Bellingham to pay $15,000 to man threatened by officer after wearing gun in park

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Lawyers say Bellingham has agreed to pay $15,000 to a man who was threatened by a police officer for wearing a holstered gun in a city park.

John Laigaie III is a 64-year-old, retired U.S. Army master sergeant and Second Amendment advocate. He says he was walking his dog in the park on Dec. 19, 2011, and openly carrying his 9 mm handgun on his hip when an officer approached him, demanded identification and told him it was illegal to have a gun in the park.

Laigaie says that when he told the officer it wasn’t illegal and offered to show him a copy of the state law, the officer drew his gun and pointed it at Laigaie’s chest from three feet away.

Laigaie was eventually allowed to leave the park with his gun. His attorneys, with the Lustick Law Firm of Bellingham, say the city also agreed to provide police and 911 operators with additional training to prevent similar confrontations in the future.

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