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Old September 2, 2011, 05:17 AM   #1
Datguy781
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Can I see your receipt?

This started out as a long post so I will keep it short. If you are pulled over by an officer can he/she ask to see proof of owner ship of your firearm. Are you obligated to show a "receipt" ? I had this happen to me a couple of years ago and I'am wondering now if this was a violation of any of my rights.
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Old September 2, 2011, 05:26 AM   #2
tyme
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He can ask to see almost anything he wants, and in most cases it's not a rights violation for him to ask. It's up to you to know that you don't have to comply unless you want to. You don't have to show him random receipts. You don't have to let him look in your trunk. You don't have to let him inspect the contents of your smartphone.

On the other hand, if you've already been stopped, and a LEO is concerned about one or several guns, and you have the receipts, and you know the guns are legal where you are and where you bought them, probably showing the receipts and avoiding a potentially increasingly hostile traffic stop is in your best interest if you just want to be on your way. That's particularly the case if showing receipts will get him to stop asking questions, because talking to the police at length is IMO more dangerous to your liberty than showing him some legit receipts for legal firearms.

It seems unusual for a LEO to ask for the receipt for a firearm being carried, though, if this was about a carried firearm... most people aren't going to carry the receipt along with the gun and carry license (if applicable), so it seems like a dumb thing to ask for. Usually if a cop isn't going to ignore it and leave it in your possession, he'll take it and run the serial number, and as long as it's not stolen you get it back without a hassle.

There are only a few things that you have to provide, like license/registration/proof of ins, and depending on the state's concealed carry laws possibly your concealed carry license if applicable.

IANAL, but I'm trying to think of some scenario where showing receipts would be harmful. Any defense lawyers want to comment on this? If you show a cop a receipt and he genuinely but mistakenly believes as a result of looking at the receipt that there's a crime involved, and arrests you, and searches/inventories the car, and finds something else (hypothetically, let's say drugs), are the drugs admissible? I'd like to think not, but it's clearly a different situation than if you'd declined to show the receipt.
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Old September 2, 2011, 06:01 AM   #3
ClayInTx
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A receipt?

I have many things in my car and my truck which I legally bought and don’t carry a receipt for. Some of those were bought years ago and I don’t even have a receipt anywhere anymore.

Sheesh! How about:
“I see you have a spare jack in your truck. Do you have a receipt for it?”

Sounds like a dumbass rookie cop to me. Thankfully, very few are like that, even rookies.
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Old September 2, 2011, 06:04 AM   #4
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
IANAL
I am not a criminal defense lawyer, but I think this is an excellent analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
On the other hand, if you've already been stopped, and a LEO is concerned about one or several guns, and you have the receipts, and you know the guns are legal where you are and where you bought them, probably showing the receipts and avoiding a potentially increasingly hostile traffic stop is in your best interest if you just want to be on your way. That's particularly the case if showing receipts will get him to stop asking questions, because talking to the police at length is IMO more dangerous to your liberty than showing him some legit receipts for legal firearms.
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Originally Posted by Tyme
Any defense lawyers want to comment on this?
To repeat, I am not a criminal defense attorney. but note the following.

During a stop, a PO might early on conduct an attitude test. Are you going to be a general pain in the rear? Are you too nervous? He is observing your demeanor. If he asks for a receipt and you respond with "Go to hell, pig!", he might think that you are a jerk. If you launch into a long story about your sister's priest's neighbor's brother, you are going to get more scrutiny. If you quickly reach for something, you are both in for a bad time.

I've had clients asked by a PO "Can I just remove your firearm and put it on the back seat?" It didn't make the PO safe, but it did indicate whether the person stop would be generally submissive.
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Old September 2, 2011, 06:13 AM   #5
AirForceShooter
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My reciepts are at home if I have them at all.
If the LEO ran the serial number and it came up clean that's the end of it.

It's a stupid request and designed to rattle you.
Especially in Florida with no registration and FTF sales perfectly legal.

I'd just say " NO"

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Old September 2, 2011, 06:24 AM   #6
geetarman
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Back when I lived in Hamel, Illinois I was out shooting one late afternoon at an abandoned dump. I had 3 handguns. Must have been about 1977.

I was minding my own business and was packed up and ready to leave. As I was leaving the area, a part time cop from Worden, Illinois was turning into the road where I was leaving. He asked me if I heard anyone shooting. I told him I had been shooting and that I was on private property and had permission from the landowner.

He asked me to wait a minute and got on the radio to Madison county sheriffs department. I heard the radio call "Detain him until we arrive."

The cop then asked for my FOID, then my insurance, then my registration and then wanted to know why I was there. I told him I was target shooting and had permission from the landowner and that I did not need a reason to be there.

A few minutes later the MCSO shows up. Sergeant Conrad Baetz. I will never forget the name and never forget that he was an absolute POS.

He started in on the same thing. . .why are you here, why do you need to target shoot, what are you shooting at blah . . .blah. . .blah.

He then wanted the guns and asked for receipts. I told him I had receipts at home but not with me. He told me I needed to prove I owned the guns and that he needed to know if they had been used in a crime.

He took all three guns and went to his car and called the numbers in. Naturally he did not find anything wrong but I guarantee I was getting po'd.

He came back and returned the guns and began berating me for shooting. I reminded him that we were BOTH on private property and that I had permission from the landowner to be there and was both the rightful owner of the guns and had valid credentials for possession of the guns and registration for my vehicle and insurance.

Both he and the local cop had parked their vehicles so I could not leave and were preventing anyone else from entering or leaving the area.

The MCSO told me to leave. I went to put the unloaded guns in my Suburban and as I was putting them in the floor of the back seat, he ran over and said I could not put them there. He made me open the tailgate and put them behind the third seat. I did and I got in and left. I have never had another kind word for Madison county law enforcement.

What happened to me was appalling and far too typical of what goes on in Madison county Illinois that passes for law enforcement.

After all these years, it still burns me up to remember being treated like that.

There was absolutely no legitimate reason for all the drama except that the local law enforcement did not then and do not now do much but pay lip service to the rights of citizens who enjoy the Second Amendment and the sport of shooting. I knew then, it was time to leave Illinois and it was another 5 or 6 years before I could.

I am truly blessed to be out of that miserable state.

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Old September 2, 2011, 07:14 AM   #7
hogdogs
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Receipt? For a gun? I don't keep them things around once I know the purchase operates as advertised...

Quote:
but it did indicate whether the person stop would be generally submissive.
And here is where it begins to get ugly for me...

First off, I know they are "testing my attitude"... Secondly, I do not put ANY energy into being "submissive" for the general public.

I am not submissive and frankly don't care to learn it...

Brent
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Old September 2, 2011, 08:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
If the LEO ran the serial number and it came up clean that's the end of it.
What would happen if you had pre-1968 weapons without serial numbers?

I have two, and now I'm slightly worried... Should I put identifying marks underneath the stock or something?
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Old September 2, 2011, 08:02 AM   #9
zukiphile
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If you hadn't been submissive to some degree, you would not have pulled over.

Like it or not the state has the power to compel submission; that's one of the functions of a state everywhere they exist. The PO's badge and uniform remind us of that with the subtlety usually attributable to governments.

I do not intend "submissive" in a pejorative sense, and the point was that a useless request can help draw a reaction that can be used to evaluate someone.


I get pulled over maybe once a year on average. I never give excuses because I imagine even a good one will only draw more interest. The last time I was pulled over the PO caught up to me in my own driveway. He expressed concern at my misreading the speed limit by a factor of two and passing over a double yellow line, in the rain, at night, with him behind me.

Before he could continue, and with my hands still on the wheel, I said "No excuses. My wallet is in the right hand chest pocket of my jacket. May I get it for you?"

I think I clearly signalled that I wasn't offering any evasion or irritation, but exactly what he needed to write a ticket. He returned the courtesy by very politely asking that I keep my speed down. We wished one another a good evening and we were done.

There is a lot about interacting with law enforcement (for small things) that isn't law at all.

Last edited by zukiphile; September 2, 2011 at 08:23 AM.
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Old September 2, 2011, 08:22 AM   #10
Glenn Dee
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WOAH! WOAH! WOAH!.... HOld on there fella's.

Ask for a reciept for the firearm?... And what would that prove? OK so you have a reciept... IMO This is what happens when you have a cop who does not have a clue how to investigate the situation. In my career I have only asked for a reciept when I had reason to believe that property may have been RECENTLY stolen. I say recently because it is unreasonable for a person to carry a reciept for all his/her property currently in possesion.

All that talk about a cop giving you an attitutde test... Thats bunk. The police dont have a choice about your attitude, and it should have no bearing on their business with you... Now a positive attitude is always helpfull when you want an officer to use his discretion on your behalf.
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Old September 2, 2011, 08:27 AM   #11
B. Lahey
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I am a defense attorney (although I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice)

This doesn't sound like a rights violation to me; they can ask for almost anything. I would bet he either was wanting to see if it was stolen and didn't express himself well, or he was asking you a goofy questiom on purpose just to shake you up...

"y'ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?"
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Old September 2, 2011, 08:28 AM   #12
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Dee
All that talk about a cop giving you an attitutde test... Thats bunk.
...
Now a positive attitude is always helpfull ...
Interesting. So in your work, you never assessed the attitutude or countenance of someone you were observing?
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Old September 2, 2011, 08:37 AM   #13
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I also do not carry receipts for the tools in my car, why would I carry receipts for guns?

When did this society become so paranoid about legal gun ownership - whether it is carrying receipts, or meeting FTF to do a sale, it just seems in the last few years, the paranoia level has been cranked to levels unseen before.

If you are carrying your gun legally for your locale, why would you need a receipt on your person?
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Old September 2, 2011, 08:39 AM   #14
tyme
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Originally Posted by Glenn Dee
All that talk about a cop giving you an attitutde test... Thats bunk. The police dont have a choice about your attitude,
I think what we've got here is a failure to communicate. Zuki and Hogdogs mentioned "testing..." but did not imply the officer considers it any sort of formal test. Call it what you want. When an officer starts asking you questions or asking permission to search things you don't have to let him search, in what's clearly a fishing expedition, he is partly testing your attitude.

There's a perception among LEOs generally, it seems, that people who are less forthcoming and less cooperative are more likely to have something to hide. If you're ever interviewed by a LEO and start ignoring "fishing" questions, if you ask whether you are free to leave or whether you're under arrest, or if you start explicitly asserting your 4th amendment rights, you will *see* a marked change in the LEO's demeanor. You may not call it a test, but when you see that change, there has been a test, and you've failed it.
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Old September 2, 2011, 08:58 AM   #15
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In a traffic stop, LEOs can ask you anything they want. Granted, you are not always obligated to give or show it to them.

Kind of like when asked where you are headed or what you're doing out late. I don't think it is so much an attitude test, but rather gives them time to evaluate you and any passengers.

I have been asked my destination, my occupation, place of employment, date of last e-check despite that my county does not have e-check, what I am doing out so "late," and any number of other random questions.

I always answer politely and courteously, then again I almost always get stopped by State Troopers who in my area are very professional.

Heh, before I was engaged and a few years younger my answer to the out late question was to look over at the blonde riding shotgun then back to the cop and go, "Seriously?" Said and did the same when he asked why I was speeding Got a good laugh, got out of the ticket too.
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Old September 2, 2011, 11:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
There's a perception among LEOs generally, it seems, that people who are less forthcoming and less cooperative are more likely to have something to hide. If you're ever interviewed by a LEO and start ignoring "fishing" questions, if you ask whether you are free to leave or whether you're under arrest, or if you start explicitly asserting your 4th amendment rights, you will *see* a marked change in the LEO's demeanor. You may not call it a test, but when you see that change, there has been a test, and you've failed it.
I certainly don't see exercising your rights to be a failure. Perhaps on the PO's part for not getting what he wanted.
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Old September 2, 2011, 11:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stressfire
Heh, before I was engaged and a few years younger my answer to the out late question was to look over at the blonde riding shotgun then back to the cop and go, "Seriously?" Said and did the same when he asked why I was speeding Got a good laugh, got out of the ticket too.
Yeah, I would have probably let ya go too, lol.


In response to the asking for reciepts, I've never done it. I've pulled many a handgun from a vehicle on the interstate, I work in Illinois and pull over many CCL holders from other states, and once I run the serial, it's all good, if it's clear. No tickets for the unlawful use either, but rather a quick reminder about Illinois law and the fact we don't recognize any state's CCL. Of course what one does at the next rest area is their business.

I've never dealt with anyone carrying a pre-68 weapon, sans serial number. Actually has me thinking about what I would do. And thinking about those cops who know absolutely nothing about firearms, except they have to qualify with theirs once a year. Definitely something to think about, consider.
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Old September 2, 2011, 12:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
There's a perception among LEOs generally, it seems, that people who are less forthcoming and less cooperative are more likely to have something to hide. If you're ever interviewed by a LEO and start ignoring "fishing" questions, if you ask whether you are free to leave or whether you're under arrest, or if you start explicitly asserting your 4th amendment rights, you will *see* a marked change in the LEO's demeanor. You may not call it a test, but when you see that change, there has been a test, and you've failed it.
I completely, utterly, don't care. Its far better to assert your rights, object to any searches or questions, and preserve your defenses at court than anything else. Everything will be used against you regardless.

Frankly other than a speeding ticket, if they are already asking you better already lawyer up.
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Old September 2, 2011, 12:16 PM   #19
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No violation of rights, but certainly an asinine question. The only thing in my vehicle for which I might have a receipt would be the cold six-pack sitting on the passenger seat for the ride home, and even that's not a sure thing. I think the "Seriously?" response would get mustered in a hurry if an officer asked for a receipt for a pistol, the jumper cables, the battery, or the clothes on my back, for that matter. Asinine.
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Old September 2, 2011, 12:31 PM   #20
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I'm fairly certain that I would be hard pressed to hunt down the receipt for most of my guns. I don't have receipts for many of the things I own. This proves what?
Seems to me, the burden of proof isn't on me anyway.
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Old September 2, 2011, 12:37 PM   #21
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Time to start carrying a box around with receipts for everything in your possession , I guess.

Papers, please.
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Old September 2, 2011, 12:41 PM   #22
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I was born in IL but have been living in Missouri for most of my life. Since I only live about 40 miles from the state line, IL law regarding firearms and their attitude about ccw was discussed in great detail during our ccw class. At the instructor's suggestion I opted to get a MO state ID with my ccw endorsement so that the average person who had a need to see my driver's license wouldn't be alerted to my ccw permit status. Apparently some IL LEOs had observed ccw status on driver's licenses during routine stops and had subjected the driver to some extensive searches of their auto's.

On another note, we have one county sheriff's dept in the area who have pulled the "where's your receipt" on ccw holders when they were stopped and in possession of a firearm. During my last purchase I was advised by the LGS owner to always carry a copy of my receipt when I was traveling through that county and carrying a weapon. I have since been advised by my attorney that in the event a LEO chose to confiscate my weapon pending a "proof of ownership receipt" that he would be more than happy to file a lawsuit and make both of us a lot of money.
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Old September 2, 2011, 12:42 PM   #23
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Ditto and zinc, I agree with you. All I was saying saying is that, from the officer's perspective, there's a sort of (informal) test going on. The LEOs may not even be able to articulate it as a test, which is what I was trying to get at in response to Glenn... that it is not a formal test does not mean there isn't a test in a different sense. People who assert their rights will fail it. I've failed it in the past, and I will continue to fail it in future encounters with LEOs.
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Old September 2, 2011, 12:47 PM   #24
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Asking for a reciept doesn't outwardly seem like it would be a violation of rights. A cop can ask what size undergarments you wear if he wishes, but that doesn't mean you have to tell him. Now, demanding you to produce a reciept, on the other hand, seems a bit more jack-booted to me. Last I knew, the burden of proof lies with the accuser and not the accused, so unless the cop can produce reasonable evidence that the gun (or any item for that matter) is stolen or unlawful, you and I are under no obligation to disprove him.

If I were ever asked for a reciept for any of my firearms by a cop, my reply would probably be along the lines of "Officer, I've owned this gun for quite some time now. If I still have the reciept, it's at home. Is there a problem?"
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Old September 2, 2011, 01:08 PM   #25
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Just remember you do not have to even participate in the conversation.

Being polite can help, and having some understanding of local identification laws (what is required) is a good idea.
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