Via David Hardy.
The case stems from a lawyer who sued a police officer after he was detained for lawfully carrying a concealed weapon while in possession of a license to carry concealed. According to the case opinion, the lawyer, Greg Schubert, had a pistol concealed under his suit coat, and Mr. Schubert was walking in what the court described as a “high crime area.” At some point a police officer, J.B. Stern, who lived up to his last name, caught a glimpse of the attorney’s pistol, and he leapt out of his patrol car “in a dynamic and explosive manner” with his gun drawn, pointing it at the attorney’s face.
Officer Stern “executed a pat-frisk,” and Mr. Schubert produced his license to carry a concealed weapon. He was disarmed and ordered to stand in front of the patrol car in the hot sun. At some point, the officer locked him in the back seat of the police car and delivered a lecture. Officer Stern “partially Mirandized Schubert, mentioned the possibility of a criminal charge, and told Schubert that he (Stern) was the only person allowed to carry a weapon on his beat.”
For most people, this would be enough to conclude that they were being harassed for the exercise of a constitutional right, but the officer went further, seizing the attorney’s pistol and leaving with it. Officer Stern reasoned that because he could not confirm the “facially valid” license to carry, he would not permit the attorney to carry. Officer Stern drove away with the license and the firearm, leaving the attorney unarmed, dressed in a suit, and alone in what the officer himself argued was a high crime area.
The attorney sued in federal court, but the District Court threw out his suit, ruling that Officer Stern’s behavior is the proper way to treat people who lawfully carry concealed pistols. Mr. Schubert appealed, and the First Circuit upheld the District Court’s ruling. The court held that the stop was lawful and that Officer Stern “was permitted to take actions to ensure his own safety.”
What if this had been a minority of some sort, or someone exercising their right to free speech, or someone exercising their right to have a lawyer present while being questioned? Is this in any way respecting our rights? Or is the right to keep and bear arms special such that the police can ignore it if they want?