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A reasonable person listening to the dispatcher might have concluded that open carry of handguns was illegal in Madison. In fact that's what Ryan thought, and he told the Examiner.com that he believed that “open carry is disorderly conduct in Madison.”
However when Ryan learned that six days after Mr. Yates was cited for disorderly conduct, Madison police officials issued an email to patrol officers stating that “officers cannot simply write a DC ticket based solely on the open carry . . . unless additional articulable facts exist to substantiate Disorderly Conduct,” Ryan paused and then responded with a question: “Then what basis is there to stop” someone openly carrying a gun?
According to the US Supreme Court in Florida v. J.L. (2000) (detaining man on mere report that he has a gun violates the Fourth Amendment), Ryan's question is exactly the correct line of inquiry because there is no “firearms exception” to the Fourth Amendment. Other high courts of our country agree, like the Washington Appeals Court in State v. Casad (2004) (detaining man observed by police openly carrying rifles on a public street violates the Fourth Amendment) and the federal district court in New Mexico which just past week entered summary judgment against Alamogordo police officers for detaining a man for merely open carrying a holstered handgun at a movie theater. Read more
Source: DC Gun Rights Examiner