Anti-gunners Urge People to Call Cops on Anyone Carrying a Gun

Rick Ector, who lives in Detroit, where the police chief encourages residents to carry guns to protect themselves, told FoxNews that he believes people carrying guns, openly or concealed, lowers crime. photo from foxnews.com

Second Amendment groups are accusing anti-gunners of endangering law-abiding citizens by urging their supporters to call police on anyone carrying a gun in public.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) has taken to social media to urge the public to assume people carrying firearms are trouble and to call the police, according to FoxNews.com.

"If you see someone carrying a firearms in public—openly or concealed—and have ANY doubts about their intent, call 911 immediately and ask police to come to the scene," the group wrote on its Facebook page, which has over 175,000 followers. "Never put your safety, or the safety of your loved ones, at the mercy of weak gun laws that arm individuals in public with little or no criminal and/or mental health screening."

Critics say the approach could give rise to needless, tense confrontations between police and gun owners. Some have likened the tactic to "swatting," the act of tricking an emergency service into dispatching responders based on a false report.

"It's one thing if someone is using a gun in an illegal or unlawful manner. No one is questioning that," said Erich Pratt, spokesperson for Gun Owners of America. "But this clearly sounds like swatting. Anti-gun advocates are clearly frustrated. They want guns banned. But they have been thwarted in the past, so they are looking for alternative means. They are inciting their radical base to turn their own neighbors in."

Open-carry, in one form or another, is legal in every state except for five—California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina, though regulations regarding CCW permits in some other states, like New Jersey, are extremely tight. And many states that do allow open carry permits have strict laws in place along with a permitting or licensing system.

Today, the CSGV posted this on their Facebook page in response to the program Fox & Friends' coverage of the issue:

The CSGV insists they aren't putting anyone in danger.

"In an era in which individuals are being allowed to carry loaded guns on our streets with no permit, background check, or required training, it is common sense for concerned citizens to call 911 when they see an armed individual whose intentions are unclear," said Ladd Everitt, director of communications for the Coation to Stop Gun Violence. "These [open carry] laws guarantee that we—and law enforcement—will have no idea about the criminal and/or mental health background of these individuals until the actually commit a crime; and by then it could be far too late."

"Gun-toters who are truly law-abiding and mentally competent have nothing whatsoever to worry about Their conversations with law enforcement will be brief and professional," Everitt added.

Pratt said people who call the police without legitimate reason should be charged.

"They would likely be the ones arrested for filing a false report," he said. "And we are certainly hoping that would be the case."