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Old September 23, 1999, 11:31 AM   #1
Jeff Thomas
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Recently I had a conversation with a fellow firearms owner. He works offshore, on oil drilling service ships. He claimed that many companies involved in that field have strict regulations against employees carrying firearms. Even to the point that employees could not leave firearms in their cars which are parked in a company lot while the employee is at sea.

Here is the interesting part. He claimed that some of these companies patrol the employee lots with dogs. And, if the dogs pick up the scent of drugs or guns, then the security guards open the vehicle, search it and confiscate any firearms found. He was quite adament that the dogs could find firearms in this manner, not just drugs.

While this doesn't have any immediate impact, if true, it is an interesting fact to consider for future reference. Anyone out there familiar with this subject?

Thanks. Regards from AZ

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited September 23, 1999).]
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Old September 23, 1999, 12:01 PM   #2
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My understanding is that dogs can be trained to sniff out almost anything. For example, some experiments have been done wherein some dogs have been trained to sniff out cancer...yep, you read correctly...and they were successful.

There are already explosive and pyrotechnic sniffing dogs, so I don't think its beyond possibility to train dogs to sniff out gunpowder residue.

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Old September 23, 1999, 12:15 PM   #3
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I wonder if "this car may or may not be booby-trapped" notice would discurage such snooping?
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Old September 23, 1999, 12:24 PM   #4
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Reminds me of the watermellon farmer. He got tired of people stealing his watermellons, so he put up a sign saying "one of these mellons is poisoned." A couple days later he looked at the sign: the "one" had been crossed out, and replaced with the word "two".
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Old September 23, 1999, 12:44 PM   #5
Ed Brunner
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Changed my mind.

[This message has been edited by Ed Brunner (edited September 23, 1999).]
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Old September 23, 1999, 01:53 PM   #6
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When I was in highschool, about 10 years ago, we had drug dogs come out about once a month to sniff the cars in the parking lot. Back then it wasn't a big deal to have ammo on school property. Everytime they came out, I'd get hauled out of class to let the dog handlers into my truck. For some reason they'd count each & every round of ammo in the truck, then give it all to the vice principal to hold until school let out. I was pretty involved in FFA, so I usually hung around school for an hour anyway. Since they usually wasted one or two class periods going through my truck, and one of the dog handlers was CUTE, I took to storing almost all of our ammo in my truck .

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Old September 23, 1999, 01:57 PM   #7
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I don't believe that they can smell the metal of a gun. They are probably trained to smell common lubes and solvents and possibly gunpowder. The former you might solve by using uncommon lubes and solvents or none at all. The latter you'd have to disguise somehow. Coffee grounds come to mind for some reason.
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Old September 23, 1999, 03:15 PM   #8
Jeff Thomas
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Well, I am impressed. And, pretty darn surprised. I wonder if I can get a dog that will sniff out the next big growth stock ...

Thanks. Regards from AZ
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Old September 23, 1999, 05:01 PM   #9
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I've gotta friend on the Memphis K-9 unit. All their police dogs are trained for patrol work and cross trained for either drugs or explosives. His dog is trained for explosives and yes indeed he can pick up gunpowder residue. I don't know about cleaners and solvents.
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Old September 23, 1999, 09:58 PM   #10
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A dog's sense of smell is amazing well developed. (Which make me wonder why mine all choose to find somthing disgusting to roll in and smell as bad as possible within minutes of their baths)! There is a dog in San Antonio that purportedly smells out termites.

Whether or not THAT story is true, I have two siblings who train police dogs for a living (the third sibling is a veterinarian) - they all tell me dogs can be trained to sniff out anything - explosives, drugs, Hoppes, apples, oranges, Gummi Bears, Starbucks... whatever.

Keep in mind that the same dogs can also be trained to "hit" on a vehicle or locker with a hand signal, just as if that vehicle had actual contraband.

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Old September 24, 1999, 07:42 AM   #11
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Some dogs are know trained to smell specificaly for the scent of gun powder residue. They can't smell gun metal because its metal and about everthing is made of metal. The local sherriffs office has thought about getting a dog that could specifically search for firearms but they have not followed through with the thought as of yet. If you talk to some K-9 officers about the subject you can find out a whole lot more about the subject.
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Old September 24, 1999, 09:46 AM   #12
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but dogs are just dogs...

what if you sprinkled fox urine on other cars?
i would think even a trained dog would alert on nearly any interesting scent

say eau du doggie in heat...
what if you happened to hit a skunk?
can a dog filter out that much signal to noise and find the subtle scent of the target?

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Old September 24, 1999, 10:08 AM   #13
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Which brings up an interesting thought about this post. So they are finding guns and ammo inside a locked vehicle. They are doing this on the "trace" of residue left inside the barrel of a fired gun. That dog sure has some kind of powerful nose to be able to smell that from outside the locked vehicle.

Hmm... so I shoot several times a week. I am always tossing my range bag behind the seat of my truck. Thus the same amount of powder residue (or more) is there all the time. So my truck would give off a "hit" to the K-9 even if there was no firearm in the vehicle? And they are going to open my truck up and search it because I went shooting last Sunday?

I smell a BIG law suit.

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It is long been a principal of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully. - Jeff Cooper

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Old September 24, 1999, 11:14 AM   #14
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This thread reminds me of a Joke,

This hunter had a dog that he claimed was the greatest Bird dog on the planet. so he took two friends out to the feild, and told the dog to seek.

The dog went out, and came back in a few minutes, and scratched the ground twice. the pointed. so the men walked out to where the dog pointed, and flushed out 2 quail.

he again told the dog to seek. The dog came back in a few minutes, and spun around 2 times, and scratched the groung 3 times, and then pointed. the owner told the men there were 23 quail out there. the men flushed them, and sure enought there were 23 quail.

One of the guys Just had to have that dog. He had never seen anything like that , so he bought the dog.

A couple of weeks later the Hunter saw his friend in town and asked him how the dog was doing. The friend told him the dog was useless and he got rid of him. so the hunter asks the friend how he came about this assumption.

He said that he took the dog hunting, and told the dog to seek, the dog went off and brought back a stick. whe again sent the dog out, and he brought back a stick. The friend stated, that he didnt need a dog to fetch sticks, so he canned him. The Hunter just shook his head and Dummie he was trying to tell you there were more quail out there than you can shake a stick at!!!
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Old September 24, 1999, 11:28 AM   #15
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Well I don't know if my little chocolate lab is that good, but she can always smell when I'm about to go hunting... or is it that she sees me cleaning the shot gun?

My dad had one one time that used to chase a covey of quail down a gopher hole and put his paw over it. Every time my dad said pull the dog would lift his paw up for a second and let a quail out....


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but rather who has the ultimate power to rule,
the People or Government.
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Old September 24, 1999, 01:39 PM   #16
Byron Quick
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When I was in Basic training at Ft. Jackson way back in 1974 an interesting thing happened. The MPs came around one nights with dogs and the dogs went nuts. Seems some one had rubbed down damn near the entire barracks with marijuana. Kinda like the purloined letter method of hiding something.

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Old September 24, 1999, 01:41 PM   #17
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K-9's have excellent smell and can smell it even if the item has been removed days earlier. One night I was riding with my advisor, a K-9 officer, we got the dog out to smell a vehicle, the dog smelled narcotics. We searched the vehicle and found nothing, but the BG was honest and said that he had previously had drugs in the vehicle, but didn't now. As a matter of fact the dog pinpointed where the drugs had been, under the seat. The fact is dogs have an excellent sense of smell and can be trained to find anything.
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Old September 24, 1999, 02:42 PM   #18
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Sadly, there's now a reason to treat enforcers' dogs no better then the enforcers themselves. I hear replacing trained dogs is expensive.
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Old September 24, 1999, 05:40 PM   #19
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Bomb dogs have been around at least as long as drug dogs, and as several of you pointed out, they can be trainged to find most anything. One of my neighbors was a K-9 officer, and I had the opportunity to watch him work with the dog on several occasions. It is indeed fascinating what they can do and just how bright they are. I also had the privilege of flying back with the Fairfax Urban Search & Rescue Team after the Red River floods last year(?), sweetest dogs you'd ever want to meet (more recently, they were in Turkey).

Unfortunately, CR, you make a valid observation, and Fairfax County recently acquired several bullet-resistant vests for their K-9s (donations, I believe).

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Old September 25, 1999, 01:07 PM   #20
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I suspect it's the smokeless powder or its residue that fido sniffs out. Nothing a bit of pepper spray won't prevent though.

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Old September 25, 1999, 11:28 PM   #21
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If the dogs are looking for gunpowder residue, then give it to them. Get a rag really loaded with residue and wipe it on several cars-especially the owners/managers car. After enough false hits and angry people the dogs will be sent away.
Like the guy from basic training said, it is easy to hide in a forest of smells. Just make sure the top brass is also falsely accused and the problem of searchs will go away.
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Old September 29, 1999, 11:25 AM   #22
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Good idea, dundee. Bubba, you are right, the dogs will hit on the lingering smell. God only knows how many people in Fla. have been arrested because a dog hit on a $100 bill someone was carrying with traces of cocaine on it. (99% of $100 bills in florida have traces of cocaine on them).
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