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Old May 2, 2016, 12:24 PM   #1
pawaterfowlhunter
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Police Conduct from an issue last night

Hi folks, just curious what your thoughts are on this. Last night I was in the bathroom when my wife starts screaming hysterically. As I run out she is going crazy about a drone in front of the window taking pictures. I immediately grab my home defense shotgun and run out the door to try to locate it. Unable to do so, I go grab my binoculars and trade the shotgun for my pellet gun as I know discharging the 12 gauge would have caused me more issues than I wanted. Eventually I was able to figure out who was flying the aircraft in the huge apartment complex across the road and the police were called (by us and numerous others). The police ended up confiscating the drone (which the pics and video were deleted prior to their arrival) and charging the guy with invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct. It just so happens the guy is a heroin addict who was high on Suboxone. So, that had my wife and I concerned that he was surverying our home with the idea of robbing us. The other issue is my wife is 3 weeks from having our first child, so my initial thought was a pervert looking to spy on my wife (she is very attractive).

Anyway, my issue about the whole matter (aside from the drone) is that after the first officer arrived and was given the story, 4 other patrol cars show up and one officer began to question me about my gun. The officer only knew about the gun because someone across the road told them I had one when they called the police. I told him the shotgun was back inside but I did have a .40 caliber on me (it was concealed). He then asked me to retrieve the shotgun so they could see it and I initially said that it wasn't necessary. He insisted and I questioned why they have a need to see a gun that wasn't involved in a crime. He responded that if I didn't get it, they would get a warrant to search the house. At that point I was so bent out of shape with the prior incident I ended up getting gun. However, looking back, there would have been no probable cause for a warrant to be issued. Anyway,as I make my way in the house, the officer requests my sidearm. Although fairly certain I am not legally required to comply, I reluctantly undo my belt and he removes the holstered weapon on my side. What was funny about this was after receiving the weapons he unloaded both of them. In the process of clearing the handgun, he attempts to clear the chambered round before ejecting the magazine, so I interrupt to tell him he better first eject the magazine in order to prevent chambering another round. Then, he couldn't figure out the magazine release so he had to give it back to me for me to do so. I just couldn't believe it.

So, basically, they spent way too much time investigating me when the individual was probably erasing his data that could have lead to further charges.

I don't know about the rest of you, but looking back at what transpired, I clearly see this as a violation of my 4th and 14th amendments by the one officer.
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Old May 2, 2016, 12:39 PM   #2
Chaz88
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I don't know about the shotgun in the house but I believe it is fairly common and considered appropriate for officers to secure weapons, a person has on them, while investigating what exactly the entire situation is.
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Old May 2, 2016, 12:42 PM   #3
nvdwarrior
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I question your neighbors intent...

I hate to say this, but i Think one of your neighbors obviously gave that police officer the "hey he is a gun nut" and running around with guns trying to shoot down a kids toy.....that would explain the policeman's reaction. They hear "gun" and put common sense into the trunk. Sometimes I guess we can't blame them. However, if you do have sensitive neighbors who do not have the guts to tell you they are uncomfortable with firearms...I would be exercising my right to carry concealed a lot more. Some guys who live in apartment buildings feel like criminals with sneaking in and out of their complexes. Nope a drone does not fit the "clear and present danger" to use a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. However, I would gladly throw small objects at it until I hit the damn thing. You have a whacko peeping on you....I would pursue the legal violations against him and don't let the police make YOU the bad guy. Seems like they were doing exactly that to you.
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Old May 2, 2016, 12:48 PM   #4
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I think you should clearly see it for what it nearly was: a violation of your rights up until you surrendered them by allowing all of that when you bought the officer's gamble that he would get a warrant.

I feel badly for you as the entire incident as described is completely obnoxious. On the other hand, I'm glad you didn't have to discharge a weapon and I hope that you are better experienced to handle the interaction with officers later.

As for his wanting the shotgun and "threatening" with a warrant, I would have called him on the threat.

As to the officer requesting your sidearm, I certainly do see why he requested it, this I do understand, especially if you were as annoyed as you describe (and yes, you have every right to be upset with the situation.) It's far easier for me to Monday Morning Quarterback it now (and far more difficult in the middle of the incident!) but I suppose I would have told the officer that I'm headed inside and that I will leave my handgun inside, that NO, he cannot have it and NO he cannot come inside and if it got even more sticky I suppose I would ask them to leave.

I certainly do see your frustration and I hope that when the dust settles, you don't have further issues (especially legally) and that you have both of your firearms back.
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Last edited by Sevens; May 2, 2016 at 02:06 PM. Reason: typo
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Old May 2, 2016, 01:04 PM   #5
Chaz88
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Quote:
I immediately grab my home defense shotgun and run out the door to try to locate it.
I think this might be why the officer concentrated on you first. Step back and put yourself in the officers place. They do not know you or how upset you are. For all they know you are a paranoid tinfoil hat person and the drone sent you over the edge. Having to make an immediate threat assessment put the guy that responded to the drone with a shotgun above the drone on the threat list.
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Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

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Old May 2, 2016, 01:13 PM   #6
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You need a BASIC education on the use of Firearms for defensive purposes. Your behavior makes it clear to me that you should not be carrying a pistol around and dont understand what an appropriate response is.

Go seek some professional instruction in use of force issues before YOU end up in the back of a patrol car and only get to see that wife and baby on visiting day
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Old May 2, 2016, 01:39 PM   #7
carguychris
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pawaterfowlhunter, were you on private property the entire time this was going down, or did you wander into public property (e.g. the street) at any point?

Did you actually point the 12ga at anything above-ground, or just hold it in your hand / at port arms / clearly pointed at the ground?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz88
I think [going outside with the shotgun] might be why the officer concentrated on you first. Step back and put yourself in the officers place. They do not know you or how upset you are.
I agree, but if I were a cop confronting an unknown person who I knew was armed and might be dangerously unhinged, I would NOT have allowed him to walk back into his house unaccompanied while still armed! I would have disarmed him and then accompanied him.

Lastly, IMHO an unauthorized drone flight does NOT warrant the potential use of a lethal weapon, and I think any person is asking for ugly legal trouble if he decides to react this way. I realize that the flight was obnoxious and the drone is an inanimate object, but IMHO it's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to use of lethal force, or even making a credible threat to use such force. "I'm MAD and I don't think the law expressly prohibits shooting that thing" doesn't cut it.

As an aside, I've been long predicting an increasing amount of legislation both regulating drone use AND prescribing what level of force is appropriate to stop an unauthorized drone flight, but this may not be the opportune time or place to discuss that.
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Last edited by carguychris; May 2, 2016 at 02:53 PM. Reason: reword, stuff added
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Old May 2, 2016, 03:25 PM   #8
pawaterfowlhunter
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again, my intention wasn't to use force by engaging my shotgun. I simply brought it out with me as I knew their were eyes on me from above. However, I did go back for my pellet gun with the mindset I may try to knock it down if it came back . The one gentleman who called the police came to my house this morning and apologized because he was the one the told the police I had my firearm. He said his intentions weren't to get me in trouble and actually found the officers in the apartment complex to express this.

I do not live in that complex and remained on my front porch the whole time while the firearm was present. When I could locate the drone I put the weapons inside the house and got my binoculars. At that point I located than man and made my way across the road and down to the complex. THe man gathered the drone and ran in the house.

As for basic instruction on personal defense, I'd love for the person that made that comment to educate me.

I do agree with the comment that I surrendered my rights and I should have worded my email differently.

Last edited by pawaterfowlhunter; May 2, 2016 at 03:43 PM.
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Old May 2, 2016, 03:42 PM   #9
pawaterfowlhunter
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[QUOTE]You need a BASIC education on the use of Firearms for defensive purposes. Your behavior makes it clear to me that you should not be carrying a pistol around and dont understand what an appropriate response is.

Go seek some professional instruction in use of force issues before YOU end up in the back of a patrol car and only get to see that wife and baby on visiting day/QUOTE]

Well, being that this wasn't a case of defensive firearm usage, nor was there use of force, your point is invalid. The gun was never shouldered, nor was it presented to an individual. Anyone who may have saw it was 500 yards away in the apartment complex. My actions do nothing to point to your idea that I "clearly" shouldn't be carrying a pistol (the pistol wasn't even involved). Your conclusion evidences your arrogance and quick willingness to judge someone without fully knowing the person or situation surrounding the circumstances. The fact that the neighbor came over to apologize and to tell me he fully sided with my actions, indicates that people clearly saw my response as being justified. In conclusion, you should probably seek a behavioral health professional as jumping to extreme conclusions indicates you may actually be the one too impulsive to possess a firearm.

Love
Steven

Last edited by pawaterfowlhunter; May 2, 2016 at 03:53 PM.
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Old May 2, 2016, 03:56 PM   #10
Lohman446
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IF I exit my house at night its normally with a rifle or shotgun. However my closest neighbor is a 1/4 mile away so no one cares. While understandable I get the feeling, in an apartment complex, you may have overreacted by bringing out the long gun. Now the officer sending you back into your home to "secure" a weapon seems bizarre to me. Had you been the raving lunatic that he was seemingly worried about he was allowing you to arm yourself more effectively and / or barricade yourself inside.
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Old May 2, 2016, 04:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz88
I don't know about the shotgun in the house but I believe it is fairly common and considered appropriate for officers to secure weapons, a person has on them, while investigating what exactly the entire situation is.
Ah yes, the 'firearms exception' to the Fourth Amendment.

About 3 years ago, I had the local Sheriff's Office deputy out to my place on a trespassing complaint who saw my holstered pistol and instructed me to leave it inside my house. I declined to do so and we went round and round about it for a few minutes with him barricaded behind the trunk of his car until I told him that I no longer required his services and he could get off my property. The next working day I went up to the local precinct to speak to his supervisor and had a lovely hour long talk with his Captain, after which he wound up getting a disciplinary letter.
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Old May 2, 2016, 04:29 PM   #12
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Did the OP bother to tell us where he lives? Could make a big difference on how things turn out.
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Old May 2, 2016, 04:51 PM   #13
pawaterfowlhunter
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Guys, again, I live in a single family house which is at least, 500 yards across the rd from the apartment complex. I have neighbors on on both sides of me who know that I am a responsible gun owner, and they also are sick of all the garbage coming from that complex. My house, not apartment, is in the suburbs of pittsburgh with 90 acres of woods running behind it. Given the distance there was no danger to anyone in having a shotgun at my side when I exited my house, nor was it illegal to do so. Ordinances in the township make it illegal to fire that weapon and that's why I ended up putting back in the house.
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Old May 2, 2016, 05:22 PM   #14
MurBob
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I would have told the officer to get a warrant, that you are the victim of a crime and you refuse to be victimized again by him.

Also, I don't believe it is legal to shoot down a drone with a gun.. even if it is over your property. (I could be wrong but I don't think I am as I remember reading a story about this some time ago).

Not sure how a nice slingshot would apply.

Question for the experts:
If you have a weapon on your person and you're on your own property, are you required to give it up to a police officer upon request?. (assuming no laws have been broken)??
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Old May 2, 2016, 07:44 PM   #15
colbad
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Have to agree with some of the posts. Kids toy flying outside the window and some dude with a pistol and shotgun comes running out to shoot it down. Considering this was across the street from a large apartment complex, it begs the question....what did you plan to do with the shot gun? Start shooting at it. Guarantee that neighbors told cops about some nut trying to shoot it down with a SG.
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Old May 2, 2016, 08:59 PM   #16
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I posted the response about getting some Training.

As a former Sheriffs Deputy and a professional weapons and tactics instructor, i can assure you that your response was irresponsible.

The responding LEO's were RIGHTFULLY more concerned with the "Man with a gun" part of the call, then the "Drone" part.

Your bolting out the door with the Shotgun shows an immaturity that does not, or at least should not, mix with firearms.

Sorry Brother...you were just plain WRONG
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Old May 2, 2016, 10:26 PM   #17
rjinga
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Let me start by saying that all of my quarterbacking decisions are made from the comfort of my armchair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawaterfowlhunter
.... I immediately grab my home defense shotgun and run out the door to try to locate it.
I don't think I would have done that. Maybe the pellet gun; probably not, but maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawaterfowlhunter
Anyway, my issue about the whole matter (aside from the drone) is that after the first officer arrived and was given the story...
Given WHAT story and by WHOM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawaterfowlhunter
... 4 other patrol cars show up and one officer began to question me about my gun.
Do you know if the 1st officer call for back-up? If so, did he do it during, or after, hearing "the story"? And then you were questioned by one of the latter arriving officers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawaterfowlhunter
I told him the shotgun was back inside but I did have a .40 caliber on me (it was concealed).
Why did you tell him that you were CCing? Did he ask you directly if you had any weapons on you? Are you required to inform in your state? Also, were you on your own property during this encounter? In my state we're not required to inform; and, if you're on your own property, you can carry even without a CCL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawaterfowlhunter
He then asked me to retrieve the shotgun so they could see it and I initially said that it wasn't necessary. He insisted and I questioned why they have a need to see a gun that wasn't involved in a crime. He responded that if I didn't get it, they would get a warrant to search the house. At that point I was so bent out of shape with the prior incident I ended up getting gun.
I believe I would have asked him to get his supervisor, and then explain to both of us the probable cause basis behind his search warrant threat. However, if I'm the local prosecutor, my argument is you consented and voluntarily produced the shotgun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawaterfowlhunter
Anyway,as I make my way in the house, the officer requests my sidearm. Although fairly certain I am not legally required to comply, I reluctantly undo my belt and he removes the holstered weapon on my side.
Um... hell no! (That's what I'm saying in my mind anyway) Is the officer going into the house with you? I hope I would say something like "Am I being detained officer?" If the answer is "no", then I respectfully decline his request. If the answer is "yes", then I say something along the lines of "I will not resist, but I do not consent to the seizure of any of my personal property. Please contact your supervisor and tell me what I'm being charged with." Again, as the prosecutor, "Your honor, the defendant consented to the removal of his handgun."

Since I've had my CCL, I've been in one multi-vehicle accident (not my fault), I've been stopped twice (brake light out, head light out; no I didn't know about either), and I've been through one license check.

During the license check (my very first post CCL, LEO encounter) the firearm was lying in the passenger seat in the holster. It was last night/early morning in the middle of a small rural community. I can't remember the deputy's specific comments to me, but I made sure to mention the gun in the other seat with my hands firmly placed at 10:00 and 2:00. He just chuckled and said something like "Well, just don't shot me."

At the accident, I had my firearm in an OWB holster at 3:00, but under a cover garment the whole time. My son and I stayed by our vehicle, only spoke to the people who came and spoke with us, and then talked to at least two different LEOs. If anyone noticed, they didn't say anything.

During the two traffic stops, both at night, I had my firearm at 3:00 again and under a cover garment. When the officers asked for my driver's license, I informed them that it was in my right rear pocket, but I would have to reach around my firearm to get it. Both times they said that's OK, go ahead.
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Old May 3, 2016, 12:10 AM   #18
rjinga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurBob
Question for the experts:
If you have a weapon on your person and you're on your own property, are you required to give it up to a police officer upon request?. (assuming no laws have been broken)??
"Required" as in you're otherwise violating the law if you don't? Not in Georgia.
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Old May 3, 2016, 06:23 AM   #19
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This is the Law & Civil Rights forum, but there's very little discussion of law or civil rights here.

Accordingly, closed.
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