Research the law yourself!

This is a discussion on Research the law yourself! within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; First off, I want to state I am not LEO bashing, only making a point of each of us should know what our laws state ...

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    Question Research the law yourself!

    First off, I want to state I am not LEO bashing, only making a point of each of us should know what our laws state rather than asking opinions of those who one would expect to know the law or relying on the opinioins or views on any forum. I have often seen on this forum that LEOs aren't always the ones to ask legal questions, and I recently got a taste of why not.

    I learned early in my military career that many of the oldtimers who should have been able to quote rules and regs in their sleep were actually wrong when the reg in question was researched. From that point on I became my own best trainer.

    During the course of a FL. DOT Weight Inspector course, taught by DOT LEOs, the topic of firearms in vehicles came up during a lull in the class. One LEO stated that if he found a gun under the seat and the owner had no CWFL, the person was going to jail--no ifs ands or buts. This particular LEO had been a sherrifs deputy previously and worked drug interdiction; he wasn't just a trucker cop.

    Being one known to tempt the devil, I asked what if it were in a snapped holster? Still going to jail, he replied. He also went on to say if the gun was in a glove box or console with no holster the result was the same. I disagreed vehemently until we agreed to disagree.

    So I put forth the FL statutes on firearm definitions and firearms in private vehicles for your interpretation. I've italizied key words of the regulation.

    s709.25:
    (5) POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.—Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012.

    790.001 Definitions:
    (2) “Concealed firearm” means any firearm, as defined in subsection (6), which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person.

    (17) “Securely encased” means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.

    I cannot find anywhere where it states a gun cannot be under the seat of anyone not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm if that firearm is "securely encased" in a snapped holster. Nor does the statutes state that if the firearm is in a closed glove box or console does it need to be holstered at all.

    I remain of the opinion that if that LEO were to arrest me (if I didn't have a CWFL) for having a firearm in a snapped holster under the seat, I would most likely be a wealthier man when the dust settled. He disagreed on that also.

    So I say to all, always research the law you have in question yourself rather than take the word of others. Opinions and views are great, but they are just opinions and views, not that state statutes say.

    Opinions? Views?
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    These kind of things , have not only to do with the law, but also personal views and positions. The officer in question may well have known the law and its limitations, but on a personal level had made his decision as to his action, law notwithstanding, should he encounter such a situation. While not correct, it is what it is.
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    Knowing the law is one thing. Interpretation is another. The cop that wants to arrest me will win that event. It is what it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    First off, I want to state I am not LEO bashing, only making a point of each of us should know what our laws state rather than asking opinions of those who one would expect to know the law or relying on the opinioins or views on any forum. I have often seen on this forum that LEOs aren't always the ones to ask legal questions, and I recently got a taste of why not.

    I learned early in my military career that many of the oldtimers who should have been able to quote rules and regs in their sleep were actually wrong when the reg in question was researched. From that point on I became my own best trainer.

    During the course of a FL. DOT Weight Inspector course, taught by DOT LEOs, the topic of firearms in vehicles came up during a lull in the class. One LEO stated that if he found a gun under the seat and the owner had no CWFL, the person was going to jail--no ifs ands or buts. This particular LEO had been a sherrifs deputy previously and worked drug interdiction; he wasn't just a trucker cop.

    Being one known to tempt the devil, I asked what if it were in a snapped holster? Still going to jail, he replied. He also went on to say if the gun was in a glove box or console with no holster the result was the same. I disagreed vehemently until we agreed to disagree.

    So I put forth the FL statutes on firearm definitions and firearms in private vehicles for your interpretation. I've italizied key words of the regulation.

    I cannot find anywhere where it states a gun cannot be under the seat of anyone not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm if that firearm is "securely encased" in a snapped holster. Nor does the statutes state that if the firearm is in a closed glove box or console does it need to be holstered at all.

    I remain of the opinion that if that LEO were to arrest me (if I didn't have a CWFL) for having a firearm in a snapped holster under the seat, I would most likely be a wealthier man when the dust settled. He disagreed on that also.

    So I say to all, always research the law you have in question yourself rather than take the word of others. Opinions and views are great, but they are just opinions and views, not that state statutes say.Opinions? Views?

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I understand where you are coming from, but as Guantes and WHEC724 have stated, the law will be argued amongst lawers , let alone an officer with his own understanding/misunderstanding or total ignorance of certain laws either at the local, state or federal level, and will therefore, depending on his own agenda, if any, bias's and totality of a given circumstance which has unfolded before him/her, they will either be your best friend, or give you a costly ride downtown, complete with jewlery adorning your wrists.
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    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    One thing that anybody who believes they would be made wealthier by some government transgression must remember is that a jury must be convinced of this as well. There are plenty of court cases where a plaintiff won the case only to be awarded chump change (e.g. $1) by a jury.

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    To douse the flamethrowers, the topic of the thread was not if the LEO could arrest someone (he can) nor whether I would resist (not a good idea ever) but that even those one might presume to "know" the law often don't, and anyone is often better served to do their own research rather than ask for general opinions.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I completely agree that one is better off doing their own research with regards to various laws. In order for this to have the most benefit, one must also have a general knowledge pertaining to legal terms and their definitions and even then many laws are subject to judicial interpretation. Any knowledge gleaned will be of a general nature and subject to the interpretations of the various entities involved in an incident.
    Tzadik likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    These kind of things , have not only to do with the law, but also personal views and positions.
    That's unfortunate if thats what it is since your personal views aren't supposed to come into play. Day 1 at the academy - "You can not allow personal beliefs or prejudices influence decisions."
    "I got a lot of problems with you people!" - Frank Costanza

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    In an ideal world that might be the case, but I would not rely on it in the real world. I believe that that has been deomonstrated, in previous threads, not only on an individual, but a departmental basis.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    A couple of things I have noticed. LEO's can't know all the laws. They generally have a statute book, but after a recent post on another board that book is not really good either. Magistrates don't know all the laws. A friend of the family told my mom I would be charged with Going Armed to the Terror of the Public for open carrying. Gun store owners don't really know it either. I feel pretty comfortable with NC, but have realized I know nearly nothing for any other state.

    Trust but verify. If you hear it, read it, or see it; research it for yourself. In the end, your paying the lawyer if your wrong; and occasionally if your right.

    Oldvet, didn't you bust my chops on this recently?
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    Me? Bust a Chief's chops? Surely you jest!

    I don't recall, but again, I tend to tempt the devil. ;-)
    Retired USAF E-8. Avatar is OldVet from days long gone. Oh, to be young again.
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    If you get stoped by a 30 year vet the laws were different as when he first join the force. As time rolls on he has to stay on top of all laws. You may beat the rap- NOT the ride ; )
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    I have to admit that many times a friend or family member will ask me a question that I cannot answer without referring to our KRS. Especially if its in an area that I do not routinely deal with. Additionally, I know for a fact that judges have to refer the books during court proceedings.

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    I got an app for my iPhone to look up my states laws. They are all stored on the phone so I don't need a good cell connection. There is also an app called Fastcase that allows you to look up any state code and case law. That requires a cell connection and the creation of a free account.
    "I got a lot of problems with you people!" - Frank Costanza

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I think your best prospect relative to the specifics of a law in a case where you might be arrested, is that the superivsor (usually a Sgt) approving the arrest, will be up to date on current statute and case law.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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