Cop's Confrontation With Gun Holder Reveals Confusion Over Open Carry Law - NBC New York

Cop's Confrontation With Gun Holder Reveals Confusion Over Open Carry Law

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    Cellphone video showing a confrontation between police officer and a man openly carrying a gun inside a fast-food restaurant in Connecticut reveals just how confusing the state's new open-carry law is. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016)

    Cellphone video showing a confrontation between police officer and a man openly carrying a gun inside a fast-food restaurant in Connecticut reveals just how confusing the state's new open-carry law is. 

    The video shows a Bridgeport police officer confronting a man openly carrying a gun inside a Subway restaurant, which is legal in Connecticut. The officer asks for his permit, and the man refuses. 

    "Why do you have to see my permit? Am I a suspect of a crime?" the gunholder asks the officer. "You guys don't even know the law." 

    Eventually the man leaves without his sandwich and goes to the clothing store next door. 

    According to the state's attorney, "the officer has the right to ask to see the person's pistol permit. If the person refuses, the officer can arrest the person for interfering with an officer." 

    But some say that contradicts Connecticut law, which states that an officer can request a gun permit if he or she "one, observes carrying a pistol or revolver, and two, has reasonable suspicion of a crime." 

    "What law enforcement officers are saying is that they would like a clarification of the law," said Av Harris, a spokesman for the Bridgeport mayor's office.  

    He says the interpretation of Connecticut's new open carry law is in dispute. 

    The city said police have been investigating gun crimes on the block where the Subway restaurant is located. The manager did not wanted to be identified, but told NBC 4 New York he's glad the police asked the man for a permit. 

    "What would you do if anybody walked in with a gun and you're in a public place? You would not feel safe," he said.

    Gun rights advocates say the law is clear and they think the gunholder was harassed. 

    "I think it's pretty deplorable that Bridgeport police continue to harass innocent civilians for not breaking the law," said Richard Burgess, president on Connecticut Carry, a gun rights advocacy group. 

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