Over the past couple of months open carry has become a form of protest for pro-gun owners wanting to have their voices heard. The process is usually peaceful, and requires extensive knowledge of your local carry laws. But what happens when you’re carrying just for self-defense?

KiroTV reports on how a chance encounter can turn dangerous:

John Laigaie (lah-GAY’) III is a 64-year-old, retired U.S. Army master sergeant and Second Amendment advocate. He says he was walking his dog in the park on Dec. 19, 2011, and openly carrying his 9 mm handgun on his hip when an officer approached him, demanded identification and told him it was illegal to have a gun in the park.

Laigaie says that when he told the officer it wasn’t illegal and offered to show him a copy of the state law, the officer drew his gun and pointed it at Laigaie’s chest from three feet away.

Laigaie was eventually allowed to leave the park with his gun. His attorneys, with the Lustick Law Firm of Bellingham, say the city also agreed to provide police and 911 operators with additional training to prevent similar confrontations in the future.

Lawyers say Bellingham agreed to pay $15,000 to Laigaie.

When open carry is legal officers have no right to bully and/or confiscate your firearms. It’s a sad day when one of our veterans can’t defend himself without being harassed by an overzealous officer. And if something tragic had occurred from that exchange, the media would have been partially to blame for igniting these anti-gun groups into a frenzy. They’ve been trained to seize any and all guns regardless of legality…and that right there is the real crime.