Veteran Used as Test Case for Lawful Open Carry of a Weapon
In 2013 a decorated Air Force veterans pleaded not guilty to a charge of “trespassing with a weapon.” Mack Worley was arrested in Vancouver, Washington for carrying an AR15 rifle openly and legally.
Worley was exercising his second amendment rights as he carried his rifle, grabbed a can of soda and looked at fireworks at a stand before heading back to his car.
“A few people came to me and asked questions about what I was doing,” said Worley. “I explained that I was asserting my second amendment right and told them that it’s not against the law to openly carry a firearm.”
As Worley continued walking down a public sidewalk to his car, he saw a police officer parked down the street in a marked squad car. Assuming the cop wanted to talk with him, Worley continued towards the car.
“As I walked to them, I heard a loudspeaker to my left and a cop telling me to put my hands up,” Worley said.
He then noticed seven police officers with their guns pointed at him as they demanded he remove his weapon. Law enforcement also instructed Worley to turn his cell phone off which Worley was using to record the interaction. Worley refused.
Worley informed the cops that he did not consent to any searches. As the police moved in, Worley feared for his safety and chose to remove his weapon despite the officers having no lawful grounds to demand it.
“I asked if I was being detained and he said no. I questioned if I broke any laws and again he said no,” Worley told reporters. “I asked him if he suspected I had committed a crime, he said not.”
Officers removed Worley’s ammo and tossed it on the grass, and again Worley demanded to know if he was being detained. Officers replied he wasn’t.
Eventually, the officers let Worley go — at least he thought so. After Worley gathered his ammunition and began to walk towards his car, the cops demanded he go the opposite way.
Worley then returned on the public sidewalk where an officer issued instructions over his speaker saying he would be detained for trespassing if he didn’t leave.
Worley then went the only direction available, and the officers swarmed Worley, ordered him to the gound and put him in handcuffs. Law enforcement claimed that Worley refused to leave.
Worley’s phone was taken, and he believes the cops may have deleted the recording.
While at the police station, officers demanded Worley take a breathalyzer or be put into the “drunk tank” despite a lack of evidence of Worley drinking.
When Worley refused, he was denied a phone call, access to his lawyer. He was also denied water and his inhaler. Worley was held behind bars for over four hours before being bailed out by his wife.
UPDATE Worley was eventually found guilty and given a suspended sentence. At the time he stated his intention to appeal and a fundraiser was established.