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Negative encounter at Malvern Drivers License Center with Police response.
#1
I had to go to a Photo Center to have my license updated so I went out to the Malvern Drivers License Center this morning. I walked in, got my number, and had a seat for a few minutes. When I walked in I didn't notice any signage on the door disallowing firearms, not to say PennDOT has that authority, but I did see signage prohibiting cell phones, smoking, food, and drink. I quickly realized I'd be waiting for a while so I stepped outside to wait. It was around this time I saw the small crossed out pistol sticker on the door. Keep in mind there are several stickers on the door depicting cell phones, food, and drink. They all had a red circle/slash with a white item being pictured. They were also in a line across the door evenly spaced. The gun sticker was not red and white in color, just white, and it was placed below the other stickers nearly behind the door handle. Wish I could've gotten a picture after the fact but I had phone trouble.

After approximately 30 minutes of waiting patiently the first officer arrived on scene. I attempted to grab my phone to record the interaction but it locked up, unfortunately. The first officer of the East Whiteland Township PD to approach was polite, level-headed, and calm. Unfortunately, I didn't get his name or badge number. The conversation went something along these lines.

Officer: Hey, how are you, do you mind stepping over here to talk with me for a sec. I know you're not doing anything wrong and perfectly legal but we got a call and I'd just like to talk to you real quick.
Xavier: Sure thing.

We then walked around the corner, away from the majority of the crowd waiting around.

Officer: Alright, can I get your name?
Xavier: I haven't done anything illegal so I will not identify myself.
Officer: How about just a first name so we can have a conversation?
Xavier: Sure, my name is Xavier.
Officer: Alright Xavier, we just got a call from someone working in the license center and had to come out. We just wanted to let you know the building is posted No Firearms.
Xavier: Well officer, as far as I'm aware PennDOT does not have the authority to prohibit the carry of firearms.

About this time two more officers showed up. Officer Stymiest #53 and Officer Walker #64. I was told Officer Stymiest was the "in-charge" officer on the call. Our brief convo went something like this:

Officer S: Can I get your ID for our report?
Xavier: No, I haven't done anything illegal so I do not need to identify myself.
Officer S: We just need something you write on our reports.
Xavier: My first name is Xavier, you can write that on your reports.
Officer S: Ok, well we just got called here because you can't carry in there, it's posted and it's private property.
Xavier: As I was telling the other officer, PennDOT does not have the authority to prohibit the carry of firearms. I'd also like the name of the employee who called so I can file a private complaint for official oppression.
Officer S: Well the building owner could prohibit that and we don't know who called, it could have been a customer.
Xavier: Well, by all means contact the landowner and find out. I'm sure I'll be long gone by the time you find anything out. And since I have done nothing wrong I will be terminating this interaction now.

I then walked back to where I had been waiting and continued to wait my turn, peering through the door to see what the ticket was up. Officer S. had gotten on the phone with someone, from the bits of the convo I caught he was trying to verify what I had just said about PennDOT having the authority to prohibit guns and then I caught something like, "Ok, yeah, if he goes back in we'll arrest him." After hearing that, being an hour from home and currently unemployed and really not wanting to have to call someone to come bail me out I approached the first officer and informed him that due to all the commotion and me just wanting to get my license updated and be on my way that I would reluctantly lock my firearm in my vehicle in order to carry on unmolested.

Officer W then approached and said something along the lines of, "Well, do you have a LTCF? Because then you'd be concealed and you'll need a LTCF." I responded, telling him that I did and at that point I'd be willing to share that information. So I walked across the parking lot to my vehicle, with Officer W following me. After I put my EDC into my truck and locked it up Officer W asked me for my LTCF and ID. At this point I figured I was skirting the line of carrying in a vehicle, since I had to enter the truck to secure the firearm, and that he had a valid right to request my LTCF so I handed it over. Officer S had pulled his vehicle over to our location by this point and was standing there as well. They both were saying things like, "We know you weren't trying to cause problems, we're just responding to the call," etc. I asked Officer S how to find out who actually called the police so that I could determine if it was a PennDOT employee so I could file a complaint of official oppression. He informed me I'd have to call the department during regular business hours to find out and that he wasn't aware of who made the call. He gave me a page from his notepad with the department name and number as well as his name. I used it to record his badge number as well as Officer W's information.

After this was all said and done I hurried back to the DLC hoping I didn't miss my number. Got back just in time, got my new license and headed home.
When they come for my guns; It is not my right, at that point,
but my responsibility to respond in the name of liberty.
[Image: sig.jpg]
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#2
Well... They threatened arrest and you stood your ground as long as possible. Were you openly carrying prior to the interaction?
tolerance for failure meter... LOW
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#3
Yup, I was OC'ing from the time I left the house.
When they come for my guns; It is not my right, at that point,
but my responsibility to respond in the name of liberty.
[Image: sig.jpg]
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#4
Just a tip, I just went to the DL photo center beside Brimmer's on Harrisburg Pike earlier this week, I was in and out in 10 minutes. It's a lot closer than Malvern.
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#5
streaker69;137310 Wrote:Just a tip, I just went to the DL photo center beside Brimmer's on Harrisburg Pike earlier this week, I was in and out in 10 minutes. It's a lot closer than Malvern.

Yea, I actually had their website open and was going to use them but I was headed out towards Malvern for other business anyway so I figured I'd knock out two birds with one stone.
When they come for my guns; It is not my right, at that point,
but my responsibility to respond in the name of liberty.
[Image: sig.jpg]
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#6
Does PennDOT always rent the space from a private property owner? If so, can the building owner make their own rules on allowing firearms on their property and then have PennDOT follow that policy?

Sorry to hear about your negative encounter Xavier. Getting harassed by the cops for being a peaceful, civil law abiding citizen sucks.
Live Free or Die
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#7
I have open carried several times to the PennDOT center near me, and never had a negative or positive encounter. I'm not sure it was ever noticed.

I have been under the impression that carry at a PennDOT center is not prohibited, and that PennDOT as a state agency does not have the authority to make such a prohibition regardless of who owns the property.

Xavier, do you have any plans to follow up on this? Like you, I am also curious to see who complained, but beyond that I want to find out whether or not the "no guns" sticker on the door is valid.

Someone from Moms Demand action could have put it there for all we know.
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

William Pitt
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#8
Has anyone here or "the other site" emailed PennDot and asked them if OC was permitted? I feel like somebody on the other site had a similar encounter.
[Image: pa_zps59e4c512.png?t=1379682235]
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#9
I think we all agree that PennDOT doesn't have the right to prohibit firearms..., but the question is, can the property owner, even if it is a state agency occupying the space? This is a grey area, and I think the OP did the best he could under the circumstances.

Justin
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#10
JustinHEMI;137331 Wrote:I think we all agree that PennDOT doesn't have the right to prohibit firearms..., but the question is, can the property owner, even if it is a state agency occupying the space? This is a grey area, and I think the OP did the best he could under the circumstances.

Justin

That's the same conclusion I reached too. Part of me wants to believe that the property owner should have the right to prohibit weapons (not saying I want the property owner to, but I think they have the right to), but there are two big questions: 1) Does it state in the rent contract that weapons are forbidden inside the building, and 2) Even if it is stated in the rent contract that weapons are forbidden, does the rule become void once a state agency occupies the building due to pre-emption?

I hope question #2 made sense. Let me know if anybody's confused.
[Image: pa_zps59e4c512.png?t=1379682235]
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