Person openly carrying an AR-15. Reasonable articulable suspicion of crime?

I’m sure we’ve all seen YouTube videos of people openly carrying AR-15s in states where open carry is legal. People see them and call the cops who approach them. These people typically get indignant, claim that they are not breaking the law, and refuse to answer questions and ask that they be allowed to go on their way.

Now, if anyone is familiar with my prior posting history, you will know that I support the private right to keep and bear arms and to carry arms in public. In these states it is legal and carrying pistols should, IMHO, definitely be legal.

But doesn’t carrying a rifle give an officer a reasonable articulable suspicion that crime is afoot? Not the carrying of the rifle, but the fact that such carry is so sufficiently unusual that it is reasonable to believe that the person is off to commit a crime?

I mean, there is no law that says I cannot carry an axe or a flamethrower walking down the city street. Likewise in Terry v. Ohio, there is no law against walking in front of a department store 20 times and having a conversation with two other people. But isn’t carrying an AR-15 or an axe or a flamethrower sufficiently suspicious that the police have the power to do a Terry stop and investigate? I think so.

Do I need to turn in my conservative card for having this opinion?

The people openly carrying weapons of that kind are doing it purely to get a reaction, therefore they are arseholes and getting hassled by the police is the least they deserve

No, it does not. They could be carrying for many reasons. Getting a reaction is just one. There are many places in the world where carrying a weapon is entirely normal.

Right, but reasonable articulable suspicion does not require the elimination of all other possible motives, it is just something to point to that crime is afoot.

I think that a guy walking down the street in an American city with an AR-15 fits that bill.

Again, if we go back to the facts in Terry v. Ohio, maybe the guy was just having trouble deciding if he could afford the items on display in the window. Walking isn’t a crime, but the facts in that case were sufficient to support a stop.

A firearm is a tool. If you open carry, so are you.

Would rather not turn into Somalia thank you very much.

I’m a democrat/liberal or what ever people are calling us these days. I am getting more so every dam day because of the clown in office. I used to be much more centrist.

I also support the 2nd, but think reasonable restrictions are just that.

I also own 10 guns. They are, to me, a side note, they don’t define me. IMHO some gun owners let it take over their life.

My first thought is what did he pay for the rifle vs what did he tell his wife that he paid.

There is no reason to OWN that gun other than a murder plot. Openly carrying it is not even required; merely wanting to buy it is sufficient for questioning.

I’m so paranoid, I (reasonably?) believe every other driver on the road is probably out to kill me.

But that’s just me.

What are some legitimate reasons to open-carry such a weapon in this country?

Taking the gun to a gunsmith for some work and you do not own a case. Wrapping it in a sheet to conceal it might, depending on the state and your licensure status, be illegal.

(devil’s advocate)

Being one of those “places in the world where carrying a weapon is entirely normal” is one of the defining factors in “battlefield” and in “breakdown of civilization”.

There are also places in the world where dying from easily-preventable diseases and running out of food are entirely normal. It would be just as good, just as rational, to emulate those.

Better, in fact, because being convinced that [you’ll run out of food unless you do something about it] can be solved without becoming a danger to everyone else.

Is brandishing a crime in the area in question? Depending how you define the term, (like say, ‘wielding you weapon in a way intended to threaten or intimidate’) it might be possible to brandish a weapon while it’s strapped to your back, depending on circumstance and demeanor.

ETA: I mean: Believing that your country is a famine zone is far less harmful than believing that your country is a battlefield.

Most criminals are smart enough to realize that advertising their plans to commit a crime is not a good idea. This is why bank robbers generally do not park a block away and walk toward the bank brandishing their weapons.

Openly carrying a gun is very nearly an iron-clad guarantee that the person in question is NOT planning to commit a crime.

“Carrying” does NOT equal “brandishing.”

Tell that to Philando Castille and Jeronimo Yanez. And to a huge number of other cops.

Solving this situation through convoluted misapplication of current US laws might be the smartest thing in the very short term, but changing the law to make the law reasonable (which it currently isn’t) is the real first step. The US gathering the courage to change the 2nd amendment to its constitution to reflect reason and reality is the only permanently useful solution.

All true. Also all unreasonable and useless, in the particular situation described. You’re attempting to deflect the conversation away from the fact that carrying or even owning high-powered weapons is not reasonable, safe, useful, or good.

I don’t think it should be illegal to carry an AR-15 around. But I wouldn’t blame law enforcement for keeping a eye on the individual.

Reason being… a rifle and a handgun have different roles. A person carries a handgun when they are not expecting a fight. By contrast, a person carries a rifle when they are expecting a fight. So when law enforcement sees a regular citizen carrying a rifle, it is reasonable to assume they’re going to a fight. (If you’re going to a fight, a rifle is a much better tool than a handgun.) And if there’s going to be a fight, you can’t blame law enforcement for wanting to know about it.

In most of the places in the world where carrying an AR-15 would be normal, you’d be considered a combatant and people would be shooting at you.

How many places are there in the world where it’s considered normal to carry an AR-15 around in public if you aren’t expecting to be in a battle?