Officer Matt Lyons, you are a credit to the Oceanside Police Department, and I would like to thank you for your courteous, professional, and responsible handling of a California resident recently unloaded-open-carrying.
On a somewhat related note, I, personally, have no problems with identifying myself to police officers, just like I have no problems with people not identifying themselves to police officers (so long as that action is lawful in their respective states/towns). Tennessee, so far as I know, is not a “stop and identify” state, but if police officers have reasonable suspicion that you are violating some law/ordinance (such as, in the case of this open carrier, openly carrying a loaded firearm (illegal in California without a permit)), you are legally obligated to provide identification (though I am not sure if a driver’s license is required so long as the law you are breaking does not have to do with vehicles). As always, I am not a lawyer, and it is incumbent upon you to know the laws in your area.
Thankfully, my one run-in with the Knoxville Police Department while openly carrying followed much the same script, though having just been involved in an accident, there were, of course, some differences.
In the end, there is absolutely no excuse for anything other than courteous, polite, and responsible behavior on both sides of a police interaction, and while California’s laws may (and do) suck, the time to work on changing them is not while a few police officers are attempting to ascertain whether or not you are breaking those laws. Likewise, open carry can and does provide an educational opportunity for all persons involved and observing, and a priceless ability to normalize the concept of law-abiding citizens peacefully and lawfully exercising their Constitutionally-protected, individual rights (namely, self-defense). The very notion that the only way to exercise one’s rights is by carrying an unloaded firearm with the assumption that you will be constantly challenged by your fellow citizens and police officers is patently ludicrous, but it is only through efforts like these that that situation is going to change.
And on a mostly unrelated note, for those interested, Officer Lyons wrote a book about the Oceanside Police Department.
(Courtesy of Say Uncle.)