Armed Off-Duty NYPD Officer Drinking Shots in Bar, On-Duty Cops Say Perfectly Legal

Armed NYPD Officer Drinking[Update – NYPD IA has told me that their initial investigation has led them to believe that this was a New York State Trooper, not an NYPD officer. This does not change the nature of my concerns, but I feel it is appropriate to place the blame on the proper party.]

Last night, I was in an East Village bar when I noticed that a man was walking around with a full-sized semi-automatic handgun sticking out of his waistband. The man was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and made no attempt to hide his weapon. I assumed he was a cop based on the way he looked (style of dress, hair, posture) and the fact that the staff seemed unalarmed — not to mention the fact that citizens sure are sure as hell not allowed to open-carry, let alone concealed carry, in NYC. I wasn’t going to say anything until the guy started downing shots.

In Florida, it’s certainly illegal for a cop to pound shots in a bar while open-carrying, and I figured in New York City, which has the strictest gun laws in the country, the same would be true. I placed a 911 call, and the operator seemed unclear as to why I was calling. She brought Internal Affairs on the line, who took the call seriously and asked her to dispatch a supervisor from the local precinct, which was 0.2 miles away. Five minutes later, still no cops, so I called the local precinct directly to ask if they had sent anyone. The operator transfers me to another cop who pretends not to be able to hear me and says, “You better find some better reception before you call back this number.” Finally, almost 10 minutes later, four officers (but no supervisor) show up and basically tell me that there is no legal issue with having a cop, open-carrying a firearm, in a bar, drinking alcohol.

Needless to say, I’ll be following up with IA and the NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, and I’m not ruling out legal action. The definition of civil assault is “an act that causes a ‘reasonable apprehension’ of immediate harm or offensive contact to the victim’s person.” Would a reasonable person have an apprehension of harm based merely on the presence of a man openly carrying a firearm while doing shots? Let me know what you think in the comments.

10 thoughts on “Armed Off-Duty NYPD Officer Drinking Shots in Bar, On-Duty Cops Say Perfectly Legal

Add yours

  1. On a practical matter, even if the officer was within his rights to make an ass of himself and disgracing his position, he was also putting the public at risk with his behavior, as it would not have been overly difficult for a person of ill intent to pull the gun away from an intoxicated officer and start shooting here and heither. Which of course would also be a grounds for your law suit. Obviously as well, cops stick up for cops, no matter what they do. If you sue the cop, I would expect the rest would not be overly friendly towards you later. As for court action, judges are friends to cops, and not really interested in the safety of the public. Still, I would pursue a complaint with Internal Affairs as well as local political officials. As for court action, even if you have a case, I would expect the case would mold in the court system before you ever have a hearing.

    1. You are right that a large part of my concern is that the gun is now accessible to others. I watched as he was standing at the bar and people were literally bumping into his gun (probably oblivious) while trying to order a drink next to them. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone so inclined could have grabbed his weapon and used it against him.

      Re: NYPD being friendly to me in the future, I already have 2 lawsuits against them, so I’m not too worried. Note that none of the cops described in my OP had any idea of that, so this is the treatment you get when you’re *not* on their shitlist.

  2. Personally, I feel like open-carry, as well as concealed carry, should be lawful in all 50 states. If you can pass the background check to own a gun, carrying a weapon should never be an issue. And as a patron in any establishment, I much prefer to actually see who’s armed then try to guess who’s got one hidden from view.

    1. I’m ok with open carry (I personally would prefer to concealed carry because I feel like a weapon on your side is an easy target for theft) — just not while pounding shots. 🙂

      1. Yeah, there is that drinking while armed thing. I never drink when I plink but I can see where your aim (and judgement) could be impaired.

  3. The mere presence of a legal, holstered, firearm is not cause for concern. Americans have the right to defend themselves against crime, and do so about 1,000,000 times per year.

    You can’t pick and choose with the Bill of Rights. If the Second Amendment goes, how long will the Fourth Amendment last?

    1. You are missing the point of my post. I love guns, I have a carry license, and I use it. The problem is not the gun, it’s the wearing of it while drinking alcohol in a bar.

      1. Don’t bother with people like Cywin. If he can’t be bothered to read the article (or the title really), reminding him of the content will not help. Glad you are some one who is actually fighting the government. At 27 I have decided that there is no point anymore to fight the government, my goal in life is now to avoid them at all cost. I have lost all confidence in the government to do anything positive for the people, only fuck us over more and more, lie to us, lie about the lies even in the face of evidence proving the lie, everything. I have no faith in any police officer to be a law abiding person and protect my rights (partially from pure ignorance, after all the government doesn’t even know how many laws it has).

        Fight for us, the ones who have given up. In the face of the government I only know one thing—I saw nothing, I know nothing, I have nothing to say to you, and I would like a lawyer. There is nothing else you should ever say to them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: