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Old January 19, 2013, 02:42 AM   #18
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 9,725
Originally Posted by 5whiskey
Unfortunately everyone needs to brush up on the law a little bit better. If you tell a law enforcement officer that you possess a firearm, EVEN IF DOING SO LEGALLY, he would be justified in conducting a frisk of the area that you indicate contains the firearm per Terry v. Ohio. You can argue against it all day long, but no court will uphold that the cop violated your rights by locating a weapon that you told him was there. To be technical, he would also be justified in doing a frisk on the rest of the car as well. If you are a law-abiding citizen and have your CCW, that's probably not going to happen... but the frisk would be upheld if he did.
Equally unfortunately, you are incorrect.

An officer who has stopped you to investigate a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is allowed to conduct a limited pat-down (frisk) for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not a subject is armed. A traffic stop is not a potential criminal investigation. Further, if you have already told him that you are armed and where the gun is, he has no need or justification to frisk you to find it. As to the vehicle, he is allowed to check only the immediate vicinity of the driver's seat, and ONLY for the presence of a weapon -- he does not get a free pass to toss the whole vehicle over a burned-out taillight.

And, no -- he cannot search the bag because you told him there's a weapon in it. If you told him it's in the right-front pouch, he is allowed to open ONLY the right-front pouch, and ONLY for the limited purpose of removing (temporarily) the weapon he has been told is in there. He does not get to search even that pouch beyond that. Obviously, the plain sight rule applies, and if you carry your stash of weed right next to your carry weapon you'll have a bit of 'splainin' to do, but telling the officer where to find the gun is not giving him consent to "search" anything.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; January 19, 2013 at 02:48 AM.
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