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Old February 6, 2012, 02:33 PM   #1
CaptainObvious
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A Firearms Owner's Guide to Dealing with the Police

1. Stay calm and cool. Do not fail the "attitude" test. Do not ever talk back, raise your voice or use profanity. Do not move unless the officer says so. Do not move towards the police officer unless requested. Remember, your voice will be recorded and the scene might be on videotape. Control your words, tone and body language. Everything you do or say at that moment will be played back to a judge or jury later on or noted in a report. You might use your hands when you speak, but best practice is to leave them by your side or if in a vehicle on the steering wheel. Dont place your hands in your pockets and only move when the officer requests you to do so.

2. Always be silent...politely decline to answer questions or tell what happened. If the officer starts asking questions, politely say something to the effect of "I realize you are doing your job, but I do not want to answer questions." Show them your id, answer identification type questions, but do not answer questions or tell them what happened. If this is a situation where there is any chance you might get arrested, then do not answer their questions. This applies to all situations where you might get arrested and not just gun related. Let them arrest you and have your lawyer or the public defender deal with the situation later on.

3. Always refuse searches verbally, but never physically. If the officer asks to search your vehicle, yourself, your household or anything for that matter, politely state something to the effect of "I realize you are doing your job but I do not consent to any searches". If the officer just starts searching, then say to the officer politely and calmly you will not consent to searches. Never physically deny the officer access or get in their way. Obey the officer's commands, but make sure you tell them you do not consent to searches.

4. Don't get tricked. Police officer's are generally good people, but they have their ways of doing things. Never let a police officer's threats, kindness or promises trick you into waiving your rights. Review the top three rules and imagine different scenarios. A flashlight might be shined in your face, the officer might be talking fast and loud, the stress of the situation might lead you to waive your rights, etc. There might be a situation where the officer may seem like your friend and just trying to fill out a report. Do not be tricked. Do not consent to searches and stay silent. Tell them you will only give a statement under advisement of an attorney.

5. Do not wait for an officer to terminate an encounter if things seem to be taking too long. Politely ask if you are free to go. Only leave if the officer says you can go. "Am I being detained or am I free to go?"

6. Do not expose yourself. Do not give reasons for the police to engage you. For example, lets say you have that hunting axe from the last trip out on the seat in the passenger's compartment which you have been too lazy to put away. Always ask yourself if you are exposing yourself to police scrutiny. A common thing nowadays is the cell phone. When police
see anything in your hand which looks like a cell phone then that gives them enough cause to stop you. Bumper stickers for the NRA or rifle club may seem innocent to some, but that might make the police extra jumpy
if they have to stop and deal with you.

7. Never run from an officer. Resistance is futile. Once they have you, there is no escape. Do not resist an officer physically, block their way, touch the officer, etc.

8. Never touch an officer. This should need no further explanation, however, there are some people who have certain reflexes where they might touch someone when they talk or as a result of being touched. Keep your hands by your side and never touch, even innocently, a police officer. If you get frisked, the officers hands might brush up against private places. No matter what, never touch an officer even innocently.

9. Do not invite officers into your home, business or vehicle. If officers are called to your home then simply step outside, close the door and deal with them. Only verbally deny access, do not physically deny access in any way. When stopped in a vehicle, roll the window down only enough to pass out documents. This will prevent the officer from goose necking their head in the vehicle. Roll down the window the rest of the way only if requested. Many times an officer will ask in an innocent manner if they can do a check of your vehicle or home. Always say no. Do not consent to searches.

10. Never lie to an officer. There are only two things you can say to an officer which is either nothing at all or the truth. Untrue stories will always get you into more trouble. In some states, it may even be illegal to lie to an officer.

11. Never profess innocence/never profess guilt. For obvious reasons, you should not confess to an officer or talk about what you did or did not do. Statements of guilt or innocence are best delivered under the direction of an attorney. Professing innocence might anger the officer. Maintain silence and do not answer questions.

12. Lectures. If you are getting a lecture, then listen quietly and intently. When an officer is in lecture mode, then you are probably about to get let go with a warning. For example, you violated one of the many hunting regulations out there unknowingly. Listen to the lecture, do not interupt or express disagreement. Stay silent and pay attention.

13. Vehicle stops- When stopped in a vehicle, keep your hands on the wheel until the officer requests an item like your license. Tell the officer where the license is and then slowly get it. It is generally a good idea to store these documents in a place where its easy to retrieve them and not in an area where you store your private items like firearms. Depending upon the law, you might be required to tell the officer that you have a firearm. However, if the law does not require you to tell the officer then do not tell them. If you tell them and let them search your vehicle then you are essentially giving up your rights. Of course, if your private documents are in a compartment where a firearm is kept and the officer is going to see it anyway then there its a good idea to let them know.

14. Straight Face Courtesy Always A smile can be misconstrued as mocking the officer. A frown, sad or angy face can also be taken in the wrong way. Maintain a straight face and always be courteous by saying hello, goodbye, please and thank you. However, being courteous does not include waiving your rights. Refer back to the earlier parts of this thread...stay silent/politely refuse to answer questions, verbally (not physically) refuse searches, ask if you are free to go and ask for an attorney when being arrested.

15. The cost of an attorney should never figure into your thinking. Some people will think they cannot afford an attorney and therefore try to cooperate with the police thereby waiving their legal rights. Remember, paying back an attorney 20,000 in legal costs will be much easier then spending years in prison. An attorney is like a doctor, if you need to get one then you need to get one and the cost shouldnt matter. They are the only ones who can help you in these situations.

16. When moving from one political boundary to another, there is most always a change in firearms laws. Before you travel to a different state, county or city, always research the law. If you are forced down into non-firearms friendly territory, i.e. American Airlines sending you to JFK in NYC on one of those diverts, then refer back to #15 and call an attorney immediately. Always assume there will be a change in firearms laws moving across any political boundary. Become an expert on the law. When in doubt, leave your firearms at home.

Last edited by CaptainObvious; February 6, 2012 at 02:45 PM.
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Old February 6, 2012, 03:06 PM   #2
R1145
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I hate it when I get a bonehead who talks himself into jail on something that could just be a citation (or even a verbal warning).

I would add that an officer has the right to identify you if you are stopped on a law enforcement contact, and failure to do so (or to do so falsely) is a crime.

Also, don't refuse to sign a ticket, for the same reason.

Conversely, in a serious situation, don't be afraid to get arrested if that's the price of keeping your mouth shut, just don't jerk around on the ID thing.
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Old February 6, 2012, 10:08 PM   #3
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Very good advice. I was involved in a self defense shooting a
few years ago and my attorney was a godsend. My attorney did all
the talking to the police. My weapon was returned to me and I went
home.
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Old February 6, 2012, 10:13 PM   #4
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Very good advice. You don't have to be guilty for a lawyer to be a good idea. If you find yourself in police custody, understand that for you, this is probably a new and unfamiliar experience, while the police do this literally every day. Don't take a chance on saying the wrong thing (or even just phrasing something poorly) and having your statements coming back to bite you later.
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Old February 7, 2012, 03:37 AM   #5
MarkDozier
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While most of it is good. unless you are driving or carrying conceled there is no requirement to carry or produce identification. If you think there is show me the written codified requirement for it.
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Old February 7, 2012, 03:43 AM   #6
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Captain Obvious.

I give you my highest verbal award for your post.

TRULY OUTSTANDING. Flesh this post out and submit as an article to some gun mags. This is a must read for every firearms owner and user.
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Old February 7, 2012, 07:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
While most of it is good. unless you are driving or carrying conceled there is no requirement to carry or produce identification. If you think there is show me the written codified requirement for it.
You don't. Unless of course the officer is stopping you in the course of an investigation of some kind, based upon reasonable suspicion. How do you know if he is doing that? You ask him. Otherwise he is under no duty to tell you.

Remember people who are innocent and guilty get upset and defensive when they find out the police are investigating them. This changes their attitudes and what they say. Therefore the police generally prefer to keep encounters cordial. If you press him on it he may or may not tell you what he is doing.

This was upheld in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada.

Good post, although I find the base source of your rules amusing on many levels.
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Old February 7, 2012, 07:21 AM   #8
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Great post with solid advice !

HTC Vision Custom
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Old February 7, 2012, 07:46 AM   #9
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A Firearms Owner's Guide to Dealing with the Police

Good advice.

"Officer, I fully intend to cooperate after I've consulted an attorney."
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Old February 7, 2012, 08:01 AM   #10
Kevin Rohrer
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Quote:
"Officer, I fully intend to cooperate after I've consulted an attorney."
Officer: "That's fine with me. You can call him from Booking".


My suggestion: Treat him as you would want to be treated.
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Old February 7, 2012, 08:11 AM   #11
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From seeing the original poster's stats, it looks like he has an agenda. We won't be seeing many more posts from him.
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Old February 7, 2012, 08:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
From seeing the original poster's stats, it looks like he has an agenda. We won't be seeing many more posts from him.
Based on the two posts from the OP, he seems to have only one agenda...to offer up good advice based on some kind of working knowledge of law enforcement and the legal process.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old February 7, 2012, 08:47 AM   #13
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While I mostly agree with the OP's advice - I'd say its 100% dead on in 90% of the situations.

However, there are times (very limited) when telling the officer(s) exactly what happened will work to your advantage. There are times you may need to make a judgment call and let the officers search you.

I'm saying this at the risk of getting flamed by the lawyers on here who may have defended many cases that went bad because the defendant didn't follow the above advice, as well as from individuals who are speaking from their own experience. They are not wrong. Believe me, I am aware of all of this. BUT, a strict set of guidelines does not apply to every situation. They are good to keep in mind, but you still need to think, make judgment calls and occasionally the situation calls for deviating from that advice.
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Old February 7, 2012, 08:48 AM   #14
grumpa72
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Captainobvious,

Not so obvious is what credentials do you present that says that this is anything other than "cut and paste" of accumulated ideas from the internet? Are you an attorney, a cop, a judge or ...

A few, very few, of your points hold water imo but I would like to know where you are coming from.

respectfully,
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Old February 7, 2012, 09:06 AM   #15
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A few, very few, of your points hold water imo but I would like to know where you are coming from.
...which points dont hold water?
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old February 7, 2012, 10:00 AM   #16
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Skadoosh,
If you noticed, I said "IMO" which means in my opinion and therefore applies to me. I have no intention of getting into a debate with you about someone else's post. The author is free to point out his advice but I was merely asking him what his credentials were that caused the posting. If I give flying advice I would hope someone asks if I am a pilot. If I give medical advice I would hope someone asks if I am a doctor.

nuff said,

respectfully,
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Old February 7, 2012, 10:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
6....Always ask yourself if you are exposing yourself to police scrutiny. A common thing nowadays is the cell phone. When police
see anything in your hand which looks like a cell phone then that gives them enough cause to stop you. ...
This doesn't hold water, IMHO. "Cell phone" (or any recording/video equipment) does not equal RAS.

In fact, I would recommend a recording device be turned on prior to the encounter. LEO's, in their official capacity, have no expectation of privacy, BTW.

Now on the other hand if the poster is implying that a device in the hand may be (mis)construed as a weapon, then I would agree.

Other than that, very much dead on in most cases and the safe route in all cases. Thanks a bunch to the OP.
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Old February 7, 2012, 10:22 AM   #18
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Grumpa72,

Many people come here to learn. If you have some insight or disagree with what the OP stated .... and take the time time to say as much, what's keeping you from educating us?
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.

Last edited by Skadoosh; February 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM.
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Old February 7, 2012, 11:20 AM   #19
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Here is a great video coving this subject.
Part one is by the lawyer and part two is
a law enforcement officer. It's very well done.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
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Old February 7, 2012, 11:42 AM   #20
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This doesn't hold water, IMHO. "Cell phone" (or any recording/video equipment) does not equal RAS.

In fact, I would recommend a recording device be turned on prior to the encounter. LEO's, in their official capacity, have no expectation of privacy, BTW.

Now on the other hand if the poster is implying that a device in the hand may be (mis)construed as a weapon, then I would agree.
I think the OP might be thinking about police seeing a cell phone or something that looks like a cell phone in your hand while driving. That could give them probable cause to stop you in a state that prohibits texting while driving or cell phone use while driving.

As to recording encounters with the police, I agree that they should have no expectation of privacy when performing their jobs in public. Unfortunately, recording a police officer without consent of the officer can get you arrested in some states.
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Old February 7, 2012, 02:01 PM   #21
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Does it really matter what the intent or perceived purpose is, it's still good advice in 90% of an objective situation........
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Old February 7, 2012, 02:52 PM   #22
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Depends on the situation

I do believe that this is awesome advise when it comes to the use of a Firearm in personal defense. However in a routine traffic stop I see no reason to be so stand offish. I have a long thread here in T&T regarding "pulled over while CCW"

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=471121

Many who responded shared my view that it was in fact best to let an officer know you were carrying to avoid any supprises.

Thanks, Vermonter
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Old February 7, 2012, 03:30 PM   #23
grumpa72
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Skadoosh,
Ok, again, I am not willing to debate you here. Let's assume that I agree with all the OPs points. What credentials does he possess that leads one to assume his knowledge is correct, not internet lore, and not going to get me into more trouble than I already am? I guess I need to get stopped by the police at least once to understand the (assumed) paranoia. Again, when giving advice, it is usually normal (in my world) to present evidence that you know what you are talking about. My wife can give teaching advice, my neighbor can give medical advice, my friend can give financial advice etc, because they can back up their statements with credibility and ability.

No more comments from me on this post. To the OP, thank you for your opinion.
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Old February 7, 2012, 03:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carne Frio
Here is a great video coving this subject.
Part one is by the lawyer and part two is
a law enforcement officer. It's very well done.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

Never talk to the police, without the advise and consent of an attorney.

The video Carne Frio links too is very good, very accurate information.

If you are innocent, or guilty it matters not which, it is not in your interests to answer police questions without an attorney.
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Old February 7, 2012, 04:39 PM   #25
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Grumpa, wisdom is the by-product of experience, not credentials.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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