Federal Appeals Court to Police Officer: No, You Can't Slap Cuffs on Peaceful Gun Owners

Every part of Shawn Northrup's midsummer evening walk with his wife, daughter, grandson, and dog was legal -- including the holstered handgun he openly carried on his hip. But that was not enough to keep Northrup from being disarmed, handcuffed, and threatened with arrest by a police officer. Fortunately, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to let the officer who illegally detained Northrup escape accountability, exemplifying the kind of judicial engagement that is needed to protect law-abiding citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Northrup, a resident of Toledo, Ohio, was enjoying a peaceful walk with his family when a passing motorcyclist, Alan Rose, caught sight of his firearm and yelled that Northrup could not "walk around with a gun like that." Northrup's wife, Denise, informed Rose (correctly) that it is perfectly legal to openly carry firearms in Ohio. Rose nonetheless called 911, stating that he had observed "a man carrying his gun out in the open." The dispatcher also told Rose that it is legal to openly carry firearms in Ohio but, apparently a bit uncertain, directed Officer David Bright of the Toledo Police Department to the scene, relating to Bright that Northrup was "walking his dog ... carrying a handgun out in the open."