The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 19, 2013, 11:29 AM   #26
Senior Member
Join Date: November 15, 2008
Posts: 332
Unfortunately again, everyone needs to brush up on the law. A cop would actually be justified in frisking the entire vehicle if a weapon is found in one location. After all, case law has upheld that if there is one weapon in the vehicle then it would be reasonable to argue that there could be anoth

so you're saying I gave up some of my rights by getting a concealed carry permit and carrying a gun?
horatioo is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 11:48 AM   #27
Senior Member
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 5,206
Without referring to printed data....

A stop for a traffic violation gets you 'lawful detention'. You can ask general questions but if you don't develop reasonable suspicion that a crime is afoot, the officer needs to finish his his business and cut that person loose. This is assuming the traffic violation isn't for an arrestable offense like DWI, Driving While Suspended, etc.

Reasonable suspicion occurs when the officer sees/hears/smells things that cause him to reasonably believe that a crime is afoot. Occupants of a vehicle fidgeting about, stories between occupants of the car that are 180 degrees apart, etc. Disagreement between license plate registration and the vehicle it's on, disparities of presented identification vs the person before me, etc.

Probable cause occurs when I see that which convinces me that the person before me has committed a crime. Say I stop a car with a single occupant. The driver starts shoving things under the seat as soon as the wheels stop rolling. I walk to the car, he cracks his window and a cloud of MJ smoke boils out. Bingo, probable cause to remove the driver, question him, detain him and search the vehicle whether he likes it or not.

Terry searches (stop and frisk) is authorized if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that you have committed, are committing, or are about to commit a crime and he has a reasonable belief that you may be armed and presently dangerous. That's it.

Of course they can ask to pat you down and many will. Personally, I don't use that 'for my safety and yours' line. I'm in a dangerous business. At least it isn't boring
May a person who is relocating out-of-State move firearms with other household goods? Yes.

Last edited by Sarge; January 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM.
Sarge is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 12:06 PM   #28
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2002
Posts: 143
In Fl we have nol duty to inform. I just tell them I have nothing illegal on me. If they push it I try and make it into a joke: "No man I ain't got no grenades or rocket launchers on nothing like that on me." That way I told th etruth, yet did mention my gun. I am not planning on shooting a cop, but I have seen enough of them over react when they find out a citizen has a CCW to worry one might be planning to shoot me. For my safety and theirs, they do not need to know I am armed.


TFL survivor, THR member, TFL member once again!
Aikibiker is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 12:20 PM   #29
Join Date: August 11, 2012
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 62
In Kentucky the LEO is informed you have a CCDW License when they run your license plate.
Vietnam Veteran - 1966-1970 USASA
Carry Pistol - Glock Gen 3 23, .40 Caliber.
Carry Pistol - Glock Gen 3 19, 9mm.
Self Defense Stories
BurgerBoy is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 12:28 PM   #30
Senior Member
Join Date: April 18, 2010
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 237
Originally Posted by 318 View Post
If your talking about being stopped in your vehicle, put the gun in the seat next to you in plain sight...
This can get you arrested in some states.

Unfortunately there is a patchwork quilt of rules, and just like self defense, you need to be "situationally aware" of your surroundings.
mrbatchelor is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 12:43 PM   #31
Junior Member
Join Date: November 22, 2011
Posts: 4
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.

Incorrect. Obtaining a concealed carry permit in no way means you give up your rights against unreasonable search, etc. Even in a Terry Stop where your person may be frisked does not mean your vehicle is subject to the same.

In other words obtaining a cc license is NOT pc for a vehicle search....

Last edited by traderpats; January 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM.
traderpats is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 12:52 PM   #32
Willie Sutton
Junior member
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 1,066
There is only one answer:

You need to STUDY and BE FAMILIAR WITH the laws in EVERY STATE that you carry in.

What is "business as usual" in one state may be a felony in another.

Example: Ohio: Failure to immediately inform, without being asked, when stopped in your vehicle is a felony.

Indiana? No requirement to inform.

Pass from one state to another and the entire game changes.

EVERY time I pass to other states, I research and learn the laws. I have gone so far as to stop at the last rest area on the highway, stretch, let the dog pee, and use my iPhone to see what is across the border law-wise. Sometimes I am entering "enemy territory" and it's time to unload and use the lock-box (entering NJ from PA, for example). Sometimes it's time to just change the procedure if stopped (passing from PA to Ohio, for example). It is YOUR responsibility to do the right thing.

Playing word games like "I have no grenade launchers, or atomic bombs, etc" is just stupid and childish. Any LEO confronted with this is going to roll his eyes. They see right thru this nonsense, and they immediately know that you have something you are not being square about. That, in itself, is reason for further scrutiny towards developing probable cause to search you without your permission. If you are legal, just tell it the way that it is. If not, then... nobody has sympathy for you. You are an armed criminal and are not part of "our" community.


Willie Sutton is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 01:32 PM   #33
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 9,788
Sarge, thanks for making it clearer than I could.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 01:41 PM   #34
Senior Member
Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 2,357
I get the sense that you are a police officer. If so, you are a police officer who is going to get your department sued. That, or you're going to blow a case some day by having evidence thrown out under the fruit of a poisoned tree theory.

Your legal latitude for "frisking" a vehicle for weapons in a traffic stop is officer safety, which is what allows you to check ONLY the area within the immediate reach of the driver. You are not searching for contraband. If the driver has already told you that he has a weapon, where that weapon is, and that he has a carry permit, he could have an arsenal in the trunk and you would have no reason to see it, or to look for it.

Now ... if (IF) the reason you pulled him over isn't a traffic stop but because both the vehicle and the driver potentially match the description of the guy who just held up the Stop-N-Rob 3 miles down the road, THEN you would be acting within Terry in a reasonable suspicion of (possible) criminal activity. But even then you don't get carte blanche to toss the whole car. Unless you make an arrest, all you have is an investigatory detention, and all you are allowed at that point is to search for weapons in the immediate vicinity that could be a threat to officer safety.

You need to have your supervisor bring the prosecuting attorney for your jurisdiction in for some departmental refresher training.
But, my friend, I know exactly what I can and cannot do and you are plain wrong on several facts. Yes, the purpose of the frisk is not to obtain contraband. Again I say, if you are a law-abiding citizen then the chance of your entire car being frisked is virtually zero unless you are at the wrong place at the wrong time. A frisk is not for finding contraband (although if you see contraband in plain sight while conducting a legal frisk it's fair game, but that's not the purpose of it). A frisk includes the lungeable area of the vehicle, which constitutes the entire area of the passenger compartment. This encompasses more than "around the front driver seat." You can only check where weapons could be present. The arsenal in the trunk is off limits, as it is not in the lungeable area.

Yes, a broken tail light is a motor vehicle infraction (in probably every state), but it still violates criminal statutes. An expired registration plate is a misdemeanor and an arrestable offense (although I've never seen or heard of anyone being arrested for it) in my state. There are reasonable suspicion stops for narcotics violations. There are speeding violations that are arrestable offenses. There have been a number of times that an equipment violation on a motor vehicle has turned into an arrest of the driver because the officer LEGALLY obtained PC for arrest during the stop. All traffic stops are potential criminal investigations. You originally said that no traffic stop is a potential criminal investigation and that is factually wrong. Look into the wren principle if you're not familiar with it (precontextual stops are allowed). As most have said, casual conversation and not freaking out will be your best friend when dealing with police. Even if you are nervous around cops, even when you haven't done anything wrong, most guys will be able to differentiate between that versus the "Oh crap, I hope he doesn't find blank" nervousness.

This would all be a moot point in the OPs situation, and likely anyone else posting on TFL. I don't take that there are many people who would portray a number of indicators of criminal activity here. There wouldn't be a terry frisk of the vehicle, I would likely just pull the pistol out of his bag and hand it (the bag) back to him. If I was familiar with him, I probably wouldn't even mess with it. If he was on the east side of town at 3 am and he shakes like a whore in church as he hands his license, can't tell me what he's doing on this side of town, and keeps trying to reach behind him after I'm already holding onto one gun obtained from him, then he might (WILL) get his vehicle frisked. It's all about context. I know what I can and can't do and you are wrong.

Last edited by 5whiskey; January 19, 2013 at 01:59 PM.
5whiskey is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 06:59 PM   #35
Senior Member
Join Date: December 16, 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 136
This is why we have trials, lawyers and suppression hearings. It's all about interpretation, articulation and officer discretion. If I asked 10 Deputies in my own department how they would handle a situation I would probably get 10 different answers based on their knowledge and experience. So the original poster can now surely see it all depends on who they come in contact with, where it takes place and the circumstances at the time of the encounter. Good luck.
Punisher_1 is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 07:58 PM   #36
Senior Member
Join Date: December 24, 2006
Posts: 1,903
If stopped I hand the officer my drivers license as well as my CPL. They generally ask if I have the weapon in my possession and I acknowledge if Ido. I leave it up to the officer how he wants to handle the situation. Funny thing is the only time I've been stopped while carrying I asked the officer if he needed to take possession of my pistol he smiled and said it wasn't necessary. He then said if I intended to use it on him I wouldn't have let him know I was carrying in the first place. He then proceeded to let me know my right rear tail light was out. I thanked him, he thanked me and we went about our separate ways.
NWCP is offline  
Old January 19, 2013, 11:35 PM   #37
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 9,788
Originally Posted by 5whiskey
Yes, a broken tail light is a motor vehicle infraction (in probably every state), but it still violates criminal statutes.
Show us a criminal statute from just ONE state -- any state in the U.S. -- that lists a broken taillight in the criminal section of the state statutes.

Just one. Start with yours ...
Aguila Blanca is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14076 seconds with 9 queries