Criminal: Police Harass Lawful Gun Owner, Citizen Charged With Disorderly Conduct (AUDIO)
posted at 8:37 am on May 18, 2011 by Diane Suffern
Mark Fiorino, a 25-year-old IT worker, is a gun owner. After he and his group of friends were victimized several times, he determined never to be powerless again. He researched Pennsylvania gun laws, obtained a firearms license and purchased a 40-caliber Glock. Because Pennsylvania is an open-carry state, Fiorino lawfully did so everywhere, although being routinely stopped by police to check his permit. In Montgomery county and other areas of the state, Fiorino admits that the officers were civil, simply checked his license and let him go immediately. Not so in Philadelphia. Although Internal Philadelphia PD Directive 137 unmistakably states that a gun owner with a valid concealed carry permit may also openly carry, there has been some…confusion. According to Philadelphia Daily News:
He also had encounters with Philadelphia cops last year near the Philadelphia Museum of Art and on South Street.
“Both times they told me what I was doing was illegal,” he said. “They patted me down and said, ‘We don’t care what you consent to.’
“The second time, they did an official confiscation, and it took me five months to get back my gun.”
Clearly they didn’t get the memo.
Fiorino then decided to bring a tape recorder every time he open-carried, wise considering what happened last February. Walking to a local AutoZone, he was stopped by Philadelphia PD. The officer was immediately hostile, drew his gun, and unleashed a barrage of profanity despite Fiorino’s calm explanation. After calling for backup, the officers patted him down, discovered the recorder and released Fiorino shortly afterward. Stunned at being treated like a criminal and mulling over a lawsuit, Fiorino posted the riveting 15 minute altercation (language warning) on YouTube:
Case-closed, right? Not quite.
After learning of the posted recording, the Philadelphia DA launched a new investigation and decided to charge Mark Fiorino with disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment—both laughable allegations given the audio.
John Stossel rightly calls this an abuse of power and further cause for citizens to record police activity. Couple this with the recent Indiana court decision revoking the common law right of property owners to refuse unlawful police entry, and we realize afresh that our liberties are but one power-grab (e.g. judicial appointee…eh hem) away from being lost. Every election counts. Since our government certainly isn’t self-limiting, it’s never a bad time to remind them who they work for.
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