LOUIVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — Police saw Carmon Tussey striding toward a crowded Louisville bar with an assault weapon.
As people fled, police entered and pulled out weapons. They handcuffed his 26-year-old man and confiscated his semi-automatic gun. According to prosecutors, Tassie was subsequently charged with terrorism threats, unreasonable endangerment, and disorderly conduct and could face up to 20 years in prison.
His attorney said he was “involved in perfectly lawful conduct” in last year’s case, sparking a relatively new legal debate in the United States that now needs to be settled in court.
That’s because Kentucky legalized carrying a gun in public without a permit in 2019. majority of states under similar laws.
Many celebrate the end of a bureaucracy built around the constitutional right of every American to carry the gun of their choice. posed a dilemma for officials. They have to decide, sometimes in seconds, if someone with the right to carry a gun is dangerous.
Tassie’s attorney Greg Sims said: “Kentucky is one of those states where citizens are allowed ‘open carry’, which means it’s completely illegal to take a loaded gun outside and walk it on public roads. It’s legal.
Louisville prosecutors say the gun wasn’t the only thing police detained Tassie. The type of weapon, how it was carried and where it was going was also important. Witnesses also told officers that Tushy had returned to the bar after the altercation.
After being taken into custody, Tassie told police that he “came back to shoot” the people he fought with, according to the arrest citation. Those comments came later. Sims argued in court that he did not give police a legal reason to detain him when they took him into custody.
A judge so far has not been persuaded by the allegations and said in a preliminary ruling on evidence that police had other reasons for arresting Tussey at the time. He believes he will be able to convince jurors that Tushy did not commit a crime, thanks to .
Proponents say unauthorized carry makes people safer. Opponents say it makes it more dangerous for the public and police.
John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said: “If anyone can carry a gun anywhere, it makes the job of police officers more difficult and dangerous.”
Gun Violence Increases NationwideThere have been 35,000 deaths in the United States so far this year, and 45,000 in 2020 and more in 2021. About 79% of killings in 2020 involved firearms, the highest rate since at least 1968.
Earlier this year, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law an Indiana law removing the permit requirement to carry a handgun in public, despite dissent from the Indiana police chief. The new law he entered into force on July 1st.
Capt. Ron Garabiz, a spokesman for the Indiana State Police, recently said, “There is a continued expectation to enforce the law, remove guns from the streets, and make sure people who shouldn’t have guns don’t.” I have,” he said. some steps in that process. ”
Under the new law, officers cannot immediately grab a gun or ask for a permit when they stop someone, Galaviz said.
Complaints about armed people in public spaces can have different consequences.
In Boise, Idaho, police received multiple calls about 27-year-old Jacob Bergquist as a “man with a gun,” according to The Idaho. politician.
Idaho passed permitless carry in 2016, but the state allows property owners to ban carry without a permit in certain locations. Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said His officers had no basis under Idaho law to arrest Bergquist.
Lee then made that comment Bergquist was shot dead after breaking into Boise Town Square Mall A 26-year-old security guard and four men were injured.
Bergquist, who died after getting into a shootout with police, promoted gun rights on his YouTube channel.
In Houston, Guido Herrera walked into a mall in February with a rifle in one hand and a bible in the other, wearing a leather mask and shirt with the Punisher logo.
His attorney, Armen Merganian, argued that Guido Herrera was just a “gun-loving Texan” and did no harm. got down. Carrying a loaded gun in public is legal in Texas, but not in a calculated way to warn you.
“Police tend to assume that everyone is bad and everyone is there to harm, but that’s not always the case. Some people really enjoy their Second Amendment rights. Yes,’ said Marganian.
In Florida, Michael Taylor is filming walking to piers and other spots with guns and fishing rods to cast fishing lines. He says he’s trying to educate people about Florida’s gun control laws. Florida gun laws do not allow you to carry a gun without a permit, except if you are hunting or fishing.
Taylor’s actions have also led to controversies over state gun laws. He may also call the police that he is a “man with a gun”.
According to a video posted on social media by Taylor, Clearwater police officers walked along a crowded beach last year with fishing poles, “Don’t Step On Me” flags and loaded assault weapons. When police asked what he was doing, he told them he was going fishing and was not breaking any laws.
“Sir, you scare everyone walking on the beach,” says one officer.
After handcuffing him, officers move him to a less crowded area, question him further, and release him. He makes his way down the crowded beach to the pier.
Shannon West, a training supervisor for the Kentucky Criminal Justice Training Authority, which trains about 300 recruits a year, said that when dealing with an armed person in public, officers “…intervene or don’t. , when and how to intervene.
In a rare case this year, Indiana man shoots gunman dead Three people have died at the mall days after unauthorized carry went into effect in the state. praised the actions of
This is the type of scenario pointed out by gun rights advocates who argue that the best way to stop bad guys with guns is to have good guys with guns on the scene.
However, it can pose a dilemma when the police arrive.
UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, an expert on gun policy, said: “It used to be that if someone was carrying a firearm and had a covert carry permit, they would have a firearm. “However, removing the permit requirement would allow anyone to carry a gun on the street, making it easier for police and others to determine whether a person was malicious.” It gets difficult.”
Staff writers Lindsay Whitehurst of Washington and John Lavey of Charleston, West Virginia contributed to this article.