So a while back I’m going about my Saturday (armed, natch), and I stop to take care of some banking. Now in Alaska even in Anchorage we believe in personal responsibility and the fact that Ursus Arctos sometimes wanders into town. Hence the open carry (I personally open carry rather than concealed carry because I feel that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). And we so believe in personal responsibility in the last frontier that you can even carry in the bank (just don’t draw, they get all twitchy when you draw).
So I’m in the credit union meyhap twenty minutes (fifteen minutes in line, five with the teller), my Five-seveN and The Blade in plain view and nobody says boo. I do my thing, finish up and didi-bop out the door, and (feeling a bit peckish) drive across the way to the Toxic Hell for a nosh. I roll through the drive-thru, get my junk and park the truck to enjoy the sun and my tunes and some "authentic faux-Mexican" cuisine. Just as I bite into my burrito, I hear a voice in my head.
Now I have heard voices off and on all my life. Usually they say things like; “Don’t do that, you’ll look stupid.” or “Try it with no hands, that’ll impress her.”, this was the first time the voices in my head said “Keep your hands where I can see them. Sir, do you have a weapon in the vehicle?”. Glancing into the side mirrors I saw not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR police cruisers blocking me into the parking space, and no less than eight police officers approaching my truck with weapons drawn.
No wanting to audition for the roll of John Dillinger, I kept my hands on the wheel and answered in the affirmative. I was then asked to list my weapons, which I did; one pistol (Five-seveN), Three knives, one large (The Blade), two small. I was then asked to exit the vehicle backwards so that the officer could secure my weapons, which I did, and the silly fucker couldn’t figure out the SERPA holster and I wound up doing it anyways. My weapons secured and unloaded I was asked for ID and then told to wait, which I did, for two minutes, before asking if it was OK to eat my (so called) food. Which after a moment’s conference it was decided that eating would not pose a serious hazard to the safety of the officers present.
While eating I casually asked one of the officers, “Not that I’m confused officer but, what’s going on?”
The officer in question looked perplexed and conferred with her colleagues for a minute and apparently reached a decision that yes, I was allowed to know what I was accused of. “Sir, were you recently in the Credit Union across the way?”
“Ayup.” I replied.
“And you were armed?” They asked.
“Ayup.” I replied.
“Were your weapons concealed?” they asked. There was a distinct feeling of “Gotcha Sucker” in the tone used.
“Nope. Not that it’d matter, law says I can carry anything not federally prohibited, concealed or openly, anywhere that is not:
a) A State or Federal reservation that prohibits the carrying of a weapon (i.e. Courthouses).
b) An establishment whose primary business is the sale or distribution of alcohol (i.e. bars & liquor stores).
c) A building or residence in which I have been asked not to carry, either through verbal or written notice (i.e. The Village Inn (posted) or my friend The Librarian’s place (verbal).
“Seeing as the Credit Union neither asked, nor posted a no weapons policy, I don’t see the problem. Is that what this is about? Four cars and eight cops to harass me over a legal carry?”
“Sir we received a call of an armed man entering the credit union.”
“We thought perhaps there was an armed robbery in progress.”
Now, this was a full fifteen minutes after I had left the credit union. So let’s crunch some numbers here; 20 minutes in the bank, fifteen minutes at the Toxic Hell, that’s (less see 2 and 3, carry the 7…) THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES between the 911 call and boots on the ground. Anchorage is less than half that wide, and the central five-0 station is located less than 10 miles from the Credit Union.
“What?!?” I ejaculated, somewhat alarmed.
“We called and they said nothing was wrong, but we thought there might have been a hostage situation.”
“Have you talked to the credit union people since?”
“Were doing that now.”
“OK, so assuming that I didn’t rob the bank, can I go then?”
“We’re not sure about the legality of carrying a weapon in a financial institution.”
“Wut?” I asked, stunned.
“We’ve called the DA’s office and they declined to prosecute, so we’ve called the State Prosecutor’s office, we're waiting for them to get back to us.”
“Wut?” I asked, still stunned.
One of the cops gets in his car and rolls off. A few minutes later he rolls back into the lot, gets out and says “Nope it’s [the no weapons notice] not posted at the bank.”
One of the cops approaches me and tells me that they’re letting me go. My gear will be placed in the passenger seat of the truck and I am not to get in it or re-arm until they’re gone. If the State Prosecutor decides to press charges, they’ll contact me.
The tallest cop (in full alpha mode) steps up and asks “So do you think it’s a good Idea to carry a weapon in the bank anymore?”
At first I was a bit taken aback, and my ingrained respect for public servants mumbled something about “no, probably not” and then the anger kicked in. “Officer, until someone changes the law, I will carry any damn weapon I want, any damn place I feel like.”
He looked like I’d just announced that I was fucking his sister. He turned around an got in his squad car without another word.
They rolled, I re-armed and went about my day. At the end of the day, getting my stuff out of the truck I realized that I’d forgotten the TT33 in the glove box, and the City Stick in the back seat.
Now, I told you that story, to tell you this one.
So I’m at the IHOP on a Saturday (Miniontaters and Minionberry pancakes, neither worth the price, but the Minionberry lemonade was lovely), again armed. As I’m checking out, the manager tells me that one of the other customers called the cops and reported an armed man in the restaurant. When the cops called to confirm with the restaurant, he told them it was just a patron eating his breakfast, and he’d be gone by the time they got there anyways so don’t bother.
We shared a laugh and spent a few minutes chatting about our preferred carry pieces. He carries a 1911 everywhere except work, just like me (the where, not the what). I left and went about my day.
I have learned four things from this pair of incidents.
1) Outsiders can get the fuck out of my state. Go back to Cali and New York ya pansies.
2) You never can tell who’s a real Alaskan until he’s faced with a beard and a gun. Or perhaps an angry moose.
3) When seconds count, the police are THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES away.
4) The cops neither know, nor give a rodent's rump about the law.