View Full Version : Info. requested from LEO- Police?

February 10, 2009, 09:10 AM
I need a little input from LEO's. At what point or what provakes you to search a auto or person. The world is changing and sometimes its hard for us older people to change. First of all I firmly believe in the 2 amend. A license of any kind issued by the state can be revoked. I know we have to have a way to prevent the felons from carrying. But here I guess is my question. I dont have a cc permit and just my personal feelings. (you ask why dont I get it) I never carry iligelly in my car. Always in a locked box in the trunk. Never carrey concealed on me. I am pushing 70 and not as agile and fast as I use to be. I dont want to get in a shooting match with any one or a arm wrestling contest. I have owned guns all my life. I own a business. Was robbed about 7 years ago at my business. They even cut and stole the burglar alarm. Took about $20k in tools and stole a vehicle. Found tools being sold at a flea market 1 week later. LEO failed to really agressively solve it. (thats another story that I wont go into here.) I've been broken into about 5 times. I dont bother calling the police any more because I get there before they do. (I think they wait to make sure they dont get shot, after all they are not required to protect your property) I have a alarm that rings into my house. Here is my serino. I dont feel comfortable rushing (sometimes brakeing the speed limit) at midnight to my business with my gun locked in the trunk. I would feel much safer if it was on the seat or door pocket. I am told if I was stopped and if I had a loaded gun on my seat, under it or on me. I would be arrested and the cost of getting a attorney would bakerupt me. So my questions is this: would most LEO's let me go or hold and jail me. I live a life where I normally dont feel threatned or a need for concealed carry. Somethimes when traveling I would feel more comfortable with my revolver under my seat, ready if needed, as a last resort. But really dont feel the need personally to carry it on me. It goes back to the old addage "out of sight out of mind" I have a hundared dollar bill in my wallet for emergency. Which is my right. If I taped it on front of my cap "thats still my right" But in about 5 min I would be shot or robbed of it. So my feelings are "out of sight, out of mind". I never would want to provoke a search of me personally or my vehicle. So if it is hidden out of sight what would provoke a LEO to search me, or my car. I, as a business man, I am already, taxed, licesned, permitted, and pick pocket to death. Then have to get a cc permit to protect what is mine.

February 10, 2009, 09:28 AM
sorry I'm not a cop, but know and are friends with some...but I don't know any cop that would search a 70 year old without cause. If you're out minding your own business and not breaking the laws, I really don't see you getting searched.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 10, 2009, 09:31 AM
Look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_v._Ohio and then google on Terry searches.

Also look http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/dwb%20bust%20card7_04.pdf

These will give you a starting point on interacting with the police.

Also, you might rethink your security plan for your business and relations with the police.

February 10, 2009, 09:34 AM
The only thing is that at midnight with no traffic in a rual area and traveling at 45 or 50 in a 35 mph zone to get to my business might raise a red flag to a LEO. especially with a gun on the front seat. I guess if it is on the dash board in plain sight (unloaded) that is not illigal), but sure would raise a red flag and be held for further questioning while my place is being robbed.

February 10, 2009, 09:38 AM
First, where do you live? If you live in a "shall issue" state, it should not be hard for you to get a CCW/CPL.

Second, what protection do you have in place to make your business undesireable for burglars? You have to invest a little for security.
The whole idea is this: burglars and criminals usually pick the easiest target. If you make your business a hard target, you decrease the chances of burglary. Steps you can take: strong outside lighting, deadbolt doors on the outside doors; a safe for your important records and high dollar items, motion sensors and alarms wired directly to the police. Consider some security fencing, too.

Most importantly, if you have reason that your business is being burgled, call the police. Do NOT attempt to go after the burglars yourself; that is a sure way to get seriously injured or killed.

February 10, 2009, 10:14 AM
You can take all the security measures you want and that will still not stop all of them. My next door business, they even cut a hold through his fence. Usually in my area. Calling the LOE only involves alot of paper work for him and with the shortage of police and budgets strained to the max. Unless a life is in danger its a waste of time unless I need a reprort for the insurance co. I am aware that you cannot use any type of deadly force to protect your property. You basically have to help them load the loot up. Your life has to be in danger or deadly force used against you before you can react. I dont want to get into a argument as what I could do to avoid being broken into. Yes I could just go out of business and burn the bulding down and that would aleviate me getting broken into, and tying up the police's time filling out a report. Usually, now with the type of alarm I have it will scare them off before I, or the police get there. Yes maybe I should just bite the bullet and get a ccw permit. But it just rubs me the wrong way that I cannot protect myself without a permit. Neighbor car impound lot was the hot target for theives cutting holes in his fence and cutting converters off. He had the police there so much filling out reports that they hated to see him. Finally he parked a few cars over some broken beer bottles and " some how a lawnmower blew grass over them." Come in one morning and blood every where. (come on you lawyers jump on) . Its only going to get worse as our economy falls apart.

Shrubmaster M4A3
February 10, 2009, 10:59 AM
Without knowing more about where exactly you live, and a plethora of other factors... It would be nearly impossible to tell you what the police in your are could, or would do.

What I can do is give my own personal opinion based upon the fact that I have been a law enforcement officer for several years now. Keep in mind that I can't give you legal advice... This is simply my take on the subject.

First, if crime in your area is as bad as you say... I wouldn't expect that the police have a whole lot of time to devote to self-initiated activities (such as conducting traffic stops on 70 year old men for minor driving violations).

Secondly... I can't imagine the complaint that would come in against me if I were to randomly jam up a gentleman of your age (and a tax-paying, voting, business owner at that!) without some VERY articulable reasons.

The things that cause me to ask a motorist to step out of their car for a "Terry-frisk" are:

1) An odor of intoxicants (alcohol/marijuana) or other reason to believe that the person is intoxicated or in possession of narcotics

2) The person is on probation/parole for a drug or weapons related crime

3) I have reason to believe that the person has committed or is about to commit a crime (not traffic related)

4) The person is making unusual or threatening movements which lead me to believe that they are attempting to conceal or retrieve a weapon or other contraband

5) Dispatch tells me that the person is known to be armed/resist arrest/assault officers/etc.

6) The person has an outstanding warrant for their arrest

These are not all-inclusive but, I think you get the idea. Basically, if I pull over a 70 year old man for speeding.... Odds are you are not likely to be searched as long as you meet these criteria:

You are sober, have no serious criminal history, your license, registration and other documents are current and legitimate, you act like a respectable adult and conduct yourself as a gentleman.

In a nutshell, I'd say if I pulled you over for nothing more than speeding... I'd never find out about that wheelgun under your seat.

I'm not saying that all officers do things the exact same way, and if you choose to break the law then you are rolling the dice and things COULD go very bad for you.

At any rate, I hope things get better for you and would suggest that the CCW permit is cheap insurance to avoid running afoul of the law. Take care.

February 10, 2009, 05:51 PM
I am from Ohio for those that ask. I really dont want to be as law braker and so far have not. I really dont see things getting any better in our society. I realized that all LEO depts. are overwhelmed with calls and work loads. The more serious the crime the highter priorty. Protecting property is not high on the list. (its the judical system that led to this). Like I said, I am almost 70 and really dont want to get a ccl. I avoid every situation that might put me in harm that I can. Our area is really not a bad area. Just my business as others are easy pickins for crack heads. Ocasssionaly I have to go to the Cleaveland Clinic for medical. Sometimes I am late getting out. I have to drive back through a rough area to get back home near Cols. I would feel safer if I had my gun under the seat or close by instead locked in the trunk. I come from the old school and grew up out west when at that time protecting your property was your right at any cost. If a bunch of boys climbed a fence and stole apples. They could expect a load of rock salt and nothing done. I remember a local junk yard just out side of town that kept having problems with people stealing car parts at night. The owner would call the LEO out three or four times a week. Finallly he told the owner I dont care what you do, put up a 10' elec fence, dig a moat and put alligators in it, turn pit bulls loose in it, do what ever you want but dont call me any more till you have a body or someone to arrest. The fellow (being a hunting area) had some old bear traps. He set 4 or 5 of these around some of the cars at night. About the second night at about midnight he heard a scream that would wake the dead. He grabbed his shot gun and ole barney the junk yard dog and went to investigate. Sure enough he had a fellow in his trap. Called the local LEO ands told him he had a bear in his trap and should he shoot it and bury it or turn it loose. LEO said "maybe you ought to turn hin loose". Word got around real quick and no more stealing. (dont you lawyers love it) I grew up in a sawmill camp. Some one was stealing this old mans fire wood. Could never catch him. He got one stick of wood, drilled a hole in it and put a 12 ga shot gun shell in it and put a plug back in it. Marked the stick so the kids wouldnt carry it back inside the house. Wasnt long before he found who the theif was. I know times have changed since them. And you would wind up in jail and a law suit now. Back then, protecting your personable property was important and criminals did'nt have all those rights. And it is not going to get any better. http://www.gunblast.com/Enough.htm

February 10, 2009, 06:00 PM

Bottomline: if you are stopped for whatever reason, say a speeding stop. If the LEO suspects anything hinky you're busted.

Just put yourself in that seat, with the LEO at the window. You have a illegal loaded firearm within reach of you. Are you nervous?? If your a normal law abiding citizen I would say your nervous just because the LEO stopped you. Now imagine you studdering and getting a bit nervous while anwering just basic questions. If I search you and find that gun. You are busted and you just lost your gun.

If you're a law abiding citized - get a concealed license.

c5_ nc
February 10, 2009, 09:17 PM
quote "I am told if I was stopped and if I had a loaded gun on my seat, under it or on me. I would be arrested and the cost of getting a attorney would bakerupt me"

I'm not sure of the laws in other states, but here in NC, and I assume most of the country you are perfectly legal keeping a loaded gun on your dash or laying on your passenger seat as long as it is uncovered. It is not concealed if its in plain sight.

February 13, 2009, 09:31 PM
I'm not sure of the laws in other states,

The laws vary from state to state. Some allow open carry-no permit while some require it to be concealed, and others require a permit. For example, In Texas, you are allowed to transport handguns concealed in your car without a permit as long as it is concealed. When you are walking around, you need to have a permit.

Have you thought about a shotgun or rifle? In Texas, it is perfectly lawful to have a loaded longarm in the vehicle. Do you know Ohio law?

LEO perspective here: Don't break the law. Use the law to your advantage if you want to carry. If the only way you can carry a firearm in your car is with a concealed handgun license, then go get one. If not, you are rolling the dice. That being said, I'd say that it is highly unlikely that a police officer would think to waste his time searching a 70 year old man's car. If you follow the traffic laws, it's highly unlikely you'll get stopped anyway much less searched. You'd have to exhibit some behavior that made him suspicious enought to frisk you or the car.

Rifleman 173
February 14, 2009, 08:57 AM
Police officers are attracted to the illegal, strange, weird and suspicious. Normal people and legal people don't draw the attention of police officers. Various search parameters are set in place by the officers' departments, courts decisions and legal opinions given by the local prosecutor's office. A person is not searched for the fun of it. There has to be a reason or permission given by the person who is to be searched. So if you avoid being illegal, weird, strange or suspicious then you won't have to worry about being searched.

February 14, 2009, 10:30 AM
John, my suggestion to you is to just get your carry permit. Then you don't have to worry about it. Ohio requires 12hrs of training. two of that being live fire from an approved training center.
Just do it. You could have it done in a weekend. NO big deal.

It's just not worth gettting searched and having to go through the BS.
And if were you, I wouldn't count on not being searched. I've been searched before for no reason at all, so has one of my friends.
Are you always absolutely sure that you're registration isn't expired by a couple days? Apparently that will get you searched, too. :rolleyes:

February 14, 2009, 10:46 AM
protectedbyglock gives the best advice. Do what it takes to be legal.
You don't have to be stopped to get jammed up. What if you're involved in a crash and taken to the hospital? As a LEO prior to towing your vehicle the contents of you vehicle will be inventoried. If an illegal weapon is found you're busted.
As far as being searched during a traffic stop it will depend upon the circumstances which are far too many to list. You might be stopped for having a burnt out taillight. While being stopped the LEO sees you make a movement which could be interpreted as reaching for a weapon. That gives the LEO the grounds to search the area within your reach for a weapon. It could be that when you stopped your gun slid out from under the seat and was in plain view. It could be that the police are looking for a suspect vehicle with the same description as yours. It could be someone saw your gun and called you in. The possibilities are nearly endless and each of them will give the LEO the grounds to search your vehicle.

February 15, 2009, 01:20 AM


Hopefully it's not bad form to put links to another forum but here are two interesting discussions about legal issues with guns and searches. As with anything on the internet, some info is good and some is bad, but at least it provides some more insight.

February 17, 2009, 10:49 PM
I'm amazed that no one's pointed this out yet, but unless the cop has actuall probable cause to search your vehicle you are 100% W/in your rights to politely decline the search.

"Officer, I do not consent to any searches. Am I free to go?"

February 18, 2009, 10:38 AM
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Legal Department offers resources available to the general public:

They're supplements to the course material; some of the same information presented in training. They offer insight into "generic" legal issues encountered across the land.

Click the transcripts if you prefer to read.

The 4A discussion on mobile conveyances:

February 18, 2009, 01:15 PM
John, before I just threw up a couple links so I'll give my take on your question (which is similar to the other advice you've heard). To begin with, the cops don't take a long time to respond to your alarm because they're afraid of getting shot. I can see why a typical law abiding citizen like yourself would think that because your average person would rather avoid conflict than respond to it. Cops on the other hand, that is our job. A cop that is afraid to respond to an alarm call (fairly minor call in a cop's typical day), should not and will not be a cop for long. Our business is to respond to events that most people would like to head away from.

Second, and purely semantics, your store is getting burglarized, not robbed. I know it sounds like it's splitting hairs but it's actually a very important distinction. Burglary is a property crime, and although a serious felony, it is not like robbery, which is a person's crime, and far more serious. I'm still sorry you've been a victim of so much crime, that sucks.

You're correct that many burglary reports are a waste of time and nobody gets caught. But please do call the cops when it happens. It is important for your local officers and department to know where the crimes are occurring, and although unlikely, it is possible for your items to be recovered and the bad guys caught. I've seen it happen. Some cops do crappy reports and investigations, some do good ones. If even 1 out of 10 of your burglars were caught it would be better than 0 out of 10 right? And regardless of how much the cops dislike taking the report, it is their job. Sucks to be them...:D that's their problem, not yours.

I live in California, where law abiding and decent citizens cannot get CCW permits. I feel that is wrong. Sorry if I come across sounding harsh but if you live in a state where CCW is allowed and you actually have a really good reason to carry (which you do, responding to your business after a crime), you have no excuse for not getting a permit. A lot of good people aren't blessed to live in an area where they can carry a weapon to defend themselves. And yet you do, and not only that, you have a great reason for doing so, and you still are reluctant to get a permit...that's a shame in my humble opinion.

One last thing, I really couldn't care less if you speed to get to your store after it's been broken into (as long as you don't hit anything). I understand how ****** off you feel and want to get there quick, but slow down and think about what you're doing. The faster you get there the more likely you are to have to use that gun of yours. And I'd guess you aren't trained or equipped to feel comfortable responding to and apprehending burglars in a safe manner. Just some food for thought.

PS- from another poster:
I'm amazed that no one's pointed this out yet, but unless the cop has actuall probable cause to search your vehicle you are 100% W/in your rights to politely decline the search.

I know, just splitting hairs again but that's not entirely correct. Many searches only require reasonable suspicion, which is a lower standard than probable cause.

February 18, 2009, 01:38 PM

Great post. Welcome to TFL. :)

No problem at all with links. In fact we encourage it; there are good places all over the web and sharing info with one another is part of what makes TFL what it is.


February 18, 2009, 04:17 PM
I know, just splitting hairs again but that's not entirely correct. Many searches only require reasonable suspicion, which is a lower standard than probable cause.

I don't consider it splitting hair I was un aware of the legal distinction IANL thanks for clearing it up.

That said, if you show up with a warrant I'd still go on record as not consenting to the search and have my lawyer go over the warrant with a fine tooth comb afterwards just in case.

February 18, 2009, 06:58 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Kathy. I'm glad I found this site. ;)

That said, if you show up with a warrant I'd still go on record as not consenting to the search and have my lawyer go over the warrant with a fine tooth comb afterwards just in case.

Treo, excellent plan and a wise choice. Unfortunately we deal with a lot of people who resist and want to argue about the finer points of legalities while on the scene. I have a lot of respect for people who use your approach of politely stating their non-consent and then letting their attorney handle it in the proper forum. As cops we wish everyone did it that way. Resistance while on a scene is likely to be worse for everyone involved. :eek::D

February 18, 2009, 08:35 PM
Resistance while on a scene is likely to be worse for everyone involved.

Especially the one doing the resisting.

Just so we're clear I've never had a search warrant served on me I'm just a student of civil liberties

February 26, 2009, 06:36 PM
You have gotten some good advice so far. Here are some things to think of:

1. Your alarm is not going to prevent burglaries.
2. It will be very rare for you alarm to be activated, your alarm company calls you, you drive to your business, and the suspects are still on scene.
3. Get a CCW.
4. If you don't get a CCW, don't worry to much about the Police searching a car of a 70 year old business man. I conduct preventive enforcment all the time and would never even blink an eye at a 70 year old man. I am looking for people in there late teens to 45 years old who also show signs of drug use or other indicators of criminal activity. If I acidentally stop a 70 year old I probably would just write him a warning ticket for the reason of the stop and not even run his ID. As an officer, you have to be efficient and spend time on things that are important and little to no time on things that are not.
5. Good luck. I hope you check on your business one night and catch someone breaking in and "feel threatened" and shoot them dead. Case closed--I hate a thief.

March 5, 2009, 12:39 AM
New law:

Arizona V. Johnson, U.S Lexis 868, January 26, 2009

In a traffic stop setting, the first Terry condition – a lawful investigative stop – is met whenever the police lawfully detain a vehicle and its occupants for a traffic violation. Police need not, in addition, have cause to believe any occupant of the vehicle is involved in criminal activity. All that is necessary to justify a frisk of the driver or a passenger during a traffic stop is reasonable suspicion that the person subjected to the frisk is armed and dangerous.


March 5, 2009, 07:05 AM
One last thing, I really couldn't care less if you speed to get to your store after it's been broken into (as long as you don't hit anything). I understand how ****** off you feel and want to get there quick, but slow down and think about what you're doing. The faster you get there the more likely you are to have to use that gun of yours. And I'd guess you aren't trained or equipped to feel comfortable responding to and apprehending burglars in a safe manner. Just some food for thought.

Wow. I'm sure glad to here that.

I live in Houston and have my own business as well, with over 18,000 sq.ft. under roof on 2-1/2 acres just outside the 610 Loop.
When I get an alarm call at 1:am, I roll in Hwy290 at typically 90mph+, and the main street to my business at about 60mph+. Yes, I'm careful, but it's deserted at that time in the morning, and the lights that I run have no cars even in sight.
I've never yet been stopped.

The last alarm call was about three months ago, and it was a real one where the tin on the commercial building had been torn loose.
When I got there, there were already three cruisers (one being a K-9 Unit), and they were happy to see me so I could unlock the door and let the K-9 do a search because they thought the BG(s) were still inside (they were wrong).

All the while I walked around with the police, my cocked & locked Commander was clearly visible tucked into my back jeans pocket (I didn't think of grabbing a holster on my way out the door) but none of the officers ever asked me to see my CCW permit.
I guess when the real thing happens, we (LEO's and citizens) are on the same side.

The point made for the OP is that when push comes to shove, LEO's will always be on your side against the "enemy", so don't ignore them or shut them out. But also don't assume to know how they have to do their jobs.
What you perceive to be lackadaisacal behaviour on the part of LEOs is not at all what you think it is or for the reasons you assume them to be.

In the mean time, I'll keep making alarm calls at 90mph and hope that if I ever do get stopped for speeding, I can only hope that I get stopped by a LEO like BoulderTroll. ;)