Monday, August 25, 2008

Using a rifle case is concealing a weapon?

Hunters, you might want to stay out of Colorado for the next few days, because you just might get arrested.

The Democratic National Convention is going on through Thursday in Denver, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was evacuated from her hotel on Sunday after a 29-year-old man from Wyoming walked into the lobby carrying with two rifles and two handguns, apparently in cases. He was promptly arrested, and Pelosi dutifully praised the police for their quick and professional reaction.

The charge? Carrying a concealed weapon.

The guy, Joseph Calanchini, said he was preparing for a hunting trip, and he told a TV station he didn't even realize the convention was in town. (Yep, sounds like a hunter to me - not obsessed with politics.)

Click here for the full story from Associated Press, or just check out these highlights:

"Calanchini did not have a concealed weapons permit, said Lance Clem, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

"(Secret Service spokesman Malcolm) Wiley said authorities were not releasing information about whether the weapons were loaded because the case remained under investigation. Wiley said the charge is the same whether the weapons were loaded or unloaded."

WTF???

I've been hunting for a little less than two years now, and I've already carried my shotgun, in a case, into several hotel rooms. I'm sure as hell not going to leave it in the car.

Now, obviously, I don't know anything about this guy, and for all I know he was out to assassinate Nancy Pelosi. But if that was his plan, he should be arrested for stupidity for openly carrying a rifle into her hotel.

But I am flabbergasted that police would charge the guy with carrying a concealed weapon. What the hell are hunters supposed to do, carry the rifles out of their cases as they approach the registration desk? Oh yeah,that'll go over well. Holy crap, even at the airport we all know we need to have the gun in a case.

I mean, I understand the Secret Service has to take care of our leaders, especially with all the Pelosi haters out there. That's fine. Pull the guy aside. Check out his story. But charge him with carrying concealed weapons? Puh-lease.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008


15 comments:

Kristine said...

Have we really lost all rational thought in this country? We need to stop assuming that a gun automatically equals danger. I agree precautions should be taken to protect those who might be in danger, but simply having a gun in the same hotel doesn't necessarily present a danger.

The people to worry about are the ones who aren't carrying guns in plain site.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Amen, sister!

SimplyOutdoors said...

I can't believe this. I would have probably done the same thing. I automatically assume-gun in case, and unloaded, equals legal.

Hopefully he gets a good attorney and this gets thrown out.

Where did common sense go?

Phillip said...

I've tried, but there's just nothing positive or constructive I can say here...

A state like CO that makes literally millions and millions of dollars from the non-resident hunting industry...

Shame on them, and shame on the Federal idiots who will likely keep this trumped up bullshit against this guy until hunting season is over... maybe permanently so for him, if they stick the charges.

Funny that I'm gonna say this after your last post, Holly, but right here would be the perfect time for the NRA's legal folks to get in here and salvage this guy's reputation and record...

OR...

It's time for the feds to quit keeping so damned many secrets and tell us if there's a REAL reason for taking this fella down. My guess though, is that it's another simple case of overreaction to a non-threat that will be covered over in the name of managing spin.

See? I told you couldn't come up with anything positive or constructive... flabbergasted.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Funny you should mention that - I just emailed a contact at the National Shooting Sports Foundation this morning and told him NSSF and NRA should do something about this.

I suspect if this guy was really about to go on safari in Africa (two rifles, two handguns, sounds about right), they'll very quietly drop the charges. But I think they all need to be HAMMERED for suggesting that carrying a rifle or handgun in a case is the equivalent of a concealed weapon. Think of all the non-hunters out there who will now think, when they see hunters in hotel lobbies and airports, that those cased firearms are concealed weapons.

Tom Sorenson said...

I simply cannot collect my thoughts to adequately comment here. Why is does it seem a pre-requisite for people in power to have the least amount of brains possible in order to survive?

Jesses Hunting And Outdoors said...

We're from the goobermint and we're here to protect you. LOL

Blessed said...

Everyone else has already said it - this is ridiculous...

Andrew Campbell said...

Anyone else wondering if there's a backstory that connects Calanchini and Tharin Gartrell (who was arrested in Denver on Sunday) along with three others? AP is reporting that Gartrell and the other three arrested with him will only be charged with gun charges (and not assassination-type charges). Not sure on who was arrested first, but it's no wonder the FBI was a little jumpy.

Don't get me wrong, I know how goofy law enforcement situations can get, especially when the national spotlight is on. However, it also seems (according to Colorado's Channel 9 News) that Calanchini 'forgot' he had pistols in his luggage. He is apparently being charged with a misdemeanor weapons charge.

These are my first few trips to your blog. Enjoying it so far. Thanks for keeping us all thinking.

Andrew

Garrett said...

*psh* I totally carry my pocket knife in between my teeth by the blade at all times so people know I have it on me. That way it's not concealed.

gb said...

I'm confused. A Washington pol walks into a field, shoots a lawyer in the face, and the lawyer apologizes. A hunter carries his gun case into a hotel where a Washington pol is staying and gets busted by the Secret Service. Whadda country!

NorCal Cazadora said...

LOL - indeed!

And Andrew, yes, upon hearing about all the other stuff that was happening, I definitely get the Secret Service being jumpy. Only time will tell (and I hope we do eventually get the details).

The upshot for me, regardless whether this guy was an assassin or just unlucky, is that the public hears this and thinks you can't take a cased rifle (or handgun in your suitcase) into a hotel, which is perfectly legal.

Reminds me of a time I was at an airport in South Carolina and this woman in line with me saw hunters with their cased guns and started ranting about "How can they take those on the plane?" I told her, "They stay in the luggage compartment; no one can get to them." But she was convinced the mere presence of a gun was a problem. This incident in Denver just feeds that kind of ignorance.

Sigh!

Matt said...

Pretty crazy. Where I live, it's actually against the law to carry a rifle that is not cased under certain circumstances (in your car after dark.)

Still, I'd probably take care to not plan my hunting trip for the city and time that the anti-firearm crowd was having a pow wow.

Delilah and Rocket said...

WTF? Totally ditto Tom's comment!

Live to Hunt.... said...

Uggg, I am ashamed to claim that I was born and raised in Colorado. Way to make me proud boys, way to make me proud.