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Evansville, IN squirms and squeals in face of open carry lawsuit

September 15, 2012

Photo courtesy Evansville Courier & Press.

 

Evansville, IN police ejected a gentleman for lawfully open carrying his pistol at the Evansville Zoo back in 2011.

The man, Ben Magenheimer, known to many was Titanium Frost on the Indiana Gun Owners forum, was at the zoo with his family minding his own business when police showed up and ordered him to leave.  In his subsequent lawsuit, Magenheimer is seeking damages for violation of his civil rights under the color of authority.

The City of Evansville is smelling an expensive judgement in the case and has responded with a 30-page motion to dismiss the lawsuit, citing Magenheimer’s other open-carry activism.  Sadly for the city, the best they can do is throw lots of fecal matter against the wall by referring to name-calling and past posts on the Indiana Gunowners website and see if any sticks.

Magenheimer’s attorney, Guy Relford, a well-known Second Amendment attorney in Indiana and also part-time firearms instructor, has thirty days to respond to the city’s motion.

The case is set for trial in January 2013.

 

City contends man with gun was asked to leave zoo because he was disorderly

EVANSVILLE — A man who is suing the city of Evansville over being removed from Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden last year after employees there called 911 about his open wearing of a gun was also stopped by police in August after they received a call about a man riding a bicycle with an AK-47 assault rifle strapped to his back.

That incident and other gun-related confrontations involving Benjamin A. Magenheimer were detailed in a 30-page court document filed Aug. 31 by city attorneys arguing that Magenheimer’s Sept. 16, 2011, lawsuit against the city should be dismissed.

Evansville police officers removed Magenheimer from the zoo on Sept. 10, 2011, after he argued with responding officers.

His lawsuit claims police were enforcing a city ordinance barring firearms from park properties that violates a state law enacted last year that says local governments can no longer regulate firearms. The law exempts schools, public hospitals, courts and other public buildings.

However, city attorneys said the officers couldn’t have enforced the ordinance because the state law had already voided it and that Magenheimer was removed for being disorderly.

In their request for dismissal, city attorneys paint a picture of a man interested in his right to carry guns but also of an individual who police officers described in reports as “highly agitated” and a “time bomb.”

 

4 comments on “Evansville, IN squirms and squeals in face of open carry lawsuit

  1. “highly agitated” and a “time bomb” described most cops.

    I hope he takes the city for $10 million. Let the politcos explain how law enforcement gone rogue wiped out the city budget.

  2. If they couldn’t kick him out for violating a law they knew was void, then why were they in the vicinity. If he’s being harrased for being legal, then doesn’t he have an obligation to be upset? Did the cops almost admit that his ejection was baseless harrasment/retaliation?”We couldn’t nail him for that so we nailed him for something else (that no legitimate person had complained about)?

  3. Dean Weingarten on said:

    This is typical of what we see with police harrassment of open carriers. The police stop a person and create a scene when he attempts to inform them that he is not violating the law. Then they claim that he is acting disorderly because he attempted to educate them.

  4. Concerned Citizen on said:

    “The law exempts schools, public hospitals, courts and other public buildings.”

    The last part “..other public buildings” is completely untrue. The only other public buildings that are not allowed are government buildings that have a courtroom inside them, or that have detention facilities inside them. All other public buildings cannot ban firearms.