Manchester Police vs. Gun Rights

I ran across an interesting story in a free Manchester Paper this week about a police gun investigation that took place in Manchester.  You can read the story in full here.

Police responded to a tip regarding 4 "teens" one of which had a gun strapped to his waist.  Police arrived on the scene and after demanding they stop and put their hand up, detained the three men and one woman (none of which were teens), seized the guns two of them carried and searched their pockets.  All of this was done without any crime having taken place or evidence of any crime.  Just because two men looked young and had guns safely secured in holsters on their belts.

Police Chief David Mara is quoted in saying “If the people want to make a complaint, it will be investigated and the facts and circumstances will be investigated and determined. And if we find that our officers acted inappropriately, we will take appropriate action.”  “The police are not taking a stand against gun rights, we’re just trying to keep people safe.”

“If a person is walking toward a school with a gun, are we not supposed to respond to that because it’s legal for a person to carry a gun? Is it unreasonable for a parent to be concerned and call the police?”

Ok, so if a middle aged man with a bag of candy is seen walking in the vicinity of a school is it appropriate for police to walk up an demand he put his hands up and search him because a parent may be concerned he might be a child molester?  Maybe check out his car for any supplies that might be used in a kidnapping?

Or what about a younger black man in a hooded sweat shirt carrying a backpack?  If police drove up to him and yelled out "freeze, put your hands above your head" and proceeded to search him because someone is concerned he might be a drug dealer?  Clearly police should check out what's in his bag right?  Privacy should be taken away if we can protect the kids from a perspective drug dealer, right?

How about they drag in all young women walking down the street wearing provocative clothing for questioning because they might be a prostitute? 

Walking down the street carrying a gun is 100% legal in this state and what the Manchester police did was wrong.  Had this been the first time they unjustly stopped someone simply because that person choose to use his or her right to carry a gun then it could be excused as a mistake on their part but they made the mistake once already by detaining Dave Ridely.  This is becoming a clear cut pattern in their behavior. 

In any of the other situation listed above you would see the ACLU filing class action lawsuits again that city and respective police departments.  Is that what it's going to take before the Manchester Police realize it is NOT ok to stop someone who has done nothing illegal and nothing wrong?  Is that what it will take for them to actually follow the Constitutions they are sworn to protect and uphold?

Lesson 1:

The federal constitution protects us from being searched without probable cause.

Lesson 2:

[Art.] 2-a. [The Bearing of Arms.] All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.

The NH state constitution specifically gives us the right to keep and bear arms.

So given the fact that we are constitutionally allowed to keep and bear arms, where is the probable cause for stopping someone carrying a gun?  I guess I better watch what I say because if carrying a gun is probable cause then clearly exorcizing free speech and criticizing public officials who violate our rights must be cause to have my whole house searched.