This is a discussion on Gun Law Q&A With Off Duty LEO within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by puncho You're right, law abiding citizens should incur significant legal cost and inconvenience because the cops aren't educated on the gun laws ...
A traffic ticket is formal recognition of a lapse in situational awareness.
The law isn't a joke. My rights aren't a joke. A civil suit against the cop as an individual because he's pierced his own qualified immunity isn't a joke.
I have a DUTY to know and obey the laws regarding concealed carry in the State of Ohio, and in any other place I carry a firearm. I DEMAND that the cops do likewise. If they don't, I'm going to make sure there are dire consequences, just as they would if I failed to notify them "promptly" if carrying, or if I carried into a liquor serving establishment.
The idea that somebody PAID to ENFORCE the law has LESS of a duty to know that law than I do is simply despicable.
Let me mention something that nobody else here has and you probably forgot. A lot of LEOs in FL are not actually from FL. It is a tourist destination, Florida. As such it stands to reason that many LEOs from all over the country might move here and take a job as an LEO down here. I've known many LEOs from NY, NJ, CA, and IL who remember how restrictive their old state was and forget for a moment that in FL, we are pretty open when it comes to gun laws, carrying, having it in your car etc. So don't be too hard on every LEO you meet in FL when it comes to that. It could simply be a matter of someone being taught from day one that you shouldn't have a gun if you're not LEO and they might really believe that.
Many LEOs, when they learn that in FL a citizen is allowed privelages they didn't have, are surprised but welcome the idea because it's less restrictive and not only the BGs will have weapons so in a way it may make their job a bit easier if a citizen is allowed to defend against an attacker and does not have to be a victim.
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Laws are restrictive but sometimes necessary to maintain a civil society. Rights are nonrestrictive but are always necessary to maintain a free society.
Sorry; I damned well expect an emigrant from LEO New York Chitty to know the laws of the area he is enforcing the laws; or he can damned well go back to the cesspool he crawled out of. As a tourist he would expect me to know the laws there; would he accept :"Gee willikers ossifer I can drive, drink booze, speed with a naked lady on my lap and carry a hand granade back home; I thought it would be legal here too!"
I am expected to know the laws where I am-I expect the same of them!
yes LEOs should know that laws that they are going to enforce
that being said, do we know ALL of them....and I mean ALL of them....no....I'm personal friends with the DA here and even he and his investigators have to look stuff up....there are a LOT!
I carry my copy of the penal code, traffic code, gov't code, code of criminal procedure, family code, education code, and health & safety code in my trunk on-duty (yes, its a heavy bag)
in fact we had a call yesterday that was a gray area of enforcing, me and my partner looked it up sitting in our car and decided it wasn't worth pursuing since it was such a gray area and would be difficult to prove
shouldn't give tickets for doing 57 in a 55, this is very similar,
reminds me of a saying we use in basketball officiating......if you don't know-you don't blow (the whistle)
I never write tickets/make arrests unless I'm 100% sure of what I saw or what I'm doing
cops don't know every law and can't be expected to no matter how emotional someone may be about this topic
pick up a copy of your state's law and get to reading, you'll see just how quickly the idea of knowing ALL of them is ridiculous
however, if a LEO is going to take action against someone for an infraction of the law they better dang sure know that the infraction is legit
to the OP....contact the agency in question and let them know what was said to you and ask them to double check this and communicate it to their officers what was said and what the correct law states.
you get your point across and don't look/sound like someone that is just complaining to the PD for the sake of complaining, that will get you further than ranting to them (not saying you would, just a suggestion)
Certified Glock Armorer
not enough space for list, main gear: duty-G17, S&W 642 bug, 870, RRA AR-15; G30 off-duty
Independence is declared; it must be maintained. Sam Houston-3/2/1836
If loose gun laws are good for criminals why do criminals support gun control?
How many people were ever stopped just for having a holstered gun under the seat? LEOs with X-ray vision should be granted a special dispensation.
How many people on this forum put a holstered weapon under the seat while driving in FL? What good would that be?
How many of our forum members are ever armed in a vehicle in FL without a CWL,CHL, or CWP?
How many people here have been approached by an officer while calmly drinking and carrying concealed at a restaurant? The police here have better things to be concerned with than hassling those who like wine with dinner or beer with wings.
Ideally, every officer would have the wisdom of an appellate court; that ain't gonna happen! I need LEOs to know enough law and exercise enough good sense to stop people who act dangerously on the road or while drinking. After the stop, if they find probable cause to search a vehicle and find a loaded gun under the seat, and no one in that vehicle has a CWL, then I'm okay with them erring on the side of caution. [and, oh by the way, that's probably illegal in FL if there are school-aged children in the back seat because they can access the unsecured firearm] After learning an obnoxious drinker is armed in a restaurant, I'm okay with having them exercise some less-than-ideal legal judgment.
Officers have to deal with a lot more than laws. Almost everyone on this board would keep sober while having a glass with dinner, wear their weapon and carry the CWL when driving, and leave no reason for an officer to know, much less be concerned with, our weapons of last resort.
If you choose to raise the question in their minds during a conversation, most officers will spend a minute or two later looking it up. Then if surprised, they'll share notes. I wouldn't make a stink about ignorance of some laws which will never be applied to those of us who carry responsibly. Just my nickel's worth. YMMV.
I'd rather the officers in North FL focus on finding people who kidnap and kill kids than worry about an accidental arrest of a good citizen under circumstances very unlikely to occur.
We carry, we need to know what to do or not do. If we do the right things well, we'll spend most of our time talking with police in casual conversations like the one the OP had.
Not to hijack this thread, but a year ago my son flipped his car near Gainsville on I-75. He was not seriously hurt but was transported by ambulance to the hospital. As the Florida trooper searched his car(the car is upside down)his gun fell out of the console and almost hit the trooper. At the hospital the trooper gave the gun back to my son's frined and said lock it in the trunk. He was very professional and seem to know the gun laws.
Also someone at the hospital told the trooper that my son was only 20 years old and could not have a gun. The trooper knew the law, he said he could posses a gun, he just could not purchase a handgun. I have nothing but good things to say about this particular officer.
four officers. 4 different times. all 4 were wrong. 3 were tn. state troopers. best advice i have seen or can give is keep copies of gun law in ones vehicle at all times. cocked and locked and open carry was the problem with all 4. open carry was in my vehicle. trooper unloaded my weapon and made me put it under the seat and i have had a permit for over 12 years. told him i would prove him wrong but he would never return my call.
For my line of work, if I don't know how to do something, I'm expected to learn it. I'm not expected to go to training and have it spoon fed to me, I'm expected to crack open a book and read. It should be the same for these guys. The book by Jon Gutmacher on Florida gun laws only takes a couple of days to read. They don't have to know every trial case involving the law, but they should know the law. As someone has already mentioned, how can they enforce the law if they don't know the law.
I also agree with the TC about how disturbing the lack of knowledge is... We get punished for their ignorance...
The problem isn't LEO's not knowing the laws. The problem comes when they try to enforce a law that isn't there. They should not make up laws on the run as they see fit. If they don't know the law on weapons then there is nothing for them to enforce.
I don't expect a LEO to recite from memory every law in the book. I do expect a LEO to have a working knowledge of every law in the book.
However, I DEMAND a LEO have detailed and specific knowledge of the violation of any law for which he plans to make an arrest.
The point that I have yet to see brought up is that once an arrest is made you are "in the system" and will have a record. You may be found not guilty and the judge may even admonish the LEO for making the arrest but the fact remains that you will have an arrest record.