Charleston Arrest Represents Second Amendment Problem

The Second Amendment has been horribly misinterpreted by those who loathe what it stands for over the decades but the plain text is quite clear. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

However, many people seem to reject that.

These days, when everyone seems to be losing their ever-loving minds, the Second Amendment is of vital importance. However, a recent arrest made by Charleston, SC police seems a bit problematic.

Charleston’s police chief said he’s very concerned after his officers found guns and ammo inside a pickup truck during a protest downtown Saturday night.

Police found the guns and ammo when some of the protesters surrounded the men’s truck.

Officers found an AR-15 in plain view. They also found pepper spray, a wooden club, additional magazines, knives and a taser. The driver also admitted he had a loaded handgun in his waistband.

Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds says the men did not have a concealed weapons permit.

“There’s danger potentially involved but in particular when it’s a busy night right in the area of the peninsula in that area where the protests were being held at a time when there’s lots of people it’s always a concern,” Reynolds said.

Investigators are trying to determine why the two men were in downtown Charleston with their weapons that night.

However, the big problem here is that other than one having a handgun in his waistband without a permit, there doesn’t appear to be any laws broken. While there are restrictions on carrying handguns in South Carolina, it’s kind of hard to lock an AR-15 up in the glove box. I haven’t been able to find any regulation regarding these weapons in South Carolina. Then again, I’m not an attorney.

Yes, yes, I know. Some will invariably say they were looking to cause trouble by taking guns to a protest and they may well have been. This may have been an attempt to find an excuse to shoot someone.

But they didn’t. They were surrounded by the protestors and they shot no one.

While I get the carrying without a permit charge, it actually looks like they aren’t guilty of anything else. Yet they’re being treated like they are, and that’s the problem. Further, I suspect that if we delve into it, we’ll find that the weapon was in the waistband while inside the vehicle, meaning the police response pulled the two men out of the truck and triggered a more extensive search.

And that’s the problem.

There mere presence of a firearm is not probable cause. We don’t know if the two men consented to the search or not, but we do know that unless they were doing something illegal, there was no reason to search in the first place. Treating the possession of firearms as probable cause of a crime, regardless of where they’re at, represents a real problem. The Second Amendment doesn’t provide for the right to keep and bear arms unless you’re X number of feet away from a protest. That’s not how it works.

Had police simply detained the two men, then released them after the protest was over, that might have been one thing. Instead, we see how little Charleston police seem to care about your gun rights.