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Open Carry Charges in Washington State

Looks like this guy is in a bit of trouble. Apparently a McDonalds manager claims that he said :

According to police reports, the McDonald’s manager said that when she asked Dohmen to leave because of his gun, he tapped the holstered pistol and told her, “Bring it bitch.”

Dohmen denies that.

I think I’d be more inclined to believe his side of the story, because he seems to be more the pamphleteer type than something else. But his wrong was not immediately leaving when asked to. It appears he was overeager to convince this manager of her wrong:

Upon learning Dohmen was not a cop, Aldridge told him to leave because he couldn’t have a gun in the restaurant.

Dohmen says he replied that the law allows it, but that he also respects private property rights. He says he was preparing to get a brochure from his car to “further her understanding” when Aldridge told him she was calling 911. He waited for police in his car.

Once you’re asked to leave and don’t it’s trespassing. That’s not what he’s charged with, but he could be. I’m actually surprised the DA in this case hasn’t offered a plea to that.

In his report, Prosser Officer Antonio Martinez said he approached Dohmen’s car carrying his patrol rifle and ordered Gail Dohmen out of the car. When Officer Nickalas Letourneau arrived, Martinez took Dohmen’s pistol and ordered him out of the Audi. Letourneau then handcuffed Dohmen. Martinez wrote that Dohmen “was extremely verbal and was very upset I was taking the firearm from him.”

“I said, ‘You do not have my permission to do that,’ ” Dohmen said of the officer taking his legally carried, loaded gun.

Gail Dohmen, 63, said she was upset as she watched what was happening to her husband. She said she tried to grab Open Carry brochures from the car to give the officers but was told to move away or face arrest.

I would say making a move for the brochures is a move that could get you shot in a tense situation like that. How do they know you’re going for brochures? If the officer has his service rifle in hand, you’re best bet is compliance. You can sort out the right from wrongs when you get out of the immediate situation.

This is one of the big risks with open carry. I think this guy handled himself pretty poorly, given the circumstances. Most open carry people know better than this, but it’s the bozos who are going to end up in the news.

20 Responses to “Open Carry Charges in Washington State”

  1. dusty says:

    One might argue that his rights were violated, but:
    There is a tacit agreement in America between citizens and police – if you leave a low-intensity conflict, the police won’t follow up if they don’t have to. Drive away. McDonald’s manager is nasty to you – leave and write the owner/corporate. Gas station attendant ripped you off – leave and follow up with your credit card company. Librarian asks you to leave for any reason – leave. Flight attendant tells you to leave – yep, it’s time to leave.

    If you refuse to leave, or are slow in leaving, and especially if you are sitting in your car waiting for the police to show up, you are wearing the troublemaker hat.

  2. ctdonath says:

    Exactly: just leave. Once conversations reach a certain point, it’s over and time to go; further attempts at conversation have devolved into trespassing/harassment/etc.

    And always remember that the other person may not be as upstanding. Kinda mind-blowing when you get in a polite & creative final word, only to hear later it reported as crude obscenity. Been there, got that, learned.

    Insofar as this being a risk of open carry, so be it. So was being a certain color at one point. The bigotry won’t end until the hysterical face it often enough they either realize it’s harmless or just relent from sheer frequency. They can’t keep up such intensity of hysteria. Quit trying to make an issue of it, leave the brochures at home, and just do it discretely (don’t fear being “made”, but don’t “ask for it” with the biggest shiniest baddest M1911 in a speed rig either). Won’t take long if done by many in a polite, sensible, innocuous manner.

  3. Sebastian says:

    Quit trying to make an issue of it, leave the brochures at home, and just do it discretely (don’t fear being “made”, but don’t “ask for it” with the biggest shiniest baddest M1911 in a speed rig either). Won’t take long if done by many in a polite, sensible, innocuous manner.

    Yes, exactly.

  4. Mike says:

    Another OC activist giving gun owners a good name.

  5. coastalm14 says:

    I am all for concealed carry, but open carry is just asking for this kind of result. Do us all a favor and conceal it!

  6. thebastidge says:

    Don’t see where he did anything wrong, except that if asked to leave I wouldn’t retreive the brochure, I would simply leave. I have a couple hundred copies of the brochure in question (pretty sure it’s the same one shared through opencarry.org). Waiting in the car for the cops to arrive is not a bad idea. If they claim you’re fleeing the scene of a crime, it’s yet another charge to be put on you.

    Judging someone’s actions from a legal standpoint on the basis of a newspaper article, even one as friendly to the issue as this, is the foolhardy move.

  7. pdb says:

    A clear and flagrant violation of Open Carry Rule #1:

    Don’t be a dick.

  8. Acksiom says:

    Yeah, and I’m still waiting to hear why other people should give up some of their safety just to decrease your own personal, subjective concerns about bad coverage — of which, this article is a great example. I read it and I see another example of abuse of State power through a woman’s false accusation, not bad news for the 2nd Amendment.

    Upon reflection, It also occurs to me that for the above negative interpretations to make sense, you necessarily have to assume that the mass media would have treated the matter any differently if he hadn’t been OCing. I.e., that the coverage would have been more positive otherwise. Maybe because of the magical flying unicorns with sparkly butterfly wings that would have been pooping out rainbows of candy overhead?

    Oh, and as I pointed out originally, based on my experience with a similar activism, getting your issue out from behind the mass media’s Lace Curtain of censorship by omission is a huge positive all on its own. I’ve yet to see anyone doing this whole “viewing with alarm” routine about OC even come close to beginning to look like they might consider examining the possibility of thinking about getting around to summing up some of the potential positives.

    [shrug] Oh well. Nobody ever wants to hear from the guy who thinks the circle jerk is stupid.

  9. Acksiom says:

    Oh, and I did a quick review of the comments. They’re about 85% in favor of OC, the 2nd, and the Dohmens, etc.

    I’m not seeing the “bad” publicity here. . .either.

  10. Sebastian says:

    It’s not really about open carry. It’s about the fact that if a property owner asks you to leave, you leave. This guy was more interested in making sure everyone knew he was “Right, Dammit!TM

  11. I have to agree with Acksiom – in my opinion, there’s no way Mr Dohmen could have had this come out any better, and it’s all because of the McDonalds mgr.

    As far as I can see, this fellow did the best he could until a rabid hoplophobe, even as he prepared to leave the restaurant, informed him she was calling 911.

    People, no one calls 911 to report that a customer is legally and respectfully carrying a fiream, and that you’ve asked him to leave because you are uncomfortable.

    Nope ….. she called 911 and said …..

    “Man with a gun”

    And this is how police respond to ‘man with a gun’ calls:

    In his report, Prosser Officer Antonio Martinez said he approached Dohmen’s car carrying his patrol rifle

    According to the article, there are 4 witnesses to the event, the Dohmen’s, the mgr, and a truck driver, who claims that Dohmen did nothing wrong.

    It’s my opinion that Dohmen ran into a bad situation (not of his making) and he handled it the best way he knew how.

    And don’t get me started on that bullshit charge where my intent is determined by how someone else reacts.

  12. Sebastian says:

    Dohmen says he replied that the law allows it, but that he also respects private property rights. He says he was preparing to get a brochure from his car to “further her understanding” when Aldridge told him she was calling 911. He waited for police in his car.

    That doesn’t sound like someone who is leaving.

  13. Acksiom says:

    And you know this, from the article. . .how, exactly?

    As far as I can tell, he did leave, and I haven’t scanned the OCDO forums in a while, but as of the last I read, the question of whether to leave a location after a MWAG call had been made was still in dispute. He very well might have stayed because he thought it was the prudent thing to do.

    And, as usual, god forbid that you should actually address any of my actual points as actually made.

  14. Sebastian says:

    Aksiom, I’m not addressing your points because I find you to be rude and tiresome.

  15. Acksiom says:

    Oh?

    You’re saying he parked his car in the Mickey D’s?

    It’s amazing how you find these things out! How do you do it?

  16. Sebastian says:

    He says he was preparing to get a brochure from his car to enlighten her. Preusmably he didn’t mean to leave. And last I checked the parking lot was their property.

  17. Acksiom says:

    Well, I did start by being extremely polite, if you’ll recall (as is my usual policy). It’s not like I haven’t thrown the links up a time or three. But you completely and utterly ignored not only my points but me as well.

    Eventually I got tired of it, and started poking you, and wonder of wonders! You started acknowledging my existence.

    So basically, it’s your responsibility. If you don’t like the feedback, change your behavior. It’s all you can really control in life, you know. If you’d responded at all when I was being polite, I would have gone on being polite.

    Although. . .I have to say, not addressing my points simply because you find me “rude and tiresome” does kinda match up with your whole “People shouldn’t open carry, even if they’re safer doing so, just because it upsets me personally” schtick.

  18. Sebastian,

    The only information that we have from the linked article is that Dohmen “offered her a brochure about gun rights”. We can only speculate that at that time, the mgr informed Dohmen that she was calling 911 (with predictable results).

    The only indication we have that he wasn’t intending to leave is that he claims he was going to get a brochure about gun rights, but this is concurrent with the mgr’s threat to call 911.

    Again, it’s my opinion that Dohmen did the only logical thing he could do, which is wait for police. Had he left, it is likely that a description of his vehicle would be given to police, and he and his wife would probably been invited to a felony stop party later down the road, since police were still responding to a ‘man with a gun’ call. Yes, the parking lot is private property, but with the 911 call, the damage has been done.

    I would also point out that his weapon was returned to him that night, and the only result was a police report being filed.

    Then, it took prosecutors 2 months to bring that bullshit charge. And we’re hearing about this 8 months after the fact?

    And I for sure don’t think Mr Dohmen was intent on being seen as “Right, Dammit!TM“. The worst I can think that he can be accused of is thinking that the McDonalds mgr had any sense and might be open to reason.

  19. Heather from AK says:

    Eh. Open carry, concealed carry… what I take issue with is the article referring to McDonald’s as a “restaurant.”

  20. Big Gay Al says:

    Ok, here’s my take. Rather than try and show the manager the error of her ways, once asked to leave, he should have. IF he had, he’d not have the legal problems he has today.

    To those of you who prefer concealed, fine. Just don’t tell me how to exercise my right of self defense. After all, I don’t tell you who you can kiss.

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