An open-carry gun owner reportedly in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Tuesday recorded video of police confronting him in a restaurant and asking for his permit — and him continually refusing to show it.
The man then recorded a second video in a second store after being confronted by police.
Open carry is legal in Connecticut with a permit.
The unnamed man began recording video of police questioning him in a Subway restaurant where he said he wanted to order food.
“Why are you requesting my permit?” the man asked the officer in front of him.
“Because you’re armed in a public place,” the officer replied.
“Is that illegal?” the man asked.
“It’s not,” the officer replied, repeating his request to see the man’s permit. The man continued to refuse to show a permit.
When the man again asked the officer if it was illegal for him to open carry, the officer replied, “It depends on the situation. If you have a legal license, then it’s not.”
At that point another officer arrived on the scene, apparently a supervisor, and the man told the first officer, ”Hopefully he knows the law better than you because you clearly don’t know the law.”
When the man asked the arriving officer if he was a supervisor, the officer replied, ”You see the stripes on my sleeve, man. Don’t play games with me, man. What’s going on, mister video man?”
After the open-carry gun owner explained he just wanted to get some food, the supervisor told him, “We just had a complaint right downtown, a block away. Now the man is asking for your ID. That’s all he’s asking for. You’re either going to give him your ID or you’re not — say yes or no.”
After the man said he wasn’t going to show anything, the supervisor told him to “go somewhere else.”
When the open-carry gun owner said he wanted to get food from Subway, the supervisor walked up close to him and said, ”Why are you walking around with a gun, open carry, trying to challenge the law, man? I don’t understand this.”
The man replied that he wasn’t trying to challenge anything and just wanted to get his food.
At that point the officers informed the man that Subway was refusing to serve him. ”I’m advising you to go home,” the supervisor said as the man exited the store.
“And I’m advising you I can walk up and down the street as I please. … I’m not going anywhere,” the man replied. “You have a great day. Now I’m going to Dunkin’ Donuts. Y’all want to go talk to that manager, too?” At the end of the clip the man yelled at the officers, calling them “dickheads.”
Here’s the first clip. (Content warning: Mild profanity at the end):
The second clip took place in a different store, with the same open-carrying man talking to a police officer who was in the Subway restaurant earlier. When the man accused the officer of coaching store managers to refuse business to him, the officer put it a different way.
“I explained to him that we cannot order you to put your gun away and we cannot order you to present your permit, but as a business owner, if you’re not comfortable with him being in here, you have that option,” the officer told the man.
“They weren’t saying anything until you walked in and said that,” the open-carrying man told the officer.
“They weren’t saying that until I asked them,” the officer acknowledged.
“Exactly!” the man replied, saying that when a “big tough guy with a badge” communicates that to a business owner, the business owner is likely to then refuse service.
“So you guys harass citizens for not breaking the law?” the man asked the officer. “You know there’s real crimes happening in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and you’d rather follow me around. Clearly, if I wanted to break the law, I would not be having my gun open-carry when you guys are around, you know that right? If you go up the street to the projects up there, I’m pretty sure there’s something up there you could do … So now you’re just wasting taxpayers’ money.”
Here’s the second clip:
A New Haven Register article weighed in on open carry in Connecticut:
“If you have a permit to carry, you can carry a handgun on your person as long as it doesn’t cause annoyance or alarm,” said state police Lt. J. Paul Vance.
State police Training Bulletin No. 2013-01 spells it out: “In Connecticut, there is NO state statute which makes it illegal for someone with a valid pistol permit to openly carry a pistol in plain view UNLESS this ‘open carry’ creates a ‘Breach of Peace’ situation” or the person is “intoxicated or using drugs.”