CA: CCW --> Probable Cause for Vehicle Search?


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Skunkabilly
May 26, 2003, 09:50 PM
Let's say I get pulled over, and I, by law, show the CCW permit (and handgun) to the officer.

If the officer asks to search my vehicle, is my CCW probable cause because there may be more weapons in the car, citing officer safety?

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Skunkabilly
May 26, 2003, 11:36 PM
:o OK I really Tejoned this post...shoulda put it in L&P

Pilgrim
May 27, 2003, 01:20 AM
Refresh my memory. Which law says you have to reveal you are carrying CCW and show the officer your weapon?

Jim March
May 27, 2003, 02:58 AM
I don't know if you have to reveal your status on a stop in California. But if you did, in a non-threatening manner, there's no way a search based on THAT would hold up.

Dex Sinister
May 27, 2003, 03:28 AM
Hmmm, last time I read the law mandatory announcement wasn't in there...


Dex http://www.gamers-forums.com/smilies/contrib/ruinkai/FIREdevil.gif

Carnitas
May 27, 2003, 09:38 AM
No mandatory show rule in Ca. Although its my understanding that if they run your D.L. it will come up.

Pilgrim
May 27, 2003, 10:14 AM
I suppose if the DL check does show one is the holder of a CCW, and the officer asks the driver about it, it would make good sense for the driver to reveal any weapons he is carrying concealed.

CA law does permit any officer encountering a firearm to inspect it and run a check to verify the weapon is not stolen. If the owner and possessor of the weapon does not cooperate, then the owner - possessor can be arrested.

If the CCW holder has cooperated with the officer and produced his permit and weapon for inspection, it would be a stretch of the imagination for the officer to come up with probable cause that the CCW holder is concealing other illegal weapons. And provided the officer has not arrested the driver and CCW holder, the officer does not have authority to search the areas of the car immediately accessible to the driver at the time of the traffic stop.

So if the officer wants to search the car he is going to have to come up with probable cause to search the car if the driver and CCW holder does not give permission to search. Said probable cause will have to withstand judicial scrutiny as if the officer had requested a warrant to search the car.

Judicial scrutiny of a warrantless search will examine the "totality of the circumstances" that existed at the time which caused the officer to believe that searching the premises will result in discovery of seizable items. In the scenario you describe, the CCW holder is cooperating with every request by the officer regarding the existence of a permit and a weapon. The court will ask the officer what did the driver do that caused him to think he was concealing illegal weapons or contraband. If the officer's only reason is the existence of a CCW, I think a court would rule, "Sorry, that is not an indicator of illegal behavior."

It was my experience that crooks trying to hide something are overly cooperative in other areas and volunteer information that a normal person would keep his mouth shut about. Therefore, I suggest that if the law does not require it, don't volunteer information that is not asked for. Keep your hands on the steering wheel where the nice officer can see them. If he learns about the permit and asks about it, then tell him the information he desires, like where the weapon is located.

I could not tell from the original post if Skunkabilly has a CCW permit or not. If he does not and is going through the initial 16 hour training, question the instructor on anything he says he purports to be the law. A good instructor will back up anything he says with written handouts that refer to sections in the penal code or enabling regulations published by the Department of Justice.

In the same vein, Skunkabilly, if you have a CCW and return to the four hour renewal class, ask for documentation on any "changes" in the law that have occurred since the last time you were issued a permit. It will be good insurance to keep urban legends from becoming "CCW law."

Carnitas
May 27, 2003, 12:10 PM
CA law does permit any officer encountering a firearm to inspect it and run a check to verify the weapon is not stolen.

Currently CaDOJ is requiring the permiting authority to run that check before they list it on the permit. So aside from confirming that the pistol being carried is on the permit there shouldent be any reason for the LEO in the field to waste his time running the check.

Pendragon
May 27, 2003, 01:24 PM
They can basically make up any PC they want - always decline to allow a search and if they insist, physically cooperate and hash it out later.

Probable Cause is going to be based on some indicator of illegality. CCWs are a legal way to carry a weapon so there is no way it can be considered part of PC.

I would ask for a patrol car in my lawsuit :)

Graystar
May 27, 2003, 03:13 PM
I agree with Pendragon. Probable cause must be based on the notice of possibly illegal activity.

Here in NY, by law I must present my guns to an officer if asked for them (and I happen to be transporting them.) But that is not authority to perform a search. That would be illegal if I've done nothing suspicious.

Skunkabilly
May 27, 2003, 03:15 PM
When I was issued my permit, the lady says if I'm stopped, show them my permit. I forgot if she said to show it out of manners (which I will anyway to let the officer know I'm a good guy) or that I am required to by law.

Frohickey
May 27, 2003, 04:56 PM
When I was issued my permit, the lady says if I'm stopped, show them my permit. I forgot if she said to show it out of manners (which I will anyway to let the officer know I'm a good guy) or that I am required to by law.

You got a CCW permit?!!! In **********?!!!

Standing Wolf
May 27, 2003, 06:02 PM
Does the People's Republic of California even bother with probable cause?

QuarterBoreGunner
May 27, 2003, 06:46 PM
When I went through the initial CCW course with the local sheriffs department, the deputy running the gig answered this very question thusly: (paraphrasing) ‘if you get pulled over there is no need to inform the officer if you are lawfully carrying a concealed firearm, there’s no need to raise the officer’s stress level, as on of the first things they teach in the academy is that there’s no such thing as a typical vehicle stop.’

With that being said, it’s my (laypersons) opinion that during a traffic stop, an officer can find almost anything to be ‘probable cause’. And I think that handing over your permit with your ID, thereby announcing that you have a (lawful) concealed firearm, could be interpreted as an officer safety issue and that yes, they might want to secure your firearms and toss your vehicle.

I’ve never heard of it happening, but is it in the realm of the possible. Sure it is. Is it legal? Extremely arguable I think.

Do I want to be the court case that sets precedent? Nope. Here’s my ID and proof of insurance officer. And that’s it.

jimpeel
May 27, 2003, 07:10 PM
When stopped by an officer, as he approaches your car, stick your head out the window and state in a loud clear voice “I’ve got a gun!” This will place the officer at ease.:what:

Kevlarman
May 27, 2003, 07:36 PM
Do tell Skunk! I remember you mentioning that you applied for one a few months ago, but I've not heard that you were actually issued one! Give us the gritty details please!

I WANT ONE TOO! :D

Sir Galahad
May 27, 2003, 07:43 PM
Skunk, I've had a broken tailight given as "probable cause" to search my vehicle. Cops tossed my truck so many times in Cali, I quit trying to put stuff back. Just dumped it on the floorboards for the next search. That's what happens when you drive around with long hair and tattoos. That, in and of itself, is probably cause. I've had the dog run through my truck, a crawl-under by one cop convinced I had "the goods" taped to the frame, and an interrogation over where I had the "guns" hidden in the truck over a 5 year old empty .22LR case in the bed.

rebbryan
May 27, 2003, 11:07 PM
I think this is how it works:

if CCW's are legal in cali then no they can't (well, shouldn't, if they did you could probably fight it in court) search your car for their protection. they have the right to FRISK you, so they should have you step out of your car and frisk you and talk to you outside of your car. anything they can see in the car from while outside is admissible (able to be used) in court.

Russ
May 28, 2003, 10:28 AM
If you tell them no, they will bring in a K-9 that is programed to sniff at cars. They will have PC then and ransack your car. Some of the Sherriff's out there could shoot you dead for no reason and lie through their teeth about it. Ever been to court and go up against a lieing cop? I have. Guess who the the judge believed? The lie face cop of course. Altadena and Temple City Sherriff's are the worst LEO's on the face of he planet and that's a fact.

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