I was very concerned when I heard police in Montgomery County 302’d (involuntary observational commitment) someone for open carrying an AR-15. I don’t consider it wise to open carry an AR-15 down the streets of suburbia, but 302ing someone for politically distasteful behavior is reminiscent of the Soviet Union, and along the lines of “things we worry about” when we’re talking mental health issues and guns. Some people out there, after all, consider an interest in firearms to be a sign of mental instability.
But this article suggests there were other factors involved other than the open carrying:
Rather, police acted after some of the man’s friends messaged police via Facebook with concerns about his behavior and change in mental status.
One witness told police the young man talked of “shooting up” Penn State Abington back in January.
More recently, the man texted the friend a picture of the AR-15, saying “look what I just got.”
OK. If the allegation is true and the witness credible, in this context the 302 is a lot more understandable. But I worry law enforcement might get an idea that a trip to the loony bin for evaluation is the new “Disorderly Conduct” charge if you want to nail someone for open carrying because the responding officer doesn’t like it.
2 thoughts on “New Tactic to Shut Down Open Carry?”
Which is why at very least such a commitment should have no effect on civil rights without due process from a legal hearing.
(And fines on the PD or individual cops if it’s found unjustifiable, too.
Not that that will ever happen.)
This this this.
We’ll probably never get the second thing, but the first is a must. If any red flag law is going to pass, a win would be at least ended 302s without due process.
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