Mark took it as far as he could go without getting arrested:
From Mark Roote:
I am writing to you today as one of your constituents from Wyoming County, Monroe Township.
I was in Philadelphia, PA today to attend the “End The Fed” rally. While I do not agree with everything the speakers at that rally talked about, I do agree that the Fed is unconstitutional and it needs to go away.
But that’s not why I’m writing you.
I am an active member of the “Open Carry” movement, wherein I exercise my right to bear arms wherever I go, in accordance with the law. That includes Philadelphia. I realize that since Philly is a “Class ‘A’ City”, I am required to have a valid License to Carry Firearms for the state of PA (which I have), or a valid permit from a reciprocal state. Before I went to Philly, I researched the Open Carry laws for myself, using a handout from www.paopencarry.org as a guide. I took that handout and compared it to the actual law as best I could though www.state.pa.us, but primarily using other sites online since the pa site is not very user friendly (the primary site I used washttp://reference.pafoa.org/). As best I could determine, the handout is in agreement with the law.
Now the issue I had today:
I was walking around the rally site in front of the Federal Reserve building for about 3 hours with my weapon plainly visible and officers everywhere. None said anything to me about the weapon. After we started “marching”, an “officer” told me I had to conceal my weapon because I was in violation of Philadelphia law. When I declined (reference 18 PACS 6121 – Cities, towns and municipalities are prohibited by PA law from enacting laws prohibiting concealed or open carry), he went and got his lieutenant to “enforce” his rule (this is when I started recording, video linked below).
The LT (Consick?), after being summoned by the other “officer”, told me that I had to conceal “it” or he was going to “take it away” and “lock me up”. He told me I was in violation of Philadelphia law, and when I cited 18 PACS 6120, he changed his story to say that I was violating PA law and he pulled out a piece of paper that had 18 PACS 6102 at the top and pointed to the “concealed” part (note, 18 PACS 6102 is the definitions subsection, has nothing to do with the actual law). I then pulled out my little piece of paper that had 18 PACS 6106 & 6108 cited and showed it to him. He told me that he pulled his from the PA Crimes Code just for today and disregarded my paper completely saying it wasn’t official and again threatened to take my weapon away and lock me up because he “didn’t want to play games”. Those two codes are:
6106 – Firearms not to be carried without a license
6108 – Carrying firearms on public streets or public property in Philadelphia
What they say, basically, is that open carry in Philadelphia requires a valid PA LTCF or reciprocal state’s carry license. I’m sure you have the ability to look up the actual sections much more easily than I can.
After all of that, I decided that rather than get robbed and go to jail, I would “comply” and cover my weapon. It should be noted that I simply untucked my shirt and pulled it up over the holster. I then asked the LT if that was OK since my truck was so far away, and he said it was. In doing this, the entire weapon and holster was still readily visible with the shirt only covering the grip of the pistol.
Here is a link to a composite of video that I took during these encounters today:
I apologize for the shakiness, but after hearing about several people that have been arrested for videotaping officers in PA and elsewhere, I was trying to record without them realizing it, see http://www.pixiq.com/contributors/248 for some of those stories