By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Montgomery County is a rural county just Southeast of the center of Georgia. The population of the county is under 10,000 people, so I was a little surprised to come across this account of a deputy accosting a person openly carrying a holstered pistol at the local Walmart. From opencarry.org, SFCRetired relates:
A fun evening at Wal Mart on Atlanta Highway. When I walked in the door, the young deputy sheriff crooked his finger at me in a “Come here” gesture. That got my blood pressure easing up immediately as I am most assuredly not a child to be summoned by some young squirt wearing a badge and a gun.
His first question was, “Are you law enforcement?” When I told him that I was not, he proceeded to tell me there was a sign on the door and I could not carry openly in Wal Mart.
He then wasted his time, and mine, looking all over for a sign I knew damn well was not there. Unfortunately, with my wife rushing me, I did not get a chance to get this overdressed child's name.
But it should tell each of you something that he was insistent, despite being told better, that there was a sign on the door.
Further down in the discussion, SFCRetired relates some of the local politics that preceded this incident:
You would have to know all the history of the sheriff of this county. He, using taxpayer money, had signs printed up, “No Open Carry Allowed in this Business”. His deputies gave the signs out to business owners and, it is alleged, told many of the owners they had to post the signs.
Thankfully, this sheriff is not seeking re-election. His chief deputy is running for the office and, from the accounts I have, fully endorses his boss' policies.
Purchasing “No Open Carry Allowed” signs, then aggressively bullying people to put them up does not seem like a winning strategy for holding office in a rural Georgia community. With a little searching, I found that this has also been done in Alabama, according to a discussion on AR15.com. Bama-Shooter wrote in March of this year:
Those are paid for by the sheriff and given out to businesses that want them.
I do wonder if tax dollars were used to print these signs.
I saw one at the movie theater in Prattville, said it was provided by the sheriff, Prattville chief of police and local DA.
IMO if a business wants such a sign they should have to go procure them on their own.
In Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the Chief of Police talked about printing up signs and handing them out to local businesses. The remarks are in a video of the special meeting that was held on how to deal with an open carry walk.
All of these efforts seem to be short-lived and local. In Montgomery County, the Deputy could not find a sign. In Eureka Springs, even the City Council member who said he would put up a sign, took it down after the open carry walk.
In small town Wisconsin on Memorial day weekend, I never saw a no guns sign. Many small businesses operate on small profit margins. Many do not have anyone telling them that they took their business elsewhere in the course of a year. If they put up a “No Open Carry” or “No Guns” sign, they have several people a month telling them that they would have spent money there, but if they are not welcomed there armed, then their money is not welcomed either.
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.