UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

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UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby MajorNickmo » Fri 05 Mar 2010 4:07 pm

Well, after OCin' for a year and a half at UVU (CC for three years), MWAG call went in to campus police...

I had just left a planning meeting with UVU student government for the upcoming Bob Bennett vs. Everyone else, Senatorial debate that our club is hosting, (April 2nd 12:00 @ UVU--shameless plug) when I took a ladder from the "Publicity Room" to adjust some of our club's banners that hang in the hallways. I was 15 feet from returning to the UVUSA offices when a VERY anxious cop approached me and very abruptly asked, "Can I see some I.D.?" So, not knowing whether I was required to show him I.D. or not while on campus, I complied and handed him my UVU ID and my CFP (I didn't think he was stopping me for carrying a ladder lol), then he said "No, I want your drivers license," and handed me back my UVU ID but he held on to my CFP. He then asked me why I had a gun on me and I said, "As a safety precaution, just like wearing my seatbelt." He then said, "No, why do you have it at school???" (meanwhile I'm holding a 10 foot ladder, wearing a heavy backpack and 2 FACULTY members walk by, say "hi" to me and two friends as well, ALL WHILE THIS COP IS BEHAVING LIKE HE IS ON THE VERGE OF TAZING ME!)

[It sucked because I was looking so incredibly guilty standing there in the hallway at the exact spot where all these people on campus whom I have told over and over again that OC is legal (with a CFP) and with whom I have built relationships of trust with about OCing, were seeing me be detained right where I interact with all of them on nearly a daily basis. GRRRR all that trust got thrown out the window today :-( ]

Back on point: I told the cop, politely, that the reason I have a gun at school is because I am within my legal right to do so and because a majority of mass shootings have occurred on college campuses--and I don't want to be a victim. At this point, and I'm not exaggerating when I say this, the cop was acting like he was just WAITING for me to make a wrong move or say something flippant so he would have an excuse to tackle me to the ground. I told him, AT LEAST THREE TIMES that it is completely legal for me to OC on UVU's campus because I have a CFP. He said he was going to give me a citation for disorderly conduct because they got a MWAG call and that I was absolutely wrong about OC on campus. At this point I started to get freaked out because the officer wasn't even allowing me to explain or use any logic, and his emotions were escalating VERY RAPIDLY. Thank goodness another officer arrived, who was much more level headed (but still didn't understand the law). Realizing that this wasn't going to be a 30 second stop, I remembered from reading previous threads on UCC.com that I should record any encounters with police. So I pulled out my iPhone, as casually as I could, and pressed record.

I apologize for the jumpiness at points in the video, I couldn't see if I was getting the officer's "in the shot" or not, and you might need to turn up the volume full blast to hear it all, I accidentally covered up the mic at times and I didn't get a shot of the first officer (the one that scared the crap out of me) but you can hear him speak up about charging me with disorderly conduct AND trespassing later on in the clip.

Now, I know that by posting this I am subjecting myself to public scorn and ridicule. I know there will be comments like, "Well, if it had been me, I would have said this..." and "You should have said this and this..." Please understand that I am a college student, nothing more, and that by the time I pressed record I was pretty shaken up by the first officer.
Looking back and listening to the clip I can think of at least a dozen different things that I wish I had said too...
Also understand, that when I did start recording, I was trying to deescalate a very tense situation that the previous officer had built up, and simply get the second officer to do most of the talking so I could have him put all of his opinions on the record, because the LAW was clearly no longer being discussed.
I know there are a lot of you on this forum who, when you hear some of the officers' comments, are going to pull your hair out...The recording starts with the second officer telling me that I'm giving OC "a bad name."

Before I post these videos, can I get in any kind of trouble for posting them???

Edit: Here are the links
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjaQJs8eoMk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzyYu9dhIY0
Let the scrutiny begin lol
Last edited by MajorNickmo on Tue 09 Mar 2010 1:28 am, edited 21 times in total.
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby arichens » Fri 05 Mar 2010 4:28 pm

It's my understanding that recording or taping a conversation is perfectly legal and requires no prior approval if you are a party in that conversation.

That being said, I want to make it clear that I'm not a lawyer and you should not take this as legal advice ;)
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby MajorNickmo » Fri 05 Mar 2010 4:38 pm

Thanks Colonel lol
I certainly don't want to be the poster child for this debate to enter the state capitol...
The clip is loading onto YouTube as we speak...IANAL either so...anyone wanna chime in as to the legality of posting the video?
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby RanzITman » Fri 05 Mar 2010 4:48 pm

Can't find it, can't wait to see it! Did you ultimately receive a citation?
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby MajorNickmo » Fri 05 Mar 2010 4:54 pm

RanzITman wrote:Can't find it, can't wait to see it! Did you ultimately receive a citation?


The only way they would let me go without a citation(s), Disorderly Conduct a Class C misdemeanor, and a Trespassing charge, was if I covered my gun with my shirt...it's all in the video.

The video is uploaded but still "processing". I'll post a link as soon as I know I won't get in trouble legally for uploading it...
Last edited by MajorNickmo on Fri 05 Mar 2010 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby moyler » Fri 05 Mar 2010 5:00 pm

MajorNickmo wrote:...I told him that it is completely legal for me to OC on UVU's campus because I have a CFP.


Were you cited? If so, I would fight it to the point that hopefully the first officer and you are in front of a judge that will rip up your citation because you did not break the law.

Now make with posting the video, huh?

ETA: Looks like we were typing at the same time. IANAL either, but I think you are fine to post your video.
Last edited by moyler on Fri 05 Mar 2010 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby Scott » Fri 05 Mar 2010 5:04 pm

Happens again. See my post today on the subject of a MWAG call at:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=7732&start=15

Sorry it happened to you. I am anxious to see the video.

Wish we could properly train the dispatchers and operators.......
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby arichens » Fri 05 Mar 2010 5:30 pm

Stressing again that I'm not a lawyer and that my personal interpretation of UT law is not to be used as legal advice, here's the current Utah Code:

A person not acting under color of law may intercept a wire, electronic, or oral communication if that person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception, unless the communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of state or federal laws.

Utah Code Ann. § 77-23a-4(7)(b)
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby MajorNickmo » Fri 05 Mar 2010 6:25 pm

Ok, the videos are loaded, I added the links to my original post.
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby Snurd » Fri 05 Mar 2010 6:27 pm

I would suggest carrying these with you. Gun Law Pamphlets
The wallet versions are very handy, and you can show them what the law is, since they obviously don't know. The parts in bold are the important parts. I always have some extras in my vehicle just in case I need to give one away.
Sorry the LEO was so lame. I hope you take it up with his supervisors and get him corrected on the law.
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby FlyfishermanMike » Fri 05 Mar 2010 7:33 pm

Wow, that's pretty crazy. I thought you handled yourself well. I'd hope I'd do that well. I too am a college student and while I don't open carry on campus I applaud that you do. It's sad that cops aren't better educated about the laws they enforce. I laughed a little when you brought up the part about that we have laws to tell us what we can't do. He was pretty shocked at that statement. The whole disorderly conduct thing is a joke. So many of these ordeals should be stopped at the 911 call. That's where a lot of the education needs to happen. Like someone mentioned is another thread, I'd be laughed at if I called 911 to report some scary lookin' gangsta dude! Anyway, nice work and I'd follow up with his last request. Maybe not Shurtleff but someone higher needs to set this guy straight.

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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby schmack » Fri 05 Mar 2010 8:03 pm

Looks like you did well and maintained your cool. As an observer out of the stress of it all, I thought it interesting that he said if you open carry on campus your going to end up losing the right to do it. Well, what is the point of having the right if I don't use it?! What's the difference if I lose it if I can't use it when I have it? Too bad you can't rewind and ask him that.
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby UnderratedF00l » Fri 05 Mar 2010 9:09 pm

Quite frankly, this is ridiculous.

If it were me, I'd be on the phone with the Orem PD (or UVU Campus police, whichever they were) and speaking with a Supervisor until I felt confident that they knew what the laws were. The fact is, your civil liberties were very close to being violated; and you were issued a direct, unlawful order by an Officer who (1)doesn't know the law and, (2)it seems, was making things up on the spot. He was obviously unaware of what and how the law (specifically, 76-10-505.5 & 53-5-704, in conjunction) reads.

In my opinion, an Officer of the Law who is ignorant of what the law says becomes nothing more than a tyrant with an opinion - the problem is that opinion is backed with badge and a sidearm.

That said, I applaud your efforts. You did very well in keeping a level head - I sincerely doubt I would have done as well.
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby JoeSparky » Fri 05 Mar 2010 9:19 pm

From my understanding of UTAH law (I AM NOT A LAWYER).

A concealed carry permit allows an individual to carry a loaded weapon in public and allows concealment but DOES NOT REQUIRE CONCEALMENT.
A concealed firearm permit holder is exempt from the 1000 foot gun free school zone restrictions.

THE OPINION ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AT UVU IS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would suggest 2 contacts....

One to Mitch Vilos and the second to the Attorney General of the State of Utah.

Also, make a open records request for copies of ALL reports, calls, emails, and training information of officers related to firearms on campus.

You were NOT WRONG HERE, HE WAS!!!!!
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Re: UVU cops detained me for OCing on campus

Postby UtahJarhead » Fri 05 Mar 2010 10:24 pm

MajorNickmo,
do things wrong? You did it RIGHT! You had the cop going "OH CRAP, this guy knows more than I do about this!" You had him backed into a corner and he HATED IT! My hat's off to you! Very well done. You spoke well, you knew the laws, and you kept your cool and were polite.
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