls past the same deputies and they do nothing? Simple, I am an easier more compliant target.
    If I had been wearing my pistol in a shoulder rig that day, I would have had much more trouble. The deputy did not like that I provided him my CCW card, by law, and informed him I had a weapon. he wanted to knwo why I felt it necessary, I advised that they couldnt get there in time. I got a ticket.

  7. TBILL Says:

    The militarization of the police force has turned a lot of youn men with ego trouble into self styled Rambos, who have no regard for the civil rights of the population they are sworn to serve. Look at all the “Tactical Gear” they strut around in that is oviously not necesssary to doing their job. The ones who have never served their country are the most responsible because they are trying to build their ego because they feel ashamed beside their fellow Officers who have a military background. The Sheriff’s Deputies are the worst, I guess they feel inferior the county and state forces and their boss is a politician not a real Officer. I must point out that most are nice young men, who just want to go home alive at the end of the day. I had a great experience with the City of Macon’s Officers while attending the GON show this year. I have nothing but praise for both the Officers I had dealings with that day. I must add neither one was dressed or equipped like they were in downtown Bagdad. City of Atlanta cops are the worst, if most of them weren’t wearing a badge someone with a badge would be chasing them. Give the Sheriff a good legal spanking and he’ll change his tune and so will his Deputies.

  8. TripleJackInGA Says:

    He actually has three complaints. Here’s the 3rd one, from earlier this year.


  9. PauldingJustin Says:

    Rustygray: It is NOT required by law during a traffic stop for you to provide your Georgia Firearms License or alert the police officer that you have a firearm on you.

  10. Claymore Says:

    Sheriff Ronnie Strength might be continuing a “policy” that his predecessor Charlie Webster used to engage in. My brother in law was a RCSD deputy for many years and one of the unwritten policies Webster had was discouraging lawful carry, whether it was consealed or open. He had the opinion that no one but law enforcement needed to carry. One incident in particular comes to mind; While on duty at the Augusta Mall, a deputy noticed a guy in the food court was carrying…apparently the weapon printed well enough through the guy’s clothes that the deputy could tell he was packing. He confronted the guy, who produced his CCW. The deputy demanded he hand over the weapon anyway. The deputy removed the magazine from the weapon and emptied the ammo into his hand. He then dumped the ammo into his pocket, replaced the empty mag into the weapon and handed it back to the guy. The way the story goes, the deputy was bragging that he told the guy that his CCW allowed him to carry, but it didn’t say anything about carrying it loaded. He then went on to say something about how Sheriff Webster doesn’t like trouble makers looking to take the law into their own hands and if he wanted to carry a loaded pistol, he should join the force. This is just one of the stories he told me about this sort of thing. Doesn’t surprise me a bit that there might still be deputies at RCSD who believe in this kind of thing.

  11. Eviltwin Says:

    Would of been interesting if the guy who had his ammo taken turned around and told the deputy he was under arrest for armed robbery. Deputy is armed, law does not support his actions so he was not going about his lawful duties… should of at least asked him for a property receipt and told him his lawyer would be buy to collect his pound of flesh.

  12. Ed Stone Says:

    Guys, those are subpoenas, not complaints. Police officers get subpoenaed as witnesses in court all the time.

  13. sti1911 Says:

    oh sorry bout that the way the site lists it it looks like a complaint aginst him where he was called into cort

  14. devo1123 Says:

    Comments section is open at http://keepandbeararms.com/news/nl/read_comments.asp?nl=2452112436167&tmpD=10%2F15%2F2008 .

    Thank you for all of your support!

  15. SigLarry Says:

    Wait until Obama gets elected

  16. Dan54 Says:

    “Why should anyone be asked to provide proof of purchase? ”

    They shouldn’t. It is, and always has been, the burden of the state to prove guilt. Likewise, it is the burden of the state to prove something is stolen. There is no burden on the owner to prove an item is NOT stolen.