Legally carried firearm: vehicle search?

This is a discussion on Legally carried firearm: vehicle search? within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Here is a a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today that might be important for gun owners ...

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Thread: Legally carried firearm: vehicle search?

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    Question Legally carried firearm: vehicle search?

    Here is a a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today that might be important for gun owners – albeit the event had nothing to do with firearms. It might be useful in some cases.

    The issue was “... whether one lawful act in isolation ... [can] gives rise to reasonable suspicion that a driver is engaged in criminal activity.”

    In my layman’s opinion the search of a vehicle because of a legally carried firearm would be the same.

    See:http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/PR0UI4IB.pd

    Thoughts?
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Some places already do this, in practice. Consider Oregon's 2008 Appeals Court ruling in State of Oregon v Bryan Ward (S057020, A133855), in which a vehicle is considered a public space when out driving, as viewed from the perspective of an onlooking LEO who, say, sees a firearm or whatever inside the vehicle. (Uncertain if this ruling is still the law of the state, there, though. Subsequent case law might well have changed this. Though, this case was denied petition for review by the OR state Supreme Court in 2009.)
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    That appears to be a State court's call.

    This is a US Court of Appeals' call and appears to go in the opposite direction.
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    This has been upheld before. A traffic stop for administrative reasons (expired tags or registration violations) or operating violations (speeding, failure to use signals, etc.) is not sufficient cause alone for a vehicle search.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    This has been upheld before. A traffic stop for administrative reasons (expired tags or registration violations) or operating violations (speeding, failure to use signals, etc.) is not sufficient cause alone for a vehicle search.
    Yet, it continues to happen as the Oregon case shows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    This has been upheld before. A traffic stop for administrative reasons (expired tags or registration violations) or operating violations (speeding, failure to use signals, etc.) is not sufficient cause alone for a vehicle search.
    And I think it is still happening in DC.
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    I certainly don't condone stopping, or stopping and searching, without appropriate cause.

    And, I am a bit surprised the officer was able to ascertain in the moment that the vehicle was the
    wrong color--- I mean given the time of day, I wonder if the officer really could see the color before pulling the
    guy over. And is the other state really sharing its data base with Indiana? From that point of view it almost
    sounds like some story was concocted after the fact. It just doesn't sound right.

    That said, there is a certain amount of proof in the pudding. Something, and it doesn't really
    sound like a totally random stop, caused him to pull that car over and now with full benefit of hindsight
    we know he got a BG. What we don't know because it seems to not be addressed in the filing is
    whether or not plates were switched in the first state and the car was actually stolen.

    I like holding officers and DAs to strict standards for pulling folks over and even stricter standards
    for doing a search, but it seems like this judge bent over to let the BG get away.

    My common sense says if you are on the road with plates that don't match your car, an officer
    should be able to take a look to at least make certain the car isn't stolen. Once the stop was made,
    I don't consider nervous behavior by itself to be sufficient to search. So if the VIN matched the Registration,
    it should have probably ended there.

    This case will teach that poor cop to not use common sense ever again; and
    as his intuition was spot on but he got chastised, who knows how many BGs will get a pass by him in the future.

    I can't believe the stupidity of that drug mule. If he had registration that matched his car's description and
    stayed off the road in the wee hours of the morning he would have been spared a lot of trouble.

    @Old Vet, I guess some laws vary from state to state with whether these things are administrative, as suggested
    in your post #4. I think there is more involved than administering the registration requirement. It is
    checking for stolen vehicles and felons on the road. It is something that needs doing.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    Senior Member Array Tala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Some places already do this, in practice. Consider Oregon's 2008 Appeals Court ruling in State of Oregon v Bryan Ward (S057020, A133855), in which a vehicle is considered a public space when out driving, as viewed from the perspective of an onlooking LEO who, say, sees a firearm or whatever inside the vehicle. (Uncertain if this ruling is still the law of the state, there, though. Subsequent case law might well have changed this. Though, this case was denied petition for review by the OR state Supreme Court in 2009.)
    If a vehicle is considered PUBLIC SPACE, why should I pay PERSONAL PROPERTY taxes on it??? Their logic always befuddles me. Last time I checked, my license plate doesn't read "public property" as LEO's do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    @Old Vet, I guess some laws vary from state to state with whether these things are administrative, as suggested
    in your post #4. I think there is more involved than administering the registration requirement. It is
    checking for stolen vehicles and felons on the road. It is something that needs doing.
    I didn't say the stop wasn't warranted, only that a mistake on the registration color didn't warrant a vehicle search, and the courts agree. If the VIN and tag # match the owner, the color is probably not more than a clerical error and deserved no more than a warning ticket to correct the registration.

    Our justice system is "supposed" to be based on better the guilty go free than the innocent be convicted. No cause/no search. Lucky break for the BGs. What's to stop the LEOs from stopping everyone to verify registration "color" and searching all vehicles with a typo? It's called the 4th Amendment. Due process.
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    As far as I know unless it has changed lately an officer needs consent to search your vehicle unless they arrest you for something. I do know they can take control of a firearm if they see it for their own safety but thats it if you refuse a search, again unless they arrested you for something. Unless I missed something about this thread.


    As to vehicle color anybody ever hear of a paint job???
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    Senior Member Array Tala's Avatar
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    My truck is red, kindof, maroon actually, faded to almost pink. What should it be registered as?
    My (ex) in-law's truck was deep purple, but they ALSO call that maroon. What does maroon actuall look like anyway? They have a white tailgate, so now what color should the truck be registered as? Pinto? Two-tone?
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I didn't say the stop wasn't warranted, only that a mistake on the registration color didn't warrant a vehicle search, and the courts agree.
    Sorry, I didn't mean to start something. I agree with you and what you wrote. However, I do think
    the court leaned a bit to help the BG. There is a difference between randomly stopping vehicles to
    check, and stopping after some info has come through that the plates belong on a car of a different color.

    Not being a cop, to tell the truth, I'm quite suspicious about the whole story from the officer's side.
    Unless there is lots of technology in those care I don't know about, and I'm sure there is at least some,
    how do you almost instantly get the info back on the tags from an out of state vehicle, and also
    determine the car color, AT NIGHT, as it goes flying by on an interstate at 70 mph. I guess it is
    possible the officer just drove in back of him for a while, but if that lasted long he would have had
    something more than the vehicle color-- e.g., touched a white line, veered, minor speeding.

    Bottom line for me here is I don't like what either the cop or the court did, but I applaud the efforts of both.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    I think judges hate to suppress solid evidence but realize that if they don't enforce a defendants' rights, no one will. It's an ugly necessity.
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Tala View Post
    My truck is red, kindof, maroon actually, faded to almost pink. What should it be registered as?
    My (ex) in-law's truck was deep purple, but they ALSO call that maroon. What does maroon actuall look like anyway? They have a white tailgate, so now what color should the truck be registered as? Pinto? Two-tone?
    Mine is a two-tone -- brown and rust.

    What else would you expect of a muddy bucket of rust?
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    Nowadays they just bring in the drug dog and wait for it to "alert", then they have "probable cause" to search. Yeah, it's gotten that bad. And when you consider the high percentage of US currency that has traces of cocaine, there is a good chance the dog might actually alert to your pocket.
    These searches have gone both ways on appeal.
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