OpenCarry.org joins the ACLU of Colorado in expressing alarm at Loveland, CO Police Chief Luke Hecker’s policy that police officers may detain and search any person possessing a firearm and not release them until they provide identification and acquiesce to serial number checks on that firearm.
Hecker’s police officers reportedly detained and searched a 71 year old man openly carrying a holstered handgun at Lake Loveland. As a bullying tactic, the police ominously warned the man that “he could expect similar treatment should similar encounters occur in the future.” See http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=23999 & http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=24014.
Apparently Loveland Police Chief Luke (“Check Point”) Hecker slept through those classes at the police academy about the Fourth Amendment – you know, that funny little footnote on constitutional privacy which the Supreme Court has said means the police cannot constitutionally:
- Detain people just because they are carrying a gun (Florida v. J.L.)
- Demand identification from people walking about town (Kolender v. Lawson)
- Seize citizens’ personal property in order to view serial numbers (Arizona v. Hicks)
“What’s next in Loveland?,” asks John Pierce, co-founder of OpenCarry.org, “will the police start seizing cell phones to check sim cards?”
In response to the apparent ongoing and reaffirmed policy of Chief Hecker to target open carriers for harassment, OpenCarry.org urges gun owners who might happen to live in or travel through Loveland, CO to open carry without carrying identification, a practice known as “sterile carry,” and to refrain from answering police questions until they have a lawyer present.
Until Check Point Hecker gets his policies straight, his officers can "expect similar treatment should similar encounters occur in the future.”