This is a discussion on Interesting Traffic Stop - First LEO contact with permit within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by SIXTO No. ok I'll bite, why isn't that odd???...
THIS is how people get negative attitudes toward the police, ESPECIALLY when they're trying to cooperate.The Virginia Citizens Defense League reports three Fairfax County, VA police officers are involved in a false arrest of a North Carolina man.
We haven't had any issues with the Fairfax County police in quite a while now. I have found them to be one of the best run police agencies in Virginia, stated Philip Van Cleave.
However, three officers tarnished that image last week when they unlawfully arrested a North Carolina resident who was legally carrying a handgun and had a North Carolina CHP.
Hold on tight - this is a weird story.
The gun owner was pulled over for running through a red light, a charge which the gun owner disputes.
The gun owner, believing that he had to disclose he was lawfully armed as they do in North Carolina, dutifully told the officer he had a NC CHP and was indeed armed.
The officer seemed to ignore the statement, but very shortly two more patrol units pulled up. The next thing the gun owner knew he is in a "felony stop" mode. He was asked to walk backwards towards the officers, who then disarmed and handcuffed him.
While trying to unloaded his gun, THEY DROPPED IT ONTO THE ROAD!
The two officers and a SERGEANT then proceeded to tell him that he was under arrested for:
1. Having hollow point bullets, which they claimed were illegal in Virginia (!)
2. Taking a loaded gun across the state line, which the gun owner was told was a FELONY (!)
3. Having a concealed gun that the police said he couldn't have since he was from North Carolina (!!)
His car and gun were impounded and he was taken off to a magistrate.
The magistrate looked at the charges and told the police officers that they had just made a false arrest.
The officers pointed out the possession of hollow point bullets. The magistrate asked, "are they teflon coated?"
"No," replied on of the officers.
"Then they are legal."
Trying to find something that would stick and justify the false arrest, one of the officers said, "We couldn't verify that his North Carolina permit is valid."
The magistrate looked at the permit, noticed the phone number on the back where one can call to verify the permit, called the number, and within a few minutes found out the permit was indeed valid.
The gun owner was ordered to be released.
After being released from custody, the gun owner was given a hard time by another officer about getting his gun back, but he did finally get it back.
If all of that isn't bad enough, the arresting officer went ahead and gave the gun owner a ticket for the alleged offense of running a red light!
In essence, with that brilliant move, the officer was practically BEGGING the gun owner to PLEASE sue Fairfax Count for the false arrest!
I have already talked to my high-level contact with the Fairfax County PD about this entire situation and the gun owner has filed a formal complaint.
In the past, Fairfax County PD has been very good when such internal investigations are required. Now we will wait and see what happens.
What is clear is that Fairfax County PD needs to educate its officers on:
1. Possession of hollow point bullets
2. Reciprocity laws
3. Lawful carriage of firearms across state lines
4. Safe gun handling (a few years ago unsafe gun handling by an officer cause a gun to discharge, killing an unarmed, handcuffed man)
Unfortunately for the LEO, in many cases he/she is working with the dregs of humanity. Until they actually speak to you (and "you" is used collectively) why should they assume that you are any different from the average mutt with whom they deal on a daily basis?Maybe the LEO's should be taught how to interact with the taxpayers. I find it odd that someone always finds a way to criticize a citizen when the citizen is doing nothing wrong and trying to co-operate.
Who is working for who?
If you are a LEO, why don't you be the first to work with your staff in training?
Seems to me that the prime directive for the LEO is the same as it is for any law abiding citizen, and that is to get home safely at the end of the workday. My interface with any LEO is going to be the same as it would be with any citizen with whom I am not familiar - polite, aware, and a little untrusting. After all, that's why we both carry a gun. Spouting legal rights, quoting law and general confrontational behavior is better reserved for the court than it is for the street, IMHO.
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"
I was recently stopped at a roadblock in a rural area - county north of Atlanta near a public landfill. I was coming back from the range where I had been sighting in a few rifles and shooting handguns. My backseat was stacked with rifle cases and there was a spotting scope and several ammunition cases in plain sight. I also had a 1911 in an IWB. I informed the officer I had a permit, was armed and had been to the range. He smiled and simply told me to keep my hands on the wheel while he checked my registration - which I had handed him from the glove box after informing him of the weapons and that none were in the glove box. He came back and asked what rifles I had been shooting at the range and we chatted for a minute. No big deal...... I found out afterward from one of the county LEO's that the roadblock was a check for a shipment of meth that they had a tip on.
Telling him you have a gun does nothing for his safety. Unless you're a criminal with a dead body in the trunk of the car you just used in a bank robbery, he's most likely got nothing to worry about. After months of multi-county background checks, debt checks, tax checks, protective order checks, and with him holding the CHL to prove it, he should already know you're not likely the kind of guy to shoot down a cop like a dog in the road over a $150 speeding ticket. Yet he thinks you might very well be that kind of person, a man with a gun. That's why he wants to know if you have a gun. That's because if you have a gun, he thinks you might just very well be that kind of person. His life is therefore at extra risk, and he needs to dole out extra precautions and concern over you as compared to anyone else he might stop that night.
In thirty years of driving, and being stopped more times than I'd like to admit, I've never been asked if I have a gun. I've never been asked if I'm the kind of person he needs to be extra-ordinarily concerned about for his safety. After all the effort I and the state of Texas have had to go through to some day, hopefully and at some completely indefinite time in the future, get a CHL, I am sure going to resent showing a cop the stupid thing and having him ask about my gun .... for his safety.
Him asking about my gun, for his safety, is an insult. It doesn't violate my rights, but answering a cop's questions about possible felony issues in a minor traffic stop does forfeit my fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. IMO, answering questions about firearms does tend to incriminate me either way I answer the question. Yes, I have a gun identifies me as a man with a gun, and in our society, we all know that's not a good thing. It identifies me as someone that requires extra ordinary caution for his safety. It identifies me as a person that may need extra scrutiny for potential felony crimes. Answering the question no, I don't have a gun, may identify me as potentially a liar and someone that has something to hide with respect to potential felony firearm possession. In my opinion answering the question at all may tend to incriminate me. I intend on refusing to forfeit my rights to a police officer, for his safety, which was never at risk in the first place just because I have a gun. Rather than giving in to this anti-gun culture, I think we need to respectfully stand up against it. The cop deserves respect for his service to the community, but he doesn't need to know about my gun, for his safety.
"Officer, I am going to respectfully refuse to answer any questions relating to firearm possession on the grounds that any answer I give may tend to incriminate me. For your safety, I intend on keeping my hands here on the steering wheel where you can clearly see them, and I intend on following all your instructions. Now, am I free to go, or are you going to give me a citation for speeding?"
This is very similar to US vs Emerson. Emerson was indicted on possession of a firearm while under a restraining order. His issue was that he had a right to possess the firearm even after the restraining order. The indictment was upheld by the 5th circuit court of appeals, but when he went to trial, it would have been interesting to see him move to have the firearm suppressed on fifth amendment grounds if he was forced to reveal possession of it under these types of laws. It's a law that may force you to reveal you've committed a crime and to produce evidence of it.
In that only CHL holders have to confess to firearm possession, it's probably unconstitutional under the fourteenth amendment and equal protection. No one else has to confess to potential illegal firearm possession, just CHL holders.
I'd be appreciative of anyone showing me otherwise, but in Texas I don't see any requirement to reveal actual possession of a firearm. In Texas, and only if you're in possession of a firearm, you have to display the CHL any time you're asked for identification. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.From both my CCW class and talking to LEO's, it seems that means if we even say hello to an officer, the next thing out of our mouths better be "I have a CHP and am armed."
In Texas, because you've displayed a CHL, that may be probable cause to search for a firearm in that you're only required to display it if you're armed. Just having to display the CHL may be forcing you to confess to illegally possessing a firearm. That's unconstitutional under the 5th. Legally exercising your 2nd amendment right, then being forced to display the CHL may subject you to search and seizure. You've done nothing wrong. There's nothing to suggest you've done anything wrong, but you're subjected to search and seizure. That's unconstitutional under the fourth.
So much for armchair lawyering. It was fun though!
Your argument about self-incrimination makes sense, if you are carrying the gun illegally. If you are carrying the gun legally, what law are you being forced to confess to? Since (I hope) you are legal, how does this even come into play?
"Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---
That's why when I was pulled over a few months back, I presented my CWFL along with my DL, even though we're not required to disclose in FL. To me, I feel it better the LEO is informed up front, rather than encountering it later without any foreknowledge.
I did get a significantly lesser ticket, but I think it was more from the officer feeling sorry for me than any small talk, as I was bleeding freely from the arm I had hanging out the window.
Wrong!! It means that a background investigation has been done and that you confirm that you are not a junkie, felon or whackjob. And the BI means that some overworked clerk has done a computer search of NCIC, MARKS, LEADS or some other criminal data base and found out that you have not been convicted of a felony, drug charge or sent to the nuthouse for a criminal offense. The smart LEO assumes nothing. The dead LEO may have made a wrong assumption. The only thing a CCL does is says that according to the laws in the state of issuance and any state which has a reciprocal agreement, you can carry a hand gun concealed. The value you place on a CCL is self assigned.How about because you just handed him a CHL, which by definition, demonstrates that you're not likely a scumbag felon that is fleeing from an armed bank robbery?
When the LEO walks up to my car, he knows a few things:
1) It is not stolen
2) It is legally registered
3) The make, model and color jive with the plates
and that's about all. Once your bona fides have been confirmed in the mind of the LEO, the tension is drastically reduced.
There have been a lot of LEO's shot and/or killed by "citizens" who, on the surface, appeared to be law abiding.
So, like it or not, the LEO is completely in charge of the situation and your compliance is smart on your part. Hell, I hate to volunteer information to anyone, but in the case of the LEO making a traffic stop, I try to put myself in his/her shoes. In a former life, I was shot at a number of times, and it really make one a little nervous about the unknown.
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"
Well, there seems to be a "couple" of "Jailhouse Lawyers" here that are convinced their constitutional rights are violated when asked anything about themselves. I hope all works out for you if put into the situation where you are asked, you deny, and your weapon is then discovered, and the consequences thereof. To volunteer or not volunteer your carry information is specified by state law, and federal law, regardless of your personal feelings. I'll take my chances on volunteering MY information to a LEO in hopes he is one of the MAJORITY of good cops, doing a very difficult job, on a daily basis, and wanting to go home to his family, rather than worrying about whether or not he is a rogue trying to take advantage of someones "constitutional rights" that may be "perceived" to be violated.
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
True, and I stand (or sit in this case) corrected.Actually, we don't even know that with 100% certainty. All we know is that is has not been reported stolen.
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"
For the most part, a common traffic stop does not require that the driver exit the vehicle for any reason. In some States, the officer will tell you to stay in the car. This is for both the driver's and the officer's safety as standing or walking on the side of the highway can be dangerous.
If such an occurrence happens in a State where the driver is NOT required to notify, then announcing that you have a CCW and a weapon could create the type of situation that is more dangerous than if you'd stayed silent. Hence a blanket policy of always notifying could get someone killed or injured for no reason.
If such happens in a State where the driver IS required to notify, then the notification is compliance with state law and not a "policy" but a mandate and not subject to personal belief or opinion.
For LEO: Tell me the difference between a "normal" traffic stop where no weapons announcement is made and one where the driver notifies the officer that he has a CCW and a permit. Why does the officer's actions have to be different between the two stops everything else being the same?