Random Taffic Stop Gun Checks


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atlctyslkr
June 10, 2006, 11:44 AM
Seatbelt checks and intoxication checkpoints have been around for a while. Now it's checking for valid insurance, what next? How long will it be before California or New York decide to do random traffic stops for guns? The search and seizure rights supposedly protected by the constitution have been consistenly erroded.

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AJ Dual
June 10, 2006, 11:49 AM
The Milwaukee County Sherriff's dept. was doing this in Milwaukee last year. They did use the pretext of minor traffic or safety violations, not just random checkpoints.

I'll fully grant they focused on the neighborhoods where the odds were 95% of the guns they found would be illegal somehow, but the principle of the thing still bugs me a bit...

Serendipity
June 10, 2006, 01:58 PM
NY has been using vehicle scanners, in search of hidden guns, for several years now.

WeedWhacker
June 10, 2006, 02:34 PM
NY has been using vehicle scanners, in search of hidden guns, for several years now.

There's only one non-organic technology I know of that can find a firearm in a vehicle. As far as I'm aware, not a single system of the type has been deployed yet. If this is anything other than a rumor, I'd like a reference...

Soybomb
June 10, 2006, 03:54 PM
I've always wondered if I'm driving and hit one of our famous Illinois traffic check points with a long gun case visible in the cargo area of my hatchback if they'd just glance at my license and insurance and wave me on, or ask me to pull over.

Jeff White
June 10, 2006, 04:12 PM
Soybomb,
Most likely they would ask if you had a FOID or just do a FOID inquiry through LEADS when they ran your license. I have never asked someone to produce a FOID card. I just run them through LEADS when I run their ID.

Jeff

Soybomb
June 10, 2006, 04:17 PM
Thanks Jeff, good to know. The pessimist in me was half expecting an open the case and run the serial thing. Although I dont think you can read the serial with the side saddle on the 870 anyway... :D

evan price
June 11, 2006, 09:46 PM
Since possession of a firearm would not impair the driver's ability a roadside checkpoint would be the ultimate in fascism.


However, How Many of us can say they have been pulled over at the wee hours by a LEO who states, "You were weaving a bit", or "One of your License Plate lamps is out" or "You didn't come to a full and complete stop before turning right on red."
My favorite, "I had trouble reading your tag.". This was on a pickup with a hitch ball on the step bumper. The LEO told me, after I objected, that step bumper hitches were intended for temporary use only and the ball should be removed imediately after towing....! Of course his first words to me after pulling me over were, "Good evening sir I stopped you because I couldn't clearly read your license plate have you had anything to drink tonight sir?"

As long as LEO's are taught to turn minor traffic stops like that into big violations and arrests, we will always have roadside checks for concealed firearms.

Overman
June 11, 2006, 09:54 PM
However, How Many of us can say they have been pulled over at the wee hours by a LEO who states, "You were weaving a bit", or "One of your License Plate lamps is out" or "You didn't come to a full and complete stop before turning right on red."
My favorite, "I had trouble reading your tag.".

That's nothing. I was pulled over for "accelerating fast out of an intersection". No kidding. After that happened, I did some research on the legality of that. Turns out that was what they call "reasonable suspicion" (particularly when done at 2:30 AM which is just after the bars close). "Resonable suspicion". A much lower standard than what most people think they need to pull you over (in other words, "probable cause").

Lupinus
June 11, 2006, 09:58 PM
Random checkpoints are, in my opinion, unconstitutional.

They shouldn't be able to stop your car to ask you questions or make you prove something anymore then they should be able to enter your home whenever they feel like it so you can prove you aren't doing something illegal.

Vex
June 11, 2006, 10:07 PM
Random checkpoints are, in my opinion, unconstitutional.

They shouldn't be able to stop your car to ask you questions or make you prove something anymore then they should be able to enter your home whenever they feel like it so you can prove you aren't doing something illegal.

Driving on a public roadway is a privilege. Owning a house and being safe from unwarranted random searches while on your personal property is a right. That's the difference.

Also, it's not a random "search" checkpoint. It's a checkpoint to ensure drivers are complying with traffic laws: insurance, intoxication, license, and registraton are among the most popular.

Chris Rhines
June 11, 2006, 10:10 PM
Driving on a public roadway is no more a privledge than walking on a public sidewalk.

This misconception needs to be killed off before it gets any more traction.

- Chris

evan price
June 11, 2006, 10:11 PM
Lupinus, that's why they are required to stop you for a minor traffic violation, like a burnt out side marker, or a cracked windshield, or a parking pass hanging from the rear view mirror (Obstructed view). These are all minor things that go on every day. When they feel like stopping you they can usually find SOMETHING in the vehicle code.

Good advice I received fro ma LEO friend at a party after we had beers:

Ensure your car is 100% up to code. Check every bulb often. Use your blinker at every time you change direction. Make sure you come to a complete stop at every signal or stop sign. Obey speed limits to the letter. Wear your seat belt. DOn't put anything on the glass of your car or hanging from the mirror.

Also: Especially with smaller cars, the big Police cruisers, when tucked close behind you, can change the way the wind moves over both cars (like NASCAR drafting). By easing the cruiser over to the side they can get your vehicle to drift with them, even without you moving the steering wheel. If that takes you onto the side line of the road, that's failure to travel in marked lanes. Even if you keep it in the lane, the car may "wobble" a little as you correct course, Presto, You are "weaving" & it looks good on the videotape.

Overman
June 11, 2006, 10:12 PM
Random checkpoints are, in my opinion, unconstitutional.

They are not technically unconstitutional because you are under no obligation to enter a checkpoint. You are absolutely within your rights to do a legal u-turn and not enter the checkpoint.

Of course, depending on how many other citizens are u-turning, you might get scrutinized after the turn, and you had better make sure you do a 100% legal u-turn.

Manedwolf
June 11, 2006, 10:13 PM
Mumbles Menino was talking about random checks of cars coming into MA from NH, for "illegal guns". I think people might have reminded him about that fourth amendment thing, because that notion went away.

And I don't see how anything could detect a steet and polymer item in a steel and polymer vehicle. And if the rounds are kept in an airtight box, no powder scent, either.

rbernie
June 11, 2006, 10:14 PM
Random checkpoints are, in my opinion, unconstitutional.Sadly, the Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with you, so long as the stop meets some unquantifiable standard of 'minimal intrusion'.

DoubleTapDrew
June 11, 2006, 10:15 PM
+1 on the unconstitutional feeling. Sounds like the whole point of them is that you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
"You are just driving home from the range huh? Prove it. Are those guns legal? We'll just see about that. Step out of the vehicle. Have you been drinking?" :barf:
Some sheeple say "If it saves just one life it's worth it". How many saved lives would it take for you to give up ALL your rights? Think about how many men DIED to give you those rights.

neoncowboy
June 11, 2006, 10:15 PM
NY has been using vehicle scanners, in search of hidden guns, for several years now.

So, how do they get around the suspect/driver saying, 'no officer, I do not consent to any searches of my person or my car'?

Is a burned out tail light/speeding/minor traffic violation enough for the 'arresting' officer to have PC to search the car (as it would be if he were making an arrest?) I didn't think it was.

Lupinus
June 11, 2006, 10:16 PM
My car is my personal property. As such a government agent has no right searching it without probably cause or a warrant.

To search it you need probably cause or a warrant, you can't simply pull over a motorist randomly order them out of the car and go through it. You shouldn't be able to set up a road block either and order someone who has given you no probably cause to prove they aren't doing something illegal- IE driving under the influence, without insurance, etc. You don't have to prove innocence the government needs to prove cause and prove you guilty that is the basis of our country.

It is thinking like yours VEX that is what is slowly turning the constitution into a worthless pile of confetti.

Lupinus
June 11, 2006, 10:23 PM
I need to start typing faster lol

Driving on a public roadway is no more a privledge than walking on a public sidewalk.

This misconception needs to be killed off before it gets any more traction.


They are not technically unconstitutional because you are under no obligation to enter a checkpoint. You are absolutely within your rights to do a legal u-turn and not enter the checkpoint.

Of course, depending on how many other citizens are u-turning, you might get scrutinized after the turn, and you had better make sure you do a 100% legal u-turn.
Not if you can't saftly do so. Say I drive a full sized van and it is a narrow two lane street with ditches on each side. If I can't do the U-Turn saftly it isn't legal. It is a publicly owned right of way and I am in my own private property. Police have no right stopping me with no cause and demanding me to prove I am doing nothing illegal. I will gladly tell the police officer "no, you can't see my insurence card." I have a right to not be harrased by police on a fishing trip, just because I am driving down the road does not change this right.

Sadly, the Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with you, so long as the stop meets some unquantifiable standard of 'minimal intrusion'.
They seem to agree with a lot of bull droppings lately.

Vex
June 11, 2006, 10:38 PM
Driving on a public roadway is no more a privledge than walking on a public sidewalk.

This misconception needs to be killed off before it gets any more traction.


It is thinking like yours VEX that is what is slowly turning the constitution into a worthless pile of confetti.

It's not my thinking. It's the law. If you don't like it, don't drive a motorvehicle on the public road. Buy a bicycle, or a horse, or become amish, or start walking to work.

My car is my personal property. As such a government agent has no right searching it without probably cause or a warrant.


To search it you need probably cause or a warrant, you can't simply pull over a motorist randomly order them out of the car and go through it. You shouldn't be able to set up a road block either and order someone who has given you no probably cause to prove they aren't doing something illegal- IE driving under the influence, without insurance, etc. You don't have to prove innocence the government needs to prove cause and prove you guilty that is the basis of our country.


This is true. But if they want in, they will find a way. Want to avoid it? Either 1) don't drive on a public roadway, or 2) make sure you never break any laws regarding motor vehicle traffic. Don't speed. Don't brake too suddenly. Don't speed up too suddenly. Make sure all your lights work. Make sure you use your turn signal. Make use of your horn to pass someone. Make use of all your mirrors. Don't follow too closely. Don't drive too slow.

If you break ANY traffic law, they have the right to stop you. They can't "search" you without probable cause, but police officers are professionals at what they do. If I want into someone's car legally, there are always ways, because people always mess something up.

It is thinking like yours VEX that is what is slowly turning the constitution into a worthless pile of confetti.

My thinking is very constitutional. Go read the 10th Amendment. Since there is nothing to delegate power to license a person to operate a motorvehicle in the constitution, then the power falls to the States. This really has nothing to do with the US Constitution. If you think driving is a right (which is BS), write to your state legislature and complain to them.

If that's not good enough for you, go read the Commerce Clause. Maybe it will remind you that things could be much worse off if the feds challenged the 10th in court to issue a federal driver's license.

Be happy with the privilege.

Lupinus
June 11, 2006, 10:41 PM
yes vex they can, but the issue here is setting up a road block and for absoloutly no reason making a person prove they are not doing anything illegal. If they have a reason to pull you over that is one thing, annoying as hell, but legal.

Setting up a road block to prove your innocence and let them fish for something is not constitutional I don't care what some idiot on the court says.

Erebus
June 11, 2006, 11:08 PM
That's nothing. I was pulled over for "accelerating fast out of an intersection". No kidding. After that happened, I did some research on the legality of that.

I got pulled over for "excessive acceleration" after leaving a light at 2am once. It was pouring rain and he made me leave my window down. :fire: Of coarse I was 21 and driving a $50K brand new "Arrest Me Red" Corvette. What really pissed him off was when he found out it was mine and not my dad's. Needless to say I was a drug dealer from then on.

Now on a car like that in the pouring rain, how did I excessively accelerate without spinning the tires? They are 10.5" wide!! <--That is an example of something you DON'T say to a LEO at 2am in the pouring rain.

Heard on the radio today(96.9FM Talk out of Boston) that Boston is considering searching people for guns who are wearing clothes that appear inappropriate. IE big coats in the summer.

They have drunk stops around my area all the time. They just ask you 2 or 3 questions to get a wiff of your breath and send you off. Never heard of anyone getting busted for anything except OUI and they list the names of all the people they bust and what they are charged with in the paper. They catch ALOT of drunks when they do one, it's quite scarey how many they catch in a couple hours.

twency
June 11, 2006, 11:27 PM
My thinking is very constitutional. Go read the 10th Amendment. Since there is nothing to delegate power to license a person to operate a motorvehicle in the constitution, then the power falls to the States. This really has nothing to do with the US Constitution. If you think driving is a right (which is BS), write to your state legislature and complain to them.

Driving isn't a right. Being free from unreasonable search and seizure is. Do I take it you don't believe the fourth ammendment applies to vehicles? Or do you feel that it isn't "unreasonable" for a police officer to be able to search a vehicle for any of a variety of tenuous reasons? (Yes, I realize the words "vehicles" or "conveyences" are not present in Amndmt IV. Aren't vehicles "effects", ie. moveable personal property?)

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

-twency

Vex
June 12, 2006, 12:08 AM
Driving isn't a right. Being free from unreasonable search and seizure is. Do I take it you don't believe the fourth ammendment applies to vehicles? Or do you feel that it isn't "unreasonable" for a police officer to be able to search a vehicle for any of a variety of tenuous reasons? (Yes, I realize the words "vehicles" or "conveyences" are not present in Amndmt IV. Aren't vehicles "effects", ie. moveable personal property?)


I agree with you completely. Every person should be free from unreasonable search and seizure, whether in their house or in their vehicle. I never advocated otherwise. I'm a major supporter of the 4th Amendment. What I stated is that people who believe driving is a right, not a privilege, are wrong in stating so... and that I don't believe a DUI checkpoint is an "unreasonable" seizure... Is it a seizure? Yes, because the person and their property, once inside the checkpoint, are not free to leave. Is it unreasonable? No. It is as reasonable as speed limits. (Side note: Some people will try to tell you speed limits are an unreasonable seizure of person or property because it limits how fast you can travel....).

But there are always ways to get into a vehicle legally. I love stating examples, and here's one for you: Someone drives on a public road without a license. They get pulled over. The police arrest them for no ops. The person goes to jail. The police then have to impound the vehicle. During the impound, they get to conduct an "inventory" of the vehicle for any valuables, which have to be recorded on the impound paper to account for any liability (otherwise someone could say "Hey, where's my briefcase with a million dollars in it, it was right here in the trunk..." know what I mean?). It's not called a search. It's called an inventory, and it means the police get to rummage around the car to account for all valuables in the car. What is of value? Money? Guns? Drugs?

I also want to point out that I do not agree with a random checkpoint to check for guns. DUI is one thing. But guns are not illegal to own in this country, so there should be no reason to check to a legal item.

Standing Wolf
June 12, 2006, 12:20 AM
Well, yeah, but we're not a police state, because no one's legally required to drive, right?

Headless Thompson Gunner
June 12, 2006, 12:28 AM
I've always wondered if I'm driving and hit one of our famous Illinois traffic check points with a long gun case visible in the cargo area of my hatchback if they'd just glance at my license and insurance and wave me on, or ask me to pull over.I know a woman whose husband was pulled over in Chicago. He had a mauser in the back seat of the car, which earned him an immedate arrest.

I don't know if this would happen in other parts of Illinois. I wouldn't be surprised if it did. I really don't like Illinois.

Headless Thompson Gunner
June 12, 2006, 12:41 AM
I agree with you completely. Every person should be free from unreasonable search and seizure, whether in their house or in their vehicle. I never advocated otherwise. I'm a major supporter of the 4th Amendment. What I stated is that people who believe driving is a right, not a privilege, are wrong in stating so... and that I don't believe a DUI checkpoint is an "unreasonable" seizure... Is it a seizure? Yes, because the person and their property, once inside the checkpoint, are not free to leave. Is it unreasonable? No. It is as reasonable as speed limits. (Side note: Some people will try to tell you speed limits are an unreasonable seizure of person or property because it limits how fast you can travel....).

But there are always ways to get into a vehicle legally. I love stating examples, and here's one for you: Someone drives on a public road without a license. They get pulled over. The police arrest them for no ops. The person goes to jail. The police then have to impound the vehicle. During the impound, they get to conduct an "inventory" of the vehicle for any valuables, which have to be recorded on the impound paper to account for any liability (otherwise someone could say "Hey, where's my briefcase with a million dollars in it, it was right here in the trunk..." know what I mean?). It's not called a search. It's called an inventory, and it means the police get to rummage around the car to account for all valuables in the car. What is of value? Money? Guns? Drugs?

I also want to point out that I do not agree with a random checkpoint to check for guns. DUI is one thing. But guns are not illegal to own in this country, so there should be no reason to check to a legal item.Legal or not, the fact that the police can search any vehicle they want is obscene.

Doesn't that bother you?

Vex
June 12, 2006, 12:47 AM
Legal or not, the fact that the police can search any vehicle they want is obscene.

Doesn't that bother you?


It would bother me if it was true, but it's not. And there's no fact in what you're saying. They can't search any vehicle they want, just because they want to. They have to find a legal way. If the citizen gives them a way to get into the vehicle legally, whether by smoking weed in the car or driving without a license or whatever, it's the fault of the citizen for not following the laws, not the fault of the police for doing their job legally.

If you get busted for having a kilo of cocaine in plain sight of the police, who's fault is it? The police, for searching your vehicle? No. It's your fault for not hiding your drugs.

gezzer
June 12, 2006, 01:02 AM
NH needs random stops to make sure no MA-holes are comming into the state. Mumbles Menenio Bites it. Love how the Dems in MA cannot leave gun control alone but love Ted Kennedy :banghead:

Sgt Stevo
June 12, 2006, 01:17 AM
I got pulled over for speeding in my souped up t-bird. Not real fast, But I got up to sped real fast.

My car sounds like power boat when i gun it. Anyway. I had one of my shotguns in the trunk. Unloaded. In a case. I Also have tinted windows. I normally dont have a problem As I have VETs Plates and a VFW sticker. But I pushed it this time. Deputy says. "Nice dog,that a malinois." His dept uses them.

I said yep. He says, "Got anything in the car I should know about?." I Told him my Browning was the trunk. He asked if it was loaded I said No. He ran me. Or whatever cops do when they take your info back to there car.

Gave me a ticket for 45 in a 30 and split.

He did not seem to care about the Gun. weird. I also make it a point to be respectful and not make the cop nervous. Nervous is bad. He asked me if I know I was speeding. I said Yep. I am a speeder not a liar. So Honestys the best policy.

648E
June 12, 2006, 01:28 AM
Saying "I don't know' beat the hell outta admitting to speeding. Admitting to them proves you're guilty right there. I try to avoid that sorta thing. :cool:

Do you have anything in the car I should know about?

:barf:

Just my driver's license occifer.

evan price
June 12, 2006, 01:48 AM
So, how do they get around the suspect/driver saying, 'no officer, I do not consent to any searches of my person or my car'?

Is a burned out tail light/speeding/minor traffic violation enough for the 'arresting' officer to have PC to search the car (as it would be if he were making an arrest?) I didn't think it was.


Neoncowboy: There is a large difference between "PC" probable cause and "RS" reasonable suspicion.

In order to perform a warrentless search the LEO must have either Probable Cause or else Reasonable Suspicion that a crime either has or is going to take place. For example, Terry V. Ohio. This decision has led to interpretation that cars are included in a stop & frisk, where WEAPONS are possible. Anybody a CFL? Does your state include CFL info on a routine LEADS license plate check? Now, you are going to have RS for a weapons search. Note that this means they can only look for weapon-like objects; but if that baggie of MJ in the center console is located it is now evidence and your attorney will have to try to get it thrown out. Check out Minnesota V Dickerson for a clarification of Terry V Ohio. Or State (NC) V Battle to clarify when the LEO's can stop you.

It has been tried in court repeatedly that a minor traffic infraction, which would otherwise result in only a ticket and not a "criminal" offense, does not justify a "PC" search of the vehicle. In order to search the LEO needs to acquire consent to search from the operator/owner. Consent searches are the #1 way to find incriminating stuff to hang on the operator. Again, it has been in court repeatedly, failing to allow a consent search IS NOT creating Probable Cause for a warrentless search. However the officer may bring in a canine to search around the outside, look in windows, etc.
Whether or not detention pending a canine arriving is legal is up for the courts to decide; certainly if the officer tells you you are being detained- is that a legal order? Do you have to stay? What are the consequences if you defy his commands? Certainly remember this: Once the ticket is issued, if the LEO asks to search, ask if you are free to go. If he gives the runaround, ask, are you free to go. If he says yes, request your ID documents back, and leave, immediately, but safely. If they say NO, or do not return your documents, ask if you are being detained. If you are being detained ask why. Be polite, and not whiny, and not nasty. Remember this is all most likely going to be on video and audio tape in the cruiser. If you are not being detained then the LEO must return your documents; ask if you are free to go. If he says yes you are free to go, but wants to wait a second and talk and refuses to return your documents, ask them to be returned. Insist. Politely. Then leave. Safely.


General Vehicle Search Guidelines (NOTE I AM NOT A LAWYER OR A COP NOR IS THIS INTENDED TO BE FORMAL LEGAL ADVICE; USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK!)

CAR FRISK Frisk of passenger compartment areas where weapon may be hidden, including open or closed containers (officer must have reasonable suspicion!) No Trunk Search: Weapons only
SEARCH INCIDENT TO ARREST Entire passenger compartment, console, glove compartment and any containers, open or closed, locked or un-locked. No Trunk Search: Weapons and evidence.
SEARCH BASED ON PROBABLE CAUSE Any part of the vehicle where the evidence being sought might be located, including the trunk (stated differently, any place the magistrate could have authorized with a search warrant based upon your probable cause). Trunk is searched for ALL items for which you have probable cause on the warrant.
CONSENT Any part of the vehicle for which consent is given, including containers. Trunk searched if consent for the trunk is given for ALL items located in the area for which consent was given.
INVENTORY Areas authorized by the department's inventory policy (including containers). Officers should ordinarily not break open locked containers, but state on inventory form, "one locked, sealed briefcase." Trunk search if department's inventory policy is to search the trunk; Search for valuables, weapons, hazardous materials (inventory is not intended as a search for evidence, although evidence discovered may be admissible)

Headless Thompson Gunner
June 12, 2006, 01:56 AM
It would bother me if it was true, but it's not. And there's no fact in what you're saying. They can't search any vehicle they want, just because they want to. They have to find a legal way. If the citizen gives them a way to get into the vehicle legally, whether by smoking weed in the car or driving without a license or whatever, it's the fault of the citizen for not following the laws, not the fault of the police for doing their job legally.Sigh...

The laws allow a cop to find a legal way to stop almost anybody they want. That's what you said, and that's what I've heard from LEO's: "If I look hard enough, I can find a reason to pull over every car on the road." Searching a vehicle is a little harder, legally speaking, but is still far too easy.

The bottom line remains: if they wanna search your car badly enough, they will find a legal way to do so.

Legal or not, that's wrong. It bothers me. It should bother you.

Vex
June 12, 2006, 02:18 AM
Sigh...

The laws allow a cop to find a legal way to stop almost anybody they want. That's what you said, and that's what I've heard from LEO's: "If I look hard enough, I can find a reason to pull over every car on the road." Searching a vehicle is a little harder, legally speaking, but is still far too easy.

The bottom line remains: if they wanna search your car badly enough, they will find a legal way to do so.

Legal or not, that's wrong. It bothers me. It should bother you.

So, what you're saying is that if the police pulled over some people because their brake lights were out, and he discovered through standard, legal investigative procedures and techniques that these were actually neo nazis transporting a stolen atomic bomb to New Orleans to destroy the chocolate city... that it would be wrong? And this bothers you?

:what:

Wow.... I just... I don't know what.... I'm speechless... just wow.

:o

I guess I didn't learn that it's wrong to be a good investigator when I was in the police academy.

Mr.V.
June 12, 2006, 06:17 AM
Vex--

You pull someone over because they were going 10 mph over the speedlimit. You decide...eh...I don't like the look of this guy. I'm going to search his trunk... there's a blonde wrapped up in duct-tape squirming in the back.

Should this guy get arrested for kidnapping+attempted who-knows-what?

Yes obviously he should but the problem is that you essentially broke his constitutional rights in order to do it.

fortunately for most crimes like kidnapping etc there's a ton of other evidence that can be constitutionally attained and can be used to successfully prosecute a crime.

Gun-owning is a bit more of a sticky subject. The crime is simply having the gun. Therefore it is the centerpiece of case. Where does the legality lie?

The supreme court in its infinite wisdom has decided the 2nd Amendment isn't worth being discussed for the past 67 years while lower courts have mostly allowed the eroding of firearm rights on a state to state basis.

This has left us all (esp us in the anti-gun states) with the uneasy feeling that anytime someone could arbitrarily decide that our gun is illegal and now we have learn how to please a 275lb manimal in cell block 5 because we didn't signal more than 100feet before the turn.

There are a lot of legitimate concerns over how constitutional your "standard, legal investigative procedures and techniques" really are and how valid the argument "if it stops just one neo-nazi fission bomb" is...

Jeff White
June 12, 2006, 06:37 AM
Mr.V,
In the great majority of the cases where a vehicle is stopped, the stop is made legally, no one's rights are violated. In the great majorirty of cases where a vehicle is susequently searched, the search is legal. We get constant updates and inservice training on what the courts have ruled is legal and isn't legal in regards to searches.

There is not a consistant standard nationwide. The courts have made thousands of rulings and some even contradict each other. For instance an Arizona court ruled that an officer couldn't make a custodial arrest on an offense that wouldn't normally result in a custodial arrest so that a search incident to arrest could be conducted. However in Tennessee the state courts have ruled and the federal court of appeals has upheld that an officer can make a custodial arrest for any offense and that evidence recovered in the search incident to arrest is admissible.

If the courts rule that it's constitutional, then it is, in fact constitutional until a higher court rules otherwise. That is how the system works. If the courts don't share your personal view of what's constitutional and what's not, then I would suggest that you either vote out the local judges when they come up for retention or elect politicians who will appoint judges whose interpretation of the constitution meets your approval. That is also how our system works.

There is no debate as to if standard legal investigative procedures and techniques are constitutional. If they were in fact unconstitutional, they wouldn't be legal now would they?

Jeff

LAK
June 12, 2006, 06:58 AM
Seatbelt checks and intoxication checkpoints have been around for a while. Now it's checking for valid insurance, what next?
These are to get people used to the idea of checkpoints stops.

And they do not have to come out and say "random checks for firearms". It could be "random vehicle mechanical safety checks". That's right; "Brake pedal pressure?" .. "seat and seatbelt integrity - are the seats anchored to the floor of the vehicle properly, are the belts anchored, in good condition, have they been remounted outside the manufacturer's specs? " ... "any dangerous wiring condition?"... "Any flammable liquids in the trunk?"

There will be enough excuses to eyeball every single nook and cranny in the vehicle.

---------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

evan price
June 12, 2006, 07:11 AM
In England the MOT (Ministry of Transportation) has the right to pull vehicles over for a primary offense if they notice a safety violation, and then perform a full safety inspection right there. For ex, bald tire, broken headlamp, etc.

Chris Rhines
June 12, 2006, 07:16 AM
There is no debate as to if standard legal investigative procedures and techniques are constitutional. If they were in fact unconstitutional, they wouldn't be legal now would they? Not in my book, and this statement smacks of outright tautology (not to mention being more than a little condecending.) There are many laws that remain on the books that fly in the face of the constitution as written, and it's worth noting that when a higher court overturns the decision of a lower court on constitutional grounds, it means that said law was unconstitutional from the day it was enacted. Not from the day it was overturned.

Driving on a public road places no obligation on any other person, assuming that the driver is paid up on his taxes and owns his own car. That makes it a right, just the same as walking down a public sidewalk.

- Chris

romma
June 12, 2006, 11:58 AM
Line is when they ask you "where you headed to this evening?" or "where are you coming from?" As if what I do, or where I go is any of their or anyone elses business.

buzz_knox
June 12, 2006, 12:06 PM
How Many of us can say they have been pulled over at the wee hours by a LEO who states, "You were weaving a bit", or "One of your License Plate lamps is out" or "You didn't come to a full and complete stop before turning right on red."

My father got the best one ever. He was pulled over in another county because his stoplight cover wasn't red enough. It had faded, but was still clearly visible for what it was. His choice was either to pay the $100+ in fines (the same as for a major speeding offense in other counties), or to come back to the county and fight it. He paid, as was expected.

Erebus
June 12, 2006, 12:08 PM
I have a related question. If I am pulled over for a legitimate traffic reason I am not required to present my CHL to the officer in MA. However I own a police scanner and know full well when he runs my driver's license he is going to find out anyway. So I give it to them with my license and reg. This has never come up but if it did. The officer asks me if I have a gun in the car. I reply I have one in the trunk unloaded and locked in a case, in compliance. Can he go in the trunk without permission "to confirm it's properly stored"? If I say I have no guns in the car can he search without permission?

In other words does me having a CHL give him probable cause for anything?

When I was younger that Vette got searched at least twice a month. State Police seemed convinced they were going to find drugs in it eventually. I had to write a letter to the captain to get it to stop. I was 21 and bought it brand new. I got to know a couple locals very well and, with the exception of one, the locals left me alone. But I was always afraid to say no when they asked to search it. Never had anything in it that could get me in trouble so I was more afraid of what might happen if I said no than yes. Man that was time consuming! My boss was getting sick of me showing up over an hour late for work on a regular basis. That's what finally got me to write the letter, I explained that they were getting me in trouble at work.

HankB
June 12, 2006, 12:31 PM
If you are being detained ask why. Be polite, and not whiny, and not nasty. Remember this is all most likely going to be on video and audio tape in the cruiser. There's a better than even chance that video/audio tape which supports the motorist's testimony will be lost/damaged/unavailable if it ever gets to court. Video/audio tapes which support the officer's testimony will be clear, sharp, and unambiguous. My Favorite Line is when they ask you "where you headed to this evening?" or "where are you coming from?" As if what I do, or where I go is any of their or anyone elses business. In parts of TX, answering this may be ill-advised. TX recently revised its "traveling" statutes relative to firearms in vehicles, but some PDs down around Houston, IIRC, haven't gotten the message. Respond honestly, and they may decide you've nonetheless given the wrong answer, and give you grief. TSRA suggests pointing to your license & insurance paperwork and saying words to the effect of "Officer, all the information you legally require is right there."

Creeping Incrementalism
June 12, 2006, 12:57 PM
In California, if you tell an officer that you have a firearm in your vehicle, by law, they can check it themselves to see if it is being properly transported, and those laws are rather strict. Furthermore, while pinned "off-list" mag ARs are legal in California, cops will frequently confiscate them anyway. Thus, we are in a dilemma--if we tell the truth, we may be screwed over. The best response to the question, "Are there any guns in your vehicle", is in my opinion, "No, I've got no contraband." Also worrying is that anyone who's legally bought/transfered a handgun in this state in the last 5 of 6 years has had it registered, and this information appears on their computer, along with address information, when police run a query.

Also--I don't know how many of you realize this--but cops lie all the time to get probable cause to search. Since many of us aren't "suspicous"-looking, it may not have happened to you, but once you fit the profile of the kind of person a cop likes to bust, in many cases they will search you and your vehicle anyway on the probable cause that you "looked nervous" or something along those lines, if they can't find a valid excuse, and believe they can get away with it.

As far as the most BS reason for pulling over someone to begin with, other than the outright lies (dirty license plate, etc.), how's this one--my brother got pulled over for "stopping at a yield sign". That's just funny, pulling someone over for driving with extra precaution. Sort of like the joke. How do you know when a driver has something to hide? He's obeying all the traffic laws.

Thefabulousfink
June 12, 2006, 01:49 PM
My Favorite Line is when they ask you "where you headed to this evening?" or "where are you coming from?" As if what I do, or where I go is any of their or anyone elses business.

"officer, the answer is right there on the license. That address is where I started from this morning and, God willing, is where I will end up tonight.":D

Vex
June 12, 2006, 02:24 PM
You decide...eh...I don't like the look of this guy. I'm going to search his trunk...

The law doesn't allow the police to search someone's trunk based on how the officer "feels" about the subject. Police aren't allowed to have feelings, and a "hunch" doesn't give the police the legal right to search someone's property. The thing I'm saying is that there are always ways.... maybe I pull a guy over, he doesn't have a license, I hear banging in the trunk. I arrest him for no ops, call a tow truck to impount, and during the inventory of the vehicle subsequent to an arrest, I find said blonde bound in ducttape. It's legal, it's pretty, and everyone is happy. What's more, the blonde is evidence, and since I obtained her legally, she and the fact that I found her bound in ducttape in the guys trunk can now be used in court as evidence.

There are a lot of legitimate concerns over how constitutional your "standard, legal investigative procedures and techniques" really are and how valid the argument "if it stops just one neo-nazi fission bomb" is...

Mr.V, the constitutionality of these techniques... the plain sight rule, for example (If I come to your window and see a bag of cocaine through the window, it's considered plain sight and I don't need a warrant to get it)... if you want them changed, then lead the way. Vote for the judges. Sue the state. Take the constitutionality of the laws to the supreme court. Otherwise, it's the name of the game. THe police are already fairly limited... think of the law as a game. You're playing the game to hide whatever contraband or blondes... I'm playing the game to get inside. Sometimes I win. Sometimes you win. But it's a game nontheless, and when we win, you can't prematurely yell, "Foul! Unconstitutional! Unfair!" and expect it to fall on anything other than deaf ears.

If you don't want to play the game, don't break any laws.

These are there to get people used to the idea of checkpoints stops.

And they do have to come out and say "random checks for firearms". Next it could be "random vehicle mechanical safety checks". That's right; "Brake pedal pressure?" .. "seat and seatbelt integrity - are the seats anchored to the floor of the vehicle properly, are the belts anchored, in good condition, have they been remounted outside the manufacturer's specs? " ... "any dangerous wiring condition?"... "Any flammable liquids in the trunk?"

There will be enough excuses to eyeball every single nook and cranny in the vehicle.


I know this is the extremist libertarian wet dream, but I just don't ever see it happen. If we turned into a police state, I'd resign my police certification the same day. I don't believe random DUI checks are unreasonable, but if they start stopping every car asking if there's any flammable liquids in the trunk and forcing us to consent to a search, then that will be a different argument entirely.

Line is when they ask you "where you headed to this evening?" or "where are you coming from?" As if what I do, or where I go is any of their or anyone elses business.

You'd be very surprised if you knew how many times someone said, "The crack house," or "We're going over to Compton to kill this guy."

I have a related question. If I am pulled over for a legitimate traffic reason I am not required to present my CHL to the officer in MA. However I own a police scanner and know full well when he runs my driver's license he is going to find out anyway. So I give it to them with my license and reg. This has never come up but if it did. The officer asks me if I have a gun in the car. I reply I have one in the trunk unloaded and locked in a case, in compliance. Can he go in the trunk without permission "to confirm it's properly stored"? If I say I have no guns in the car can he search without permission?

In other words does me having a CHL give him probable cause for anything?


Check the laws in your state regarding having a CHL. In Ohio, if someone is pulled over and has a CHL and the weapon on them, the police have the authority to remove the weapon until the stop is over... this is all that's allowed by the law under the 4th Amendment.

But if you have an unloaded gun in the trunk, and the ammo is stored seperately from the weapon, then there's no reason or probable cause to search anything. If the police wanted in, they'd have to go get a warrant to search your vehicle, which, based on the information you're giving me, would make the judge chuckle... and then deny the warrant.

romma
June 12, 2006, 09:58 PM
You'd be very surprised if you knew how many times someone said, "The crack house," or "We're going over to Compton to kill this guy."


I wonder how surprised I might be if I refused to answer A question I am not inclined to answer... Something tells me that I would end up having a more exhaustive "interview" flavored with a just a hint of scutiny... ;)

carpettbaggerr
June 12, 2006, 10:25 PM
t. What I stated is that people who believe driving is a right, not a privilege, are wrong in stating so... and that I don't believe a DUI checkpoint is an "unreasonable" seizure...What about walking down the street? Should random checks of pedestrians for public intoxication be allowed?

Walking in public is a right, not a privilege, correct? I see nothing in the Constitution which would lead me to believe a public intoxication checkpoint and ID check is "unreasonable".

I don't believe random DUI checks are unreasonable, but if they start stopping every car asking if there's any flammable liquids in the trunk and forcing us to consent to a search, then that will be a different argument entirely.
But legally, what is the difference? If random checks for DUI are not unreasonable, why would random checks for flammable liquids or explosives be? A random check without probable cause or reasonable suspicion is just that. Why get upset if it's for flammables, instead of intoxication?

And you know they wouldn't force you to consent to a search. They would just conduct one based on the fact that they smelled gasoline. Which gives them probable cause to conduct a search. At which point consent, is unnecessary, right? Just as if they smelled alcohol on your breath during the random reasonable DUI checks.

Mr.V.
June 12, 2006, 11:51 PM
There is no debate as to if standard legal investigative procedures and techniques are constitutional. If they were in fact unconstitutional, they wouldn't be legal now would they?

Sorry I meant to quote his "standard legal investigative procedures" to imply just how "legal" the average car search is. Certainly adquate probable cause which leads to a search conducted under signed warrant obtained by a judge is perfectly legal and necessary to maintain a society of laws. But not all car searches follow the 4th amendment to the T.

I do agree that the majority of searches are probably legal. But there are plenty of instances where a car gets searched for no good reason...certainly lacking probable cause. It happened to me. I went 45 in a 35. The cop asked for my license and registration. I gave him both. Both were valid. I gave him my proof of insurance which was also valid. I said very few words and was excessively polite (maybe he thought I was a lunatic =) He asked me to step out of the car anyways. Then his partner watched me while he proceeded to rummage around my car finding a plethora of cheetos wrappers and not much else. Then he gave me a ticket for speeding and sent me on my way.

I didn't do anything wrong besides speed (a bit) and I got searched. No kilos of smack, no bodies in the trunk, no guns anywhere to be found, he just found out I have a soft-spot for cheesy poofs which isn't a crime...yet. I still didn't like it one bit. I sped. There was no probable cause for any other crime. Then I see similar things happening on shows like Cops to other people much like it happened to me, only they usually find drugs. Still...if drugs etc isn't in plain view, should they get to search the vehicle for doing a California roll through the stop sign?

As per your second point...There is not a consistant standard nationwide. The courts have made thousands of rulings and some even contradict each other.
That appears to be precisely the problem. We're supposed to all have equal protection under the law. It makes it difficult to know your rights when they change every 300 yards.

Jeff White
June 13, 2006, 12:03 AM
Mr. V.,
The search of your vehicle as you descibed would not have been legal where I work.

The great majority of vehicle searches are consent searches. In most venues, the driver must be told he/she is free to go, in other words, complete the enforcement action (issue ticket or warning) and tell the driver they can go before asking for consent. This is to eliminate the possibility that the driver will come back later and say they felt coerced.

Every vehicle search I have been a part of, either by initating it or as a backup has been either a probable cause search (usually a K9 hit) an inventory search when towing a vehicle, a search incident to arrest (if the vehicle isn't towed) or a consent search. I have never heard an officer not take no for an answe on a consent search.

Think about how constantly losing cases because you didn't follow the law would look. You'd soon destroy all your credibility with the states attorney and judges.

Jeff

gezzer
June 13, 2006, 12:25 AM
You do not have to answer any questions why say anything?

RugerSAFan
June 13, 2006, 01:32 AM
I still like the recommended phrasing when an officer asks if they may search my vehicle:

"Officer, I will not interfere with your performance of your lawful duties. However, you do not have my consent to search my vehicle without a search warrant."

I'm probably not making my life any easier with the NRA sticker on my tailgate.....

LAK
June 13, 2006, 08:17 AM
Chris RhinesDriving on a public road places no obligation on any other person, assuming that the driver is paid up on his taxes and owns his own car. That makes it a right, just the same as walking down a public sidewalk.
I agree with your position.

However, those guys that invented the idea of "driver's licenses" had more than a few intentions up their sleeves. From the point of view of the State, when you apply for and are issued with a driver's license, you have entered into a contract with the State and willingly submit to all highway laws and regulation.

Most people do not realise this, and do so in effect, without informed consent IMO.

--------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

romma
June 13, 2006, 09:45 AM
Then I see similar things happening on shows like Cops to other people much like it happened to me, only they usually find drugs. Hmm? I wonder How many "edits" there are to shows like cops where perhaps some of the people they pull over know their rights and thwart the bullying tactics you quite often see... ? Also, how many "perps" manage to outrun their pursuers as well?? :evil:

Erebus
June 13, 2006, 10:19 AM
Hmm? I wonder How many "edits" there are to shows like cops where perhaps some of the people they pull over know their rights and thwart the bullying tactics you quite often see... ? Also, how many "perps" manage to outrun their pursuers as well??

That hits the cutting room floor as it doesn't make for good TV. How much fun is it to watch LEOs search a car and find nothing? Pursuit a car and not catch it? Ask for consent to search and get told no? It doesn't make for good TV. I don't think they make a habit of making LEOs look like fools. There's plenty of mullet haired, wife-beater wearin, trailor park livin, drunks that look like fools.

romma
June 13, 2006, 12:16 PM
I don't think they make a habit of making LEOs look like fools. I think it would make for some entertainment. Although I respect the concept of police protecting and serving, I have seen enough tough guy badgering on that show to make me sick sick sick... To think of normalizing rights violations and humiliating people somewhat needlessly. I think a 'Cops Unsensored' episode bloopers and bleepers would be slightly refreshing... :evil:

Erebus
June 13, 2006, 01:47 PM
I think a 'Cops Unsensored' episode bloopers and bleepers would be slightly refreshing...

I thought there is a DVD. But I can't seem to find it. My brother has/had a series of VHS tapes of episodes I think. I will have to ask him if he has a blooper one.

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