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Video: Veteran Arrested at Gunpoint for Legal Open Carry

A recently published cell phone video out of Wash. state shows an Air Force veteran being arrested at gunpoint for legally open carrying an AR-15 rifle.

The incident, which occurred on June 29, 2013, began when Vancouver police confronted Mack Worley as he walked down a public sidewalk towards his vehicle.

“Stop right there. Put the rifle on the ground,” an officer repeats over a police vehicle loudspeaker.

Worley, fearing for his safety, puts the rifle on the ground while a second officer demands he place his hands on top of his head.

“Am I being detained right now officer?” Worley asks.

After being forced to lift his t-shirt to prove he is not carrying a sidearm, Worley is repeatedly asked to turn off his cell phone by an Officer Rawlins. Refusing to do so, Worley again asks if he is being detained without receiving an answer.

“Just so you know officer, I don’t consent to any searches or seizures of my firearm,” Worley says as officers seize his property without probable cause.

Worley then begins documenting the names of the officers on scene, receiving a snide remark from a visibly unstable officer known as Hernandez.

Asking again if he is being detained, Officer Hernandez admits that no criminal suspicion has been acquired. Given the fact that the mere sight of a legally carried rifle does not equate to probable cause, Hernandez’s comments reveal the stop to be completely unconstitutional.

“No crimes have been committed at this point that we know of,” Hernandez says. “Maybe your gun is stole, I don’t know.”

Shortly after, an unnamed officer can be seen scattering Worley’s ammunition across the sidewalk. The officer wrongfully claims that Worley’s refusal to waive his Fourth Amendment is suspicious behavior before eerily foreshadowing the events to unfold.

Attempting to return to his vehicle, Worley is ordered to leave the parking lot by Officer Hernandez, forcing him to head the opposite direction. Walking down a public sidewalk, Worley is again ordered to change his direction by a second officer. Left with no options, Worley tries to alert the officer to his vehicle’s location as he is incorrectly accused of trespassing.

Boxed in with no where to go, officers suddenly converge on Worley before placing him under arrest for “trespassing with a weapon capable of producing bodily harm.” Worley’s cell phone was confiscated as “evidence” for more than a year.

According to Worley, officers demanded he submit to a breathalyzer test or be put in a drunk tank once reaching the police station. In custody for four and half hours, Worley was denied access to an attorney, a phone call, water and his inhaler.

The following week, Worley plead not guilty to all charges. He has since set up a legal defense fund in order to file a civil suit against the department.

“This obviously isn’t just for me, it’s for everyone’s rights. If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone,” said Worley.

Last November, a similar incident captured by police dashcam revealed the arrest of an Army master sergeant as he legally open carried during a hiking trip with his son. The veteran was absurdly accused of “rudely displaying” his rifle.

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About Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is an investigative journalist covering foreign policy, information security and digital surveillance. His reports have been cited by sites such as the New York Times, Computerworld, International Business Times and the Drudge Report. How to contact Mikael securely:

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  1. Cops need to learn that they are not above the law and they cannot make up charges/accusations like "disturbing the peace".

  2. We in our complacency have created a Frankenstien’s monster with our government. I have no doubt that Constitutional rights are a laughing matter to most law enforcement while they are on the job. The persona of superiority is encouraged and indeed demanded of them in the execution of their duties from day one. I think that the open carry movement will be merely an annoyance to them unless we establish both a significant physical and digital presence in peaceful protest. We must be careful however. All it would take is for some trigger happy idiot to join the cause and end up shooting off their mouth or God forbid their weapon and it would be the first story on international news. That’s exactly what the imperialists want to justify further erosion of our rights. I believe that people like Jesus Christ and Mohandas K. Gandhi are a template in how to peacefully deal with oppressive regimes and people in general. Let’s take a page from their playbook and communicate on many subjects with our law enforcement (invite them to open carry rallies, volunteer as chaplains for ride alongs, help out at police functions while wearing open carry supporter T shirts…etc). This shows an equal concern for the welfare of the public and is less likely to cause alarm when we carry our firearms down the street en masse. I don’t condone the actions of these officers. They were clearly befuddled on what to do with a citizen asserting their fourth amendment rights. Although they should have erred on the side of liberty, it’s no surprise to me that they chose to detain Mr Worley. I’d like to believe that this is the exception and not the rule, but these types of confrontations appear to be growing and unless we establish a grass roots gathering of peaceful and I do mean peaceful asserters of the 4th amendment, we will continue to move toward a re-envisioned Nazi-Germany in our own back yard. Let’s diffuse the bomb that our complacency created. Turning up the heat around it will only lead to panic…again, that’s what the imperialists (corporations, fearful citizens,and big government supporters) want.

    • Excellent post! Agree 100%.

      • I think the police were 100% within their rights to act as they did. If I was out with my children at the shopping center and saw some guy randomly walking around with a rifle, I probably would have called the police on him to verify that he wasn’t some psycho and actually had a permit to carry — not that even a permit would guarantee he was not going to
        harm someone, however- there isn’t much we can do about that unless there was probably cause.

        He was asked SIMPLE questions… All this guy had to do was answer them, and he would have been free to go. COOPERATE PEOPLE.. Yes, it’s your right to not always answer, but these officers are out trying to PROTECT and MAKE SURE that there is nothing to be suspicious about — after they established that, they would have been on their way. ALSO, when you cooperate (with ANYONE), you are less likely to receive a “rude” response from that person – in this case, the officers.

        • You do not need a permit to open carry in the state of Washington. Comments like yours highlight part of the problem, too many people do not know the laws and think the police are your friends. Obviously they were not this law abiding citizens friend in this case.

        • I completely support his right to open carry. I do think if he had answered their questions it would have been better.

          It can be a little UN-nerving to see someone walking around with a gun. In SC we are concealed carry – which I do.

        • I would be owning their department and taking their jobs, for all the felonies they committed if they did this treasonous crap to me….I do not cooperate with felon thugs…and the police HAVE NO DUTY to protect anyone…

    • We must target the source of this power and abuses which is this, and if you do not believe both parties today are unaware of this we are in more trouble than the abuses done daily by the police state. Trust me this must be our target!

      Yes, America is Still in an Official State of Emergency Global Research, February 11, 2010

      A reader asked whether the U.S. is still in an official state of emergency, and if so, what that means.

      The answer is 'YES', we are still in a state of emergency.

      Specifically: On September 11, 2001, the government declared a state of emergency. That declared state of emergency was formally put in writing on 9/14/2001: “A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, I hereby declare that the national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001 . . . .”That declared state of emergency has continued in full force and effect from 9/11 [throughout the Bush administration] to the present. On September 10 2009, President Obama continued the state of emergency: The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2009, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.

    • I fully agree with your post. I have not been a supporter of this type of activity but the more of this that I see leans me toward like demonstrations. To also carrier my weapon in open carrier and push the envelope. Also to stand with people like minded. If I pointed my weapon at a police officer or even hold one like these officers did to this man they would arrest me. Police are NOT above the law and need to be shown that they are not.

  3. Here is more! Fort Worth Police have man's blood drawn by EMS. 7/4/14

    Jul 6, 2014 4th of July weekend. Dallas Cop Block teams up with Tarrant County Peaceful Street Project in holding Fort Worth police department. A man is detained by police and blood withdrawn without a warrant.

  4. The 14 Senators Who Voted Against NDAA (D-MD), Coburn (R-OK), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Durbin (D-IL), Franken (D-MN), Harkin (D-IA), Lee (R-UT), Merkley (D-OR), Paul (R-KY), Risch (R-ID), Sanders (I-VT), Wyden (D-OR) (14 American Heroes) Look no Rubio or Cornyn on this list. Beware they are evil folks!

    U.S. Military ‘Power Grab’ Goes Into Effect By Jed Morey on May 14, 2013

    Pentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself Authority Over ‘Civil Disturbances’

  5. I just called Vancouver PD and asked to have officer Rawlins return my call in regards to this video. I mentioned to the operator how furious I was and that he and the other officers involved should be fired. I encourage you guys do the same. Here is the number to the PD. 13604877400. Hit 0 to skip through the recording.

  6. Washington state is an open cary state. No permit is required to carry a firearm openly in public places. It is however the business or land owners right to ask you to leave and you must do so or you can face charges for trespassing. I live in vancouver washington where this took place and occasionally open carry. Acts like this from VPD do not suprise me the least. This has happened several times around here and they keep getting away with it….. it sickens me.

  7. This was exactly the kind of tyranny our founding fathers wanted to avoid.

  8. Rumple Skilskin

    “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson

  9. Hello all, just wanted to comment from a cops perspective

    I am a Police Officer in crazy California. I cannot provide more identifying information for credentials as my department as with most have policy prohibiting comments to anyone or anything, that can be associated with the department itself. (ridiculous in my opinion).

    I have never posted anything on a blog before, but after seeing this video and reading some of the things, I could not help myself. Before I get raged on by some nut job, I LOVE GUNS, and love gun lovers. I tell people all the time while on duty that if you are legally allowed to have a firearm, you should do so.

    An armed society is a polite society. The Police forces were NEVER meant by the founding fathers to be babysitters to society. Society was meant to police itself, the "police" were there to facilitate confinement and prosecution of wrong doers (usually brought in by citizens or bounty hunters).

    Our government has failed us and target the entire population as a whole with gun control, rather than increasing the penalty for committing crimes with guns. If a person knew that if they decided to do a drive by, or go into a movie theater and shoot people, they would be shot or hung after conviction, maybe they would re-think their actions. The problem is not the "cops" it is the idealism of the liberal tree hugging bleeding heart. Cops are a reflection of the population as that is where Officers are hired from (obviously); therefore, as the general decline of our society turns from the founding fathers ideal that being willing to fight for what is right is sometimes more important than life itself, to an ideal that "big brother" needs to protect us while we get fat and lazy collecting welfare, then more of those people will be in the hiring pool for police departments. I have much more to say, but unfortunately I have to go to work. I will be back though, please ask questions, I would be happy to answer.

    My favorite saying written from memory-
    A person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight. Nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than themselves.

    -angry Californian cop
    -keep open carry alive!!!

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  11. Something Mack Worley did not tell you is the "open carry" law only applies to PUBLIC property. The law specifically spells out that if you enter a privately owned place and the owner asks you to leave, you have to do so. Failure will result in you being charged with trespassing with a weapon (much more serious than just trespassing). Before the police arrived, Mack Worley entered a restaurant (privately owned) and was asked to leave…he refused…when he finally did leave, he went to a bowling ally (privately owned) and was asked to leave…again, he refused. Based on his stupidity, he was arrested for trespassing with a weapon.

    I am a strong believer in our 2nd amendment and have a concealed carry permit; however, just like the 1st amendment gives us the right to say whatsoever we want, sometimes being stupid about it will get you in trouble. Isn't that right, Mack Worley?

    • Wrong. If you watch the trial, he was never asked to leave the restaurant. The lady behind the counter even said she didn’t have a problem with him carrying. He asked about the gun policy on his own because she even admitted she didn’t notice his rifle. He simply got his drink, and left. Never once did he get asked to leave. She also stated later in the same video that afterwards she asked about the gun policy and to her knowledge it’s the same as the constitution. I’m not sure where you got that bit of info from, but it certainly want factual.

  12. I always carry, even if it's only combat knives

  13. Well maiamadca nuts, how about that.

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  15. Well, it so good to know you right but why make the work of police officers difficult just because of you constitutional right when you have no negative intention.

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  26. After being forced to lift his t-shirt to prove he is not carrying a sidearm, Worley is repeatedly asked to turn off his cell phone by an Officer Rawlins. The best essay writing service providing best online tips with a very affordable rate of cost. So you can trust us hundres percently.

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