Judge Issues Order in MARTA Case

A federal district judge in Atlanta has ruled that MARTA had probable cause to stop GCO member Christopher Raissi when Raissi was seen carrying a firearm at a MARTA train station. The court ruled that Raissi presented all the elements of both carrying a concealed weapon and boarding a train with a firearm. The court also ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the state open records act claims, but ruled that some defendants (he could not tell which) were liable for Privacy Act violations. The case will go to trial on the Privacy Act claims to determine who is liable and what the damages and other remedies will be. The documents in the case may be viewed here.


21 Responses to “Judge Issues Order in MARTA Case”

  1. Archangel Says:

    This is a complete travesty. I’ll be waiting for reports of citizens being harassed by LEOs who have now been given carte blanche to unlawfully detain law abiding citizens.

  2. tmoore912 Says:

    This is crazy and absurd. I have read the order multiple times and can’t come to terms with it. As a GFL holder I have tried to educate myself as much as possible with the crazy patchwork of carry laws in Georgia, and I thought I knew what they meant and how to stay legal while carrying my weapon. But………..this blows everything out of the water for me. I’m shocked…..to be quite honest with you. The order from this Clinton appointed Federal Judge doesn’t jive with any of my understanding of the Georgia code sections with regards to carrying a firearm. I sure do hope we appeal this ruling, because I thought this was a clear violation of Raissi’s Civil Rights and a slam dunk on GCO’s part.

  3. geneduckett Says:

    This penumbra must be appealed because the opinion is in direct conflict with Ga Law. It smells of Chicago type politics.

  4. nadams Says:

    I don’t see anything in the ruling that is unreasonable /per current GA law/.

    I see this as just another reason why we need to change GA law, and not a reason to go on any witch hunts.

  5. JohnAtl Says:

    Ok im really confused now. reading the court paper? it makes it seem that firearms license or not, carrying a firearm concealed is illegal? didnt the federal judge previously say that concealed carry was legal with a permit on public transportation? honestly the legalese does confuse me as to, if ever stopped while carrying concealed, with my permit, is it going to get ugly?
    the quote from Atty John Monroe in the examiner “The decision means everyone see carrying a firearm in any place that is prohibited without a license is subject to stop, arrest, and prosecution, even if they have a license. Anyone carrying a firearm in a restaurant that serves alcohol or a state park is fair game. The same goes for police officers. A police officer carrying a firearm in a restaurant, bar, or school is subject to arrest, including a citizen’s arrest, because being a law enforcement officer is an affirmative defense and not an element of the crime.”
    with respect to officers, tell them they cant carry.
    can anyone shed possible light on carry with a permit NOW?
    Thank you

  6. duckhead Says:

    It is inconceivable a Federal Judge could make such a bizarre assumption. If I understand this ruling correctly, this mentality is equivalent to assuming that just because I have a pocketknife on my person, I am planning to stab someone- so go ahead and arrest me on the assumption of what might happen. Why don’t we arrest people for driving a car because we assume they are going to intentionally run someone down! This is a travesty of justice We don’t need judges like that.

  7. A Few Train And Gun Stories « Says:

    […] Judge Issues Order in MARTA Case […]

  8. SayUncle » Concealed Carry = Probable Cause Says:

    […] federal district judge in Atlanta has ruled that a officer who sees your gun has reasonable suspicion. Your carry permit is an affirmative […]

  9. Gunstar1 Says:

    The way I read it, is that the law says carrying concealed is illegal, except if you have a carry license.

    The judge then ruled that this means if a LEO sees you concealed carrying they can assume you are breaking the law and stop you. You then have to prove you are legal by showing your carry license. There are quite a few problems with this, one of which being that the law that allows LEO’s to carry is worded similarly to this law. So even police and judges can be detained for concealed or open carry.

    While it is a bad outcome, we are so close to the legislative session that it would probably be better for us to just have a legislative fix. If the law no longer says what it currently does then the ruling no longer matters.

  10. bmccutcheon Says:

    This is unfortunate, but I saw this coming way back when the process first started and said so here. I am very much a Conservative and believe in the protections of the 2nd amendment. I just never saw how the Leo’s were supposed to tell the good guys from the bad guy’s in this particular situation. Personally, I don’t mind being pulled to the side and asked for my credentials if necessary. I just don’t believe they should get stupid as I think they did in this case.


  11. Vir Quisque Vir Says:

    Does this mean that if you are in Wal-Mart and an off duty officer sees a bulge in your jacket that he can disarm and detain you, and assume you are there to rob the Wal-Mart? Conversely, does that mean that if you carry openly instead, that there is no probable cause there to take your weapon and they might ask you if you have a GFL? This is bad judgment, and should be settled in the legislature. Now if we could get rid of the PG, we would be in great shape. One step at a time.

  12. ArmedCitizen Says:

    The judge is defending the illegal actions of some unqualified police officers. They couldn’t detect a potential criminal if their life depended on it. These losers saw an easy target to harass and did so. A dozen armed gangbangers past by them and since they were afraid to stop them, they cringed away and wasted valuable time with this injustice to an honest citizen.
    As far as the judge’s ruling … it’s wrong, wrong, wrong and this judge’s ruling is breaking the law. Therefore the judge is a lawbreaker.
    Judge’s ruling says that a citizen may be detained, questioned, and threatened with arrest although no crime has been committed.
    Communism plain and simple.

  13. Federal Judge Rules Concealed Carry is Grounds for Detainment « Guns, Germs and Blogs Says:

    […] in the ruling the judge declared that Raissi’s license was only an “affirmative defense to, not an […]

  14. last_stand_for_liberty Says:

    Forgive my ignorance when it comes to legal matters, but how did this case end up in a FEDERAL district court?

  15. Federal Judge Rules Concealed Carry is Cause for Detention | America Watches Obama Says:

    […] within the law, that should not be grounds for being detained at length. ??Nevertheless, in the ruling the judge declared that Raissi’s license was only an “affirmative defense to, not an […]

  16. jrhaesa Says:

    I think what the judge said is that given it is a crime to carry a concealed weapon on the train and that seeing what appears to be a crime it is not the leo’s responsibility to pursue the issue of an affirmative defense, but rather that the issue is a matter to bring before the court. That does make me feel a little uneasy, but I have to assume that a reasonable leo would save themselves and the court a lot of trouble by making that question, “do you have a firearms license?” an early part of any investigative stop. The judge did seem to say that carrying a firearm openly would be different in that carrying openly would not provide a reasonable suspicion that a crime was about to be committed and had that been the case his ruling might have been different. The real solution remains straightening out the convoluted laws of where and how you can carry in Georgia.

  17. shanewebb Says:

    I ride MARTA weekly, carry while doing so, and will continue to do so. That being said, I do agree with some of the MARTA LEO’s actions, while vehemently disagreeing with others. There is no question that Raissi was within his legal rights to carry, and MARTA LEO ultimately acknowledged that, as he was not arrested. He was, however, inexcusably harassed. I break down the event below, per my understanding from reading the accompanying documents.

    Raissi produced his pistol in plain view of the public when placing it on his hip, then concealed it. This was a mistake and provided the observing LEO cause to investigate that Raissi had a valid GFL. Had Raissi armed himself inside his vehicle then exited it to enter the station this event would have never happened. That is the reality of the situation. Whether that ‘should be’ the case or not is a different subject

    MARTA is openly acknowledged as dangerous, both by MARTA itself and the public, which is why Raissi wants to carry while riding MARTA in the first place. It is the responsibility of the MARTA police to ensure a person is legally bearing a firearm once they have been made aware of its presence (again, MARTA is dangerous). The officers have no reason to assume a person is licensed, nor would I want them to if my safety is potentially in question.

    Raissi was not acting in a threatening or questionable manner. The officers, while acting proactively in the interest of their own safety, disarmed him at the ticket machines. This caused a public confrontation that was not warranted based on Raissi’s non-threatening behavior. This is judgement call territory, but from my review of the documents, disarming him was not warranted and caused Raissi, who was completely within his legal rights and presenting no overt threat, to be publicly treated as a criminal.

    Once Raissi presented his valid GFL his firearm should have been returned immediately and he allowed to go about his business. The detention, and resulting background check, were not warranted in any way and his rights were firmly violated.

    The heart of this matter is the ‘concealed’ part of concealed carry. Keep the firearm out of view. Displaying a pistol in public, then concealing it, while traveling in a known dangerous area demands a response from any LEO. In this case the MARTA LEO’s response was flatly mishandled.

  18. norbel718 Says:

    Being a card carrying member of GCO – I sometimes believe our member make too big of a deal over a issue that should go unreported. My thoughts. If u are seen carrying a weapon in a high crime area, I expect the local authorties to investigate and treat me the same as any other citizen.

    Merely presenting a GFL does not entitled one to go merrily on their way. Seeing how easy it is to forge documents these days & the possibility the document could have been revolked.

    I fully expect and appreciate that the local authorities completed a thorough investigation, making sure the GFL documents were in order before allowing an armed person to move freely within a supposedly high crime area.

    Please understand, as GFL holders we are granted the privilege of 24/7 armed self defense, we are not granted immunity from common sense law enforcement.

  19. mark5019 Says:

    so just seeing his weapon is legal? so then if they see you driving your car in a high crime rate area, they can pull you over on a whim?

    wheres reasonable cause go to?

  20. Jesse Says:

    I’m with you — why did this ever go to a Federal Court in the first place? That is akin to begging for violations of liberty to be validated and cemented into case law.

    This should be handled through the Georgia General Assembly and Georgia courts. Avoid the Feds altogether.

  21. Gunluvr Says:

    I openly carried my pistol on MARTA today without any problems. The law is working. Thanks GA Carry, Honorable Senators and House members and Governor Deal.