[Video] Washington Open Carrier Awarded $15k Settlement After Cop Drew Gun on Him
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Openly carrying firearms is legal in Washington State, but apparently at least one Bellingham city police officer wasn’t aware of that fact.
According to KIROTV, John Laigaie, a retired military veteran was taking his dogs for a walk in Bloedel-Donovan Park when he was approached by a Bellingham police officer.
The officer challenged Laigaie over his openly carried weapon.
According to KIROTV,
Laigaie knew that Washington is an “open carry” state where it is allowed. He even offered the officer, Allen Bass, a copy of that law when Bass asked for his identification. When Laigaie refused to hand over his ID, he said the officer pulled out his own weapon and pointed it at him. “A couple of times, he had it right in my chest and that was 6, 7 inches from muzzle to flesh,” Laigaie said. Laigaie demanded that the officer put the weapon away. “I wasn’t breaking the law, I was well within the law and he had no right to do that. I don’t like being bullied,” he said.
The incident ended when some other residents in the park came over and informed the officer that openly carrying a firearm in the state was, in fact, completely legal.
Laigaie filed a complaint over the incident, and as part of a settlement, was award $15,000.
Officials also plan on training 911 operators and police officers in the area on state gun laws to avoid future incidents.