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Old February 19, 2008, 09:18 PM   #1
epic4444
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Traffic Stop Question

Not sure if this is the right area to post but its about guns and car and cops so i figured maybe....my question is that if i have a gun in my trunk...no ammo...just gun... and i get pulled over do i have to tell the cop or no?...and second at what point can i cop search my vehicle without my consent becuase ive been hearing around my town that cops are just searching people for no good reason...is that legal with no probable cause?
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Old February 19, 2008, 09:25 PM   #2
DonR101395
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Would you tell him about the microwave you have in the trunk?
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Old February 19, 2008, 09:34 PM   #3
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I wouldn't volunteer that information. I've been there in the back of the patrol car in handcuffs while two officers stripped my vehicle just for giggles and grins for over an hour.

I might tell an officer if I am wearing a gun and inform him that I have a permit if he asks for me to come back to his car with him.
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Old February 19, 2008, 09:45 PM   #4
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If the officer asks if you have any weapons, tell him/her. If not, you don't have to volunteer anything.
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Old February 19, 2008, 10:37 PM   #5
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I too have been in the back of a blue and white, cuffed while my car was searched. I didnt singal at a light, cop lit me up, i consented to the search. I was sixteen in a car covered in dead stickers with hair down to my shoulders, I had it coming...I only tell them if the gun is on me and loaded (the law in VA) or in reach and loaded. I've found that cops dont wanna be around people with guns, permit or no permit. When I tell them Im carrying, they make quick work of that ticket or warning and I'm on my way...
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Old February 19, 2008, 10:42 PM   #6
Capt Charlie
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First off, what state are you in? Different states have different rules. In Ohio, you'd be OK. Other states? Well, I'll let folks here tell you the rules in their states, although I think you might have a problem in NY.

Quote:
I might tell an officer if I am wearing a gun and inform him that I have a permit if he asks for me to come back to his car with him.
In Ohio, you must tell an officer immediately upon being stopped that you're packing and you have a permit. Otherwise, you're in deep do-do, and as soon as he runs your plate, he'll know anyway. Enhanced 911 systems sound an alarm to every LE unit in the county when a permit holder's plate or ID is checked.
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Old February 19, 2008, 10:47 PM   #7
teeroux
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depends on where you live

over here only if they ask
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Old February 19, 2008, 10:55 PM   #8
epic4444
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great old california...worst state to own a gun in!!!
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Old February 20, 2008, 12:12 AM   #9
BillCA
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Epic,

You do not need to answer any question an officer asks you during a car stop according to the courts. It'll probably make him suspicious however. If the gun is in the trunk, you can answer "no" because the gun is not "in" the in car with you, it is in a separate, locked container called the trunk. That qualifies, legally, as a "locked container" for transporting your firearm (provided it locks and there is no passenger compartment easy access).

Quote:
second at what point can i cop search my vehicle without my consent becuase ive been hearing around my town that cops are just searching people for no good reason...is that legal with no probable cause?
Short answer is no, that's not legal. If you are stopped for a traffic infraction, for which the nominal result would be a citation, searching your car without probable cause is illegal.

If an officer has good probable cause to believe you are committing a crime, about to commit one or you have committed a crime, he will search your vehicle based on his PC. If he's unsure his PC is good enough, he may ask you to consent to a search, either verbally or by signing a form.

Lots of cops will simply ask and some folks will consent to show how cooperative they are. Other cops will make it sound like a command "Would you open your trunk for me sir?" to which a legitimate response by the driver would be "For what purpose officer?"

What forms "probable cause" for a search?

Quote:
[probable cause] exist[s] where the known facts and circumstances are sufficient to warrant a man of reasonable prudence in the belief that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found, Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690, 696 (1996); Illinois v. Gates, 462
U.S. 213, 238 (1983).
The officer's experience both personal and professional come in to play here. If the officer smells alcohol or burning cannibis this would lead him to believe the driver was under the influence and possibly has the intoxicating substance(s) in the vehicle.

Likewise, an observant officer notes that the driver keeps checking that the console compartment is closed may know this is an unintentional sign that a weapon is concealed in the console. If the driver appears jittery, nervous or distracted, this may lead him to conclude that the driver has a no-no in the console compartment.
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Old February 20, 2008, 12:16 AM   #10
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Cap'n Charlie:
Quote:
Enhanced 911 systems sound an alarm to every LE unit in the county when a permit holder's plate or ID is checked.
I thought CCW permit holders were considered the good guys

I'm a reserve deputy, with a CCW too. I don't care if LE knows I have a permit and/or am carrying...I follow the law. I would guess, and it's only a guess, that most cops worry more about the folks packing who don't have a permit, and who they therefore don't know are carrying. Agree?
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Old February 20, 2008, 12:38 AM   #11
TexasSeaRay
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Quote:
my question is that if i have a gun in my trunk...no ammo...just gun... and i get pulled over do i have to tell the cop or no?...and second at what point can i cop search my vehicle without my consent becuase ive been hearing around my town that cops are just searching people for no good reason...is that legal with no probable cause?
Don't ask, don't tell works pretty good with cops.

When I was in that line of work (although we rarely pulled anyone over), if I wanted to know what was in the car, I'd ask.

Problem is, people get diarrhea of the mouth when a cop pulls them over or questions them, etc. Part of it is intimidation, part of it is "wanting to please," and part of it is a perpetual guilty conscience that may have zilch to do with whatever the cop is discussing with you.

As a civilian and ex-cop, my advice to my friends if they're ever pulled over, stopped or questioned is "Don't tell the cops jackcrap unless they make you, and NEVER volunteer any information whatsoever. Keep your answers confined to "yes," "no," "I don't recall," and "I don't know."

NEVER consent to a search of your car EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER without a signed search warrant. And while they're getting the warrant (takes a while), start calling every civil rights lawyer in the phonebook and asking them to meet you wherever you're at.

This probably isn't real fair to the good cops, but if you've done nothing wrong, you'll probably never run into a good cop. Good cops are out there working to catch real criminals rather than traffic violators. Good cops have no interest in hassling, intimidating and bullying otherwise law-abiding citizens who maybe rolled through a red light--good cops deal with REAL criminals and don't need to hassle Suzy Soccer-Mom or Andy Accountant in order to make them feel like "a real cop."

When I was undercover with the feds, I got hassled by so many dickhead traffic cops that I finally reached the point of filing reports on them with whatever state licensed them. Ones that insisted on searching my car WITHOUT my permission ended up wearing their own handcuffs and spending time in MY judicial system.

And some of y'all would be flat sick to your stomachs if you knew just how many ended up getting arrested and convicted for illegal searches.

When you go from "peace officer" to "law enforcement," it ushers in a whole new mentality. And I'm not sure it's the best or right mentality to have.

Jeff
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Old February 20, 2008, 12:41 AM   #12
Capt Charlie
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Quote:
I thought CCW permit holders were considered the good guys
Actually, it wasn't intended to do that, but the only way they could figure out how to alert LE to a permit holder was to add it to the wants and warrants file in LEADS/NCIC. So it shows up as a "warrant", except that the "nature" field shows it to be a permit holder. (Ohio cobbled this together pretty hastily, and there's still a lot of bugs to iron out.) So, when we run a plate on our MDT's (on board computers), the alarm sounds that a unit has stopped someone with an "active warrant".

That happens several times during a shift, & it's a pain in the butt as radio traffic goes crazy asking "do you need backup?", etc.
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Old February 20, 2008, 07:12 AM   #13
DonR101395
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Quote:
Actually, it wasn't intended to do that, but the only way they could figure out how to alert LE to a permit holder
Just curious, why do they feel there is a need to alert LE that the guy is a permit holder? Like I said, I'm just curious since FL doesn't do it.
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Old February 20, 2008, 08:52 AM   #14
Spade Cooley
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First of all, If you have a gun in the trunk, you are not armed and I wouldn't volunteer that information.

Above all, be cooperative. You do not have to consent to a search. Just tell the officer to run you (he will anyway) and he will see that you are a law abiding citizen. Just tell them you do not want your seats removed and personnal property gone through. If he proceeds to search anyway, it is an unlawful search because he didn't have proble cause and anything he finds will be inadmissable in court.

Do not let him goad you into allowing him to search your vehilce. If it gets nasty, tell him to get a search warrant. Be cool and calm througout the stop because you don't have any choice.
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Old February 20, 2008, 11:25 PM   #15
wyocarp
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In Wyoming, if asked, you must present your permit immediately. But the law doesn't say that you have to tell the officer.

Here in the northwestern part of Wyoming, Jackson Hole area, we have way too many enforcement types for the size of the area. We have park rangers, game and fish, highway patrol, sheriff, and city police. This is a one main road town and I think the different agencies have to compete with each other because there are only so many people here. I was pulled over for coasting by a ranger at 40 mph in a posted 55. He had his lights on on the side of the road (had no one pulled over) in a stretch that visibility is probably 5 miles. He thought I could have moved over further even though there was oncoming traffic, and he thought I could have slowed down further.

It was the beginning of bear season. I had a bear tag and was coming back from doing a little hiking. I was dressed in full camo, so he knew I had a gun. He asked, "By the way, do you have a weapon in your vehicle"? He kept telling me that he was concerned about his safety. He freaked when I told him I had three .500's on me. I hunt with pistols sometimes. One had a scope, one with open sights, and one in a short barrel carry type pistol. I've been charged by multiple animals before and so now I am not bashful about the firepower I carry because of the animals in the areas that I hunt in.

He called for backup. They kept telling me how cooperative I was being. I think I was too cooperative. I almost think I'd rather die than be in handcuffs again. I can handle a lot, but I can't handle being in a very small area in the back of a squad car in cuffs. I told him I needed some air when one of them came back to check on me once. Of course they told me to be calm. I don't know how to handle that in the future. Citizens who have done nothing wrong should not have to be in handcuffs.
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Old February 21, 2008, 01:49 AM   #16
wyocarp
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By the way, this is what I had on me at the time.

http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/forums/...hp?pic_id=3299

One of the ranger's comments was, "This looks like it would be dangerous." as he pulled one of the .500's out of the shoulder holster while my hands were handcuffed behind my back.
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Old February 21, 2008, 02:55 AM   #17
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...

Quote:
Just curious, why do they feel there is a need to alert LE that the guy is a permit holder? Like I said, I'm just curious since FL doesn't do it.
Because maintaining a CC permit does not automatically guarantee the officer that you aren't going to be ****** for getting pulled over and start shooting. Also, I have learned that LEO's don't like surprises, so it's best that you let them know you are carrying ahead of time anyway. In Texas, if you have a permit and are carrying and fail to notify the officer, you run the risk of having your DL suspended...unless they changed that recently.
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Old February 21, 2008, 11:49 AM   #18
Spade Cooley
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WYOCARP,
I think I would complain to the higher ups about being cuffed and placed in a vehicle. They had no cause to do what they did and you would expect to find people with guns in that area at that time of year. If you didn't give them any indication that they should be in fear of their lives, why put you through all of that. That is about the same as approaching a man with a shotgun during duck season and hooking him up. One thing to remember, some of the people who are hired for enforcement jobs are not always the sharpest people on the planet.
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Old February 21, 2008, 11:59 AM   #19
TexasSeaRay
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Quote:
One thing to remember, some of the people who are hired for enforcement jobs are not always the sharpest people on the planet.
Understatement of the century.

Jeff
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Old February 21, 2008, 12:15 PM   #20
wun_8_seven
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in oklahoma you are required by law to inform the officer if you have a gun on you any time you come in contact with them. your sda license can be revoked if you don't.
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Old February 21, 2008, 12:17 PM   #21
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Over 30 years ago I was on my first cross-country drive from Minneapolis to Phoenix where I had been assigned (Air Force then). Didn't have a permit but I also didn't want to travel alone unarmed. I had my S&W 28 tucked in between my right leg and the center console. I was about 30 miles west of Amarillo when the blue lights went on behind me and needless to say I was concerned. It was a Texas Ranger approaching my car and this guy was huge and well armed.

What to do? When he got to my window, I kept both hands on the wheel and immediately told him what I had tucked next to me. He reached down and put his hand on what I think was a Ruger Redhawk .44 and opened my door with the other hand. He asked me to slowly exit the vehicle - which I did carefully.

I then presented my Minnesota drivers license and my military ID card and explained the purpose of my "armed" trip. To my utter surprise, he grinned at me, told me to be careful and commented that I had done exactly the right thing during this stop. He then told me the reason he pulled me over was to worn me of black ice on the road up ahead.

Have had a soft spot in my heart for Texas Rangers since this day - this guy was a class act...
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Old February 21, 2008, 02:35 PM   #22
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To TexasSeaRay: I share your distatste for overzealous cops, and especially ones who abuse and violate the law themselves. No argument there. But I take a different turn from you regarding law enforcement. Traffic laws are important, and I pay taxes which pay a sallary to the LEOs to enforce them too. They are important because the roads would be unsafe without traffic laws and rules, and those rules would have no effect if they were not enforced. In fact, I think it's lazieness and a desire to avoid stops (which always have the potential to be dangerous, or at leastr less comfortable than the patrol car) and paperwork. In short, traffic rules and their enforcement is very much important to all of our safety, and should be given the due respect they deserve. It isn't a priority over muggers etc, but if otherwise not so engaged cops should bust violaters.

Running red lights in my neighborhood doesn't make you Andy the accountant my friend, it makes you Andy the self important "-rear end of a donkey- hole" who places his own wants and desires ahead of the rights and safety of others.
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Old February 21, 2008, 02:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Traffic laws are important, and I pay taxes which pay a sallary to the LEOs to enforce them too. They are important because the roads would be unsafe without traffic laws and rules, and those rules would have no effect if they were not enforced.
Depends on which laws you are talking about. There are jurisdictions around here that get a considerable amount of revenue from speed traps (changing the speed limit abruptly around blind curves or along a highway where there is no justification for the change).
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Old February 21, 2008, 02:52 PM   #24
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Wyocarp- I think then it's time to turn the tables on types like that. When they take the cuffs off, say, "Oh, hey, no problem Say, mind if I get a business card from you? Just uh, going to run this by my attorney- I dont think you did any thing wrong, you understand, but hey you cant be too safe these days, can you? Hey, what was the incident number for this stop? And your supervisors name? Is he available, by any chance?"
Smile- be nice- but don't let it go. Supervisor, Chief, City Manager, and so on.
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Old February 21, 2008, 03:00 PM   #25
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I wouldn't give any information unless asked. If the gun is not on your person and you are asked if you are carrying any weapons I would answer no. In NY you are not required to inform an officer that you are carrying.
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