Police in Rutland, Vermont arrested 26-year-old Joshua Severance for walking around town with a registered handgun clipped to his belt.
What Severance was doing was perfectly legal. But apparently, Rutland police forgot the law.
Severance, a veteran of the National Guard, was walking to his father’s house when police approached him. He said he feels his personal rights were violated and that he is disturbed by the incident.
As he should be.
He said, “There was a cruiser sitting there parked, and it saw me. I had my firearm on my side, had my shirt off because I was hot, minding my own business just walking along, cops saw me. I can see pulling somebody over and asking them to look at the firearm or check the serial number to see if it comes back stolen but putting somebody in handcuffs and throwing them in a cruiser and treating them like a criminal from square one– I don’t agree with.”
After discovering that Severance’s possession of the gun was in fact legal, police continued to justify their actions. They played down the arrest by explaining their response was due to recent shootings in the neighborhood (unrelated to this incident).
Police Sgt. John Sly of Rutland said, “In this particular neighborhood it is not commonplace to have people walking down the street with firearms, either rifles, shotguns or handguns. It was suspicious; it was out of the ordinary.”
Severance did nothing to break the law. Just because something is uncommon doesn’t mean it is illegal.
Although Sly claimed it is “uncommon” to see someone walking with firearms, he also said these types of stops are “not out of the ordinary and are routinely conducted.”
The reasoning is laughable.
This incident in Vermont is just another example of an absurd police power-grab.
Do you think such police stops trample on the spirit of the Second Amendment? Or is it acceptable to stop someone carrying a gun out in the open?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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