A retired army vet has won $15,000 from the town of Bellingham after he claims a police officer violated his civil rights by refusing to recognize the vet’s right to carry his weapon openly, going so far as to pull a gun on the vet.
Washington State is an “open carry” state, meaning that citizens can openly carry licensed weapons. John Laigaie (lah-GAY) III, a 64-year old retired U.S. Army master sergeant and Second Amendment supporter, is one of those who routinely takes advantage of this right. He always carries a handgun on his hip, saying “It’s my job, it’s what I do. I protect myself and my family.”
On December 19, 2011, Laigaie was walking his dog in a Bellingham, Washington, park with his 9 mm handgun on his hip. A police officer came up to him, asked Laigaie for his identification, and told him that it was illegal to have a gun in the park.