Traffic stops with multiple guns - leo ?


September 23, 2008, 10:01 PM
There always seems to be a thread carrying and being stopped but this one has a twist.

I'm wondering if there are any officers on here that do ask for the person's gun during a traffic stop and what would be done if there were 6-12 guns in the vehicle. Do you ask for them all?

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September 23, 2008, 10:54 PM

Here is an example of what you asked about.

September 23, 2008, 11:09 PM
Well, that isn't even close to what I was asking about. He had drugs in his vehicle. I'm curious about the article though.

It said, The release went on to say: "The Spokane Regional Drug Task Force has been called to assist in the investigation. DEA agents seized Popper's vehicle and he could face federal charges of possessing a vehicle with hidden compartments

It is illegal to have hidden compartments?

September 23, 2008, 11:15 PM
Are the compartments hidden if they're TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY OBVIOUS?

The owner of the firearms just needs to exercise his right to keep quiet. Don't lie, but don't tell the officer anything he doesn't need to know.

I would suppose it depends on whether or not one lives in a state whose CCW/CHL requires declaration of being armed.

September 23, 2008, 11:28 PM
Cops would get pretty tired of handling guns during hunting season. It's not unusual to have 2+ per person.

October 1, 2008, 08:20 PM
It is illegal to have hidden compartments?

No, not unless they are filled, or have been filled before, with illegal drugs.

(And, yes, there is a way to tell if they have ever contained illegal drugs before).

Chalk the article up to one more case of a news reporter not really understanding what they were being told, but taking their best stab at reporting it, anyway.

Jeff White
October 1, 2008, 08:33 PM
I stopped a guy one night who had 8 or 9 guns in the back seat of his Supercab pickup. He sat in the car with me (after I patted him down) while I took enforcement action. Much simpler than collecting up all the guns.


October 1, 2008, 08:44 PM
I try and keep everything covered or cased and since we are not required to mention them, I don't.

Even when an LEO has asked and got an affirmitive answer he never seems to be upset.

Chihuahua Floyd
October 1, 2008, 09:03 PM
NC Highway Patrol checkpoint on the way home from a cowboy action match.
Long guns in the back seat of the skylark, pistol belt just dropped in the passenger seat with both 45s still holstered.
Drivers liscense and registration only, no mention of very visable guns.

Ben Shepherd
October 1, 2008, 09:22 PM
Really depends on the political leanings of the dept. you get pulled over by. I can imagine a big city cop having a :what: moment when he pulls over a guy coming back from a 3 gun competition.

After doing several ride alongs with friends and family that are LEO, and spending a bunch of time around others, this is my take:

Most cops aren't as dumb as some would like to think. You get pulled over with a bunch of guns, it'll most likely be a black or white encounter. He'll either figure out you're a good guy pretty quick, or you'll be cuffed quicker than quick.

That about right Jeff?

October 1, 2008, 09:30 PM
I'm wondering if there are any officers on here that do ask for the person's gun during a traffic stop and what would be done if there were 6-12 guns in the vehicle. Do you ask for them all?

The question should be thought of as inclusive of any forearms in the vehicle.

October 1, 2008, 09:38 PM
Q: "It is illegal to have hidden compartments?"
A: "No, not unless they are filled, or have been filled before, with illegal drugs."

Not necessarily. The smuggling of contraband is inclusive of many items besides scheduled narcotics, and the means of concealing them should not be thought of as harmless in the eyes of the law. And yes, folks unaware of that have learned the hard way.

October 1, 2008, 09:48 PM
Love how so many treat presumably innocent citizens like criminals...

October 1, 2008, 11:36 PM
Its not so much that the innocent individuals get treated like criminals as much as individuals discovered to be in possession of conveyances outfitted for smuggling receive attention they would otherwise prefer to not receive up until they are cleared as smugglers.

Is walks like a duck, talks like a duck, thing. After all, how many folks possess conveyances outfitted for smuggling, statistically speaking, who aren't smuggling?

Given the standards applied by many on this forum, self defense wise, walking like ducks and talking like ducks can get a guy drawn down on. It can also get him investigated and his conveyance taken apart in the process. After all, when a certain radio frequency is dialed, the pedals depressed in sequence, various controls operated in just the right manner, or something to that effect, and one or more hidden compartment(s) appear, why shouldn't the driver or owner face further scrutiny, the type of which the average honest folks would rather avoid, and odds are, will never deserve?

Scrutiny equaling investigation,and investigation not effecting the presumption of guilt in the least.

October 2, 2008, 12:20 AM
Depends on the circumstance--6-12 unloaded guns in cases and boxes in the backseat? Of course not. 6-12 loaded handguns CCW'd on every place a holster can hang on a human body? Possibly. With the odor of weed in the car or a possible DWI? You'd better believe it.

On a side note, in some states it is illegal to have a concealed compartment in a car. However, looking at the pictures from Popper's arrest, you'd be hard pressed to call that a "hidden" or "concealed" compartment.

October 2, 2008, 12:46 AM
Years ago I got stopped going home from Blue Trails one day. I literally had every gun I owned in the car, plus a lot of ammo. I had been introducing three new shooters to various guns.

The Trooper asked me if I had any weapons or drugs in the car. I said yes. :p That kind of threw him a bit.

He finally asked which is it- "guns or drugs?" I told him I had enough guns and ammo in the car to take over a third world country, but didn't have any drugs. That threw him a lot. :D

We didn't go through the whole "take every gun out" routine. He simply asked me why I had all of that. I told him. He asked if I had handguns and I said yes. He asked if I had a pistol permit and I showed it to him. He asked if any of the long guns were loaded and I said no. That was the end of it.

This topic continues to come up. I have never taken a gun from a permit holder when Iíve stopped them. I see little need. Of course, every permit holder I've stopped to date has been a reasonable and polite person. That demeanor allows me to also be reasonable.

October 2, 2008, 02:15 AM
Concealed compartments and traffic stops aside, those pictures make me think I'm gonna buy another Blues Traveler record, and hope the guy spends the proceeds on guns rather than ganja.

October 2, 2008, 04:35 AM
In 02' I was PCSing cross country and was pulled over by the Rez Cops in New Mexico for speeding (73 in a 70 cresting a hill), it was Rez Cops because apparently the Interstate crossed through their reservation. Since I was PCSing I had every firearm I owned and ammo with me along with my response gear and crash bag. 30 firearms in total. After the obligatory puffed chest hand on the gun BS with Barney number one after I informed him I was carrying legally and had a metric buttload of firearms in the truck we got started with the true tom-foolery. I.E. "when I want your military ID and orders I will ask for them" after I handed over the PCS orders, MilID, DL, Nevada CCW, and POI. A few minutes afterward Barney's number 2 - 6 show up to "help" with said dangerous "survivalist AF Bomb guy smuggling a truckload of machineguns". :rolleyes:

Well two and a half hours after the initial stop and having to watch dumb, dumber, and dumbest try and figure out how to clear FALs, an M-96, AK's, AR's, 1911's, shotguns, H&K's, and some 22's, I was free to start packing all of my things back into my truck and depart. Oh I offered to help them with my firearms but was very adamantly told "NO". My laughing probably didn't help matters any when tweedle dumbest and tweedle dumber than a rock couldn't figure out how to open the cylinder on my Colt Walker repro, or figure out how to open the chambers on my Brown Bess and Hawken. :neener: They told me exactly what I already knew, and that was all my firearms were in fact mine and not stolen. During the repacking phase which took another hour a Res cop was decent enough to hang around and tell me to hurry up as it was dangerous just sitting on the side of the highway. :fire:

This incident is still a sore subject with me as I have never had a bad run-in and due to the nature of my job work very closely with Fed and Local LEO's. Nothing was damaged except my pride and opinion of LEO in this general area. I didn't get put in cuffs but was told to sit on my hands :scrutiny: on the shoulder of the road. Playing 20 questions with former Army 11 bang bang who knows everything about all branches of the military, over me having possession of my armor and response gear was interesting too. I never knew being in the Army and being LEO made you an expert on how other branches do things :barf:

OH and they went ahead and issued my a citation for the 73 in a 70 which a had to pay by money order since I didn't feel like hanging around podunk crapsville till Monday for their offices to open up. Tack on another few dollars to an already BS ticket put me in a real good mood. And no, never thought of a lawyer or filing charges because at the time the intersweb was just a place for me to order gear and firearm stuff and not a place to go to for advice. If I had known differant at the time I would have seriously considered it. So yes it is not fun getting pulled over with all of your toys in the truck even if you have a very valid reason. I hope you gents have better experiances than I did.

October 2, 2008, 06:34 AM
Been pulled over with a metric crapton of weapons in the back seat. Perfectly legal here.

Adopted the standard 'hands where they can see them' approach, and was told to not reach for any of them, they ran everything, and we both went on our merry way a couple minutes later.

I'd expect it varies substantially from place to place - here weapons in vehicle are relatively normal, especially if you're not concealing the fact that they exist and have a bunch of ammo cans and hearing protection with them in the vehicle.

October 2, 2008, 12:00 PM
EODDoogie said,

I have never had a bad run-in and due to the nature of my job work very closely with Fed and Local LEO's.

That is correct, Doogie. YOU are not one of the "only ones". No matter how many times, and how far, you bend over backward to PROVE you're a decent person intent on doing good, you will never be an "only one"...unless of course you join the gang with official sanction.

This realization sometimes comes hard. The police are not your friends. They are there to make cases and help the prosecutors get convictions.

October 2, 2008, 12:16 PM
I was pulled over in Ormond Beach, Fl when I was 21. Had 3 Mosins, a SAR-1, a Marlin .22, a Ruger 10-22, a S&W 59 and a Win model 70 in my civic hatchback. He pulled me for what he thought was speeding. He had no radar and he told me he had to go 40 to catch up with me. I said that "yea when im going 30 and you are 200 yards behind me, you have to go 40 to catch up to me a mile down the road....." I was a mouthly little smart @$$ back then. He looked in the back and then told me to slow down and went on with his business.??????? no mention on why I had enough guns to start WW3.... some are wierd like that

October 14, 2008, 10:48 PM
Q: "It is illegal to have hidden compartments?"
A: "No, not unless they are filled, or have been filled before, with illegal drugs."

Not necessarily. The smuggling of contraband is inclusive of many items besides scheduled narcotics, and the means of concealing them should not be thought of as harmless in the eyes of the law. And yes, folks unaware of that have learned the hard way.

I stand corrected. I was actually referring to the original poster's question as to the DEA seizing the vehicle, just for having a hidden compartment, which the DEA cannot do, with no other evidence of the vehicle being used to faciliate, or being proceeds of, drug trafficking.

October 14, 2008, 11:29 PM
I got pulled over in Texas (I was definitely speeding) and I knew about the requirement to inform, so I immediately told the LEO that I was carrying one loaded pistol and there were another half dozen guns in the back of the cab in cases. I explained we were headed to the range. He took my carry piece and placed it in the bed of the truck while we were having our chit chat. He gave me a warning for the speed, and a ticket for POI(I hadn't printed my updated card yet). He also sat and shot the breeze about the range I was headed to because he also frequented that range.

October 14, 2008, 11:51 PM
Hidden compartments can be tricky.

I used to drive 240Z Datsuns (you kids may need to Google that). They came standard with two compartments for a scissors jack, lugwrench and stuff right behind the seats.
The carpet lay over them and there were very flat and unobtrusive. The one behind the passenger's seat was just right to stash a pretty good sized handgun.

The car came that way. I didn't modify it. Frankly if one were carrying a load of fine Colombian blow in that compartment and apprehended, the constabulary and or DEA would seize the vehicle as probably both "evidence" and "the instrumentalities of a crime".

My current vehicle is a Hyundai Santa Fe. It's a good iron, but don't ask me how I went from a 240Z to an overgrown station wagon... sniff... I digress...

It has a compartment in the cargo area, under the carpet. It's actually two compartments deep, with a plastic tray under a deck cover and a well under the tray. One could conceal stuff there, but it's no place for an emergency handgun.

In order to get something seized, the authorities (at whatever level) must have probable cause to believe the object seized is either evidence, or a criminal instrumentality. Is that authority abused? Of course, just as is the right to travel freely about the United States when a criminal smuggles dope - or stolen goods or whatever.

I've been on both ends. I've stopped cars as a Border Patrol Agent and I've been stopped. When stopping people - and I was never sure who was in the car you understand - I would carefully approach and be alert for overly defensive or aggressive behavior. I never bothered asked if there were any weapons in the car - I presumed if the people were up to no good they'd lie anyway. Like that old Marine Corps wisdom, I was always polite and even friendly and I always had a plan to kill everyone - or at least the ones who needed it.

I haven't been stopped for a number of years, probably for a couple reasons. I drive a fairly 'average family guy' car and I've slowed down quite a bit from earlier times. I don't do stupid lane changes and I don't drink when 'out'.

Just talking like an old guy...
Doogie, do you ever wonder if the Indian Police still talk about the crazy white guy with "...all those machineguns"? Just remember, someone else probably saw it differently than you did.

And everyone, play nice. We can all get more done with charm and a smile than sarcasm and bile. I've played both ends of that game, too.

But I have to admit, I'm happy I never got stopped going over the Police Games in Arizona. I had my duty gun, my carry gun, a PPC revolver, a riot gun, an assault rifle and a sniper rifle. Ammo for everything, of course. Of those, the only innocent looking target gun was the PPC revolver. Except it has a bull barrel and the uninitiated might think it some sort of heavy duty monster gun.

Come to think of it, when I retire and move out of PDSR California in a year or so, I'm going to have to move everything. I think the collection is up to thirty five or forty now... and reloading stuff and ammo, too. None of that can be (nor will I allow to be) shipped by common carrier. If the bomb dog smells the U-Haul going by, I'm probably going to have to stop for the night.

October 14, 2008, 11:54 PM
"(And, yes, there is a way to tell if they have ever contained illegal drugs before)."

uhhhmmm, no, no there is not.

unless said person is just plain ol stupid

B yond
October 15, 2008, 12:59 AM
(And, yes, there is a way to tell if they have ever contained illegal drugs before).


That's what they tell stoners in high school! It's not true.

October 15, 2008, 01:37 AM
Here in illinois hidden compartments are illegal.

(625 ILCS 5/12‑612)
Sec. 12‑612. False or secret compartment in a motor vehicle.
(a) Offenses. It is unlawful for any person to own or operate any motor vehicle he or she knows to contain a false or secret compartment. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly install, create, build, or fabricate in any motor vehicle a false or secret compartment.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this Section, a "false or secret compartment" means any enclosure that is intended and designed to be used to conceal, hide, and prevent discovery by law enforcement officers of the false or secret compartment, or its contents, and which is integrated into a vehicle. For purpose of this Section, a person's intention to use a false or secret compartment to conceal the contents of the compartment from a law enforcement officer may be inferred from factors including, but not limited to, the discovery of a person, firearm, controlled substance, or other contraband within the false or secret compartment, or from the discovery of evidence of the previous placement of a person, firearm, controlled substance, or other contraband within the false or secret compartment.
(c) Forfeiture. Any motor vehicle containing a false or secret compartment, as well as any items within that compartment, shall be subject to seizure by the Department of State Police or by any municipal or other local law enforcement agency within whose jurisdiction that property is found as provided in Sections 36‑1 and 36‑2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/36‑1 and 5/36‑2). The removal of the false or secret compartment from the motor vehicle, or the promise to do so, shall not be the basis for a defense to forfeiture of the motor vehicle under Section 36‑2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 and shall not be the basis for the court to release the vehicle to the owner.
(d) Sentence. A violation of this Section is a Class 4 felony.
(Source: P.A. 93‑276, eff. 1‑1‑04.)

October 15, 2008, 09:47 AM
Never been in the situation, but my buddy and I talk about it every time we go to the range... we always wonder what they'd think after pulling up the cover over the bed of the pickup and seeing four Browning 1919's and about twenty other assorted AK's, Mosins, and thousands of rounds of ammo. The Brownings are semis, but that's not going to be obvious without knowing how to tell the difference!

October 15, 2008, 10:13 AM
Question is to open to give a decent answer.

Guns within reach?

Guns appear to be loaded?

Other occupants in the vehicle?

Driver's actions/reactions?

Any transport laws being broken?

etc., etc., etc. ....

It's situational judgement and if in doubt separate person or persons from guns until all is sorted out.

October 15, 2008, 10:36 AM
A pretty long read to actually post here, so I'll just post a link, instead:

For a bit more information related information:
You'll have to go to the link if you'd also like to read the comments. Enjoy.

Friday, April 18, 2008
Illinois Supreme Court upholds Fourth Amendment

Well, I'm back to writing about Illinois again, and this time, I'm talking about an issue only tangentially related to guns, but I think this illustrates the kind of mindset that will have to be stamped out in Illinois before residents of this blighted state can enjoy the liberties that are the birthrights of all Americans.

First, a little background. Back in 1999, the Illinois Politburo General Assembly passed a law prohibiting "secret compartments" in cars. The law, ostensibly intended to thwart illegal transportation of drugs and/or guns, in fact made it a felony to have such a compartment installed in a vehicle--regardless of whether or not there was actually anything illegal in the compartment.

I had heard nothing of this law until, in 2006, it was declared unconstitutional by the Illinois Appellate Court. Articles about that are by now tough to find but one was quoted in full at Illinois Carry.

At issue was the 2004 conviction of repeat felon Derrick Carpenter, arrested by Chicago police [Chicago police? I'm shocked] after officers found a BB gun in the airbag compartment of the van he was in.

Hidden BB gun

The airbag was gone, creating a "secret compartment."
But because it's legal to carry a BB gun, Carpenter, 22, could only be charged with violating the state's secret compartment statute -- a conviction for which Judge Bertina Lampkin sentenced him to two years in prison.

A more thorough examination of that case can be found here (registration required--or use BugMeNot). This law was sponsored by then Illinois State Senator Lisa Madigan, who later (in 2002) went on to become the Illinois Attorney General--a post she still holds. She was none too pleased about the appellate court ruling.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who helped sponsor the law, called it "an important law for fighting drug crimes and protecting the lives of police officers" and said she will now confer with prosecutors.

In other words, the chief law officer of the state of Illinois apparently holds a "screw the Fourth Amendment" attitude.

Actually, Madigan was apparently even more unhappy with the ruling than I had thought--rather than accepting her well-earned defeat, she apparently appealed the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court, which handed down a ruling yesterday.

Sorry, Lisa.

The Illinois Supreme Court declared Thursday that a state law banning secret compartments in cars is unconstitutional.

A unanimous court said the 1999 law meant to discourage gang members from hiding guns from police was too broad and penalized innocent conduct.

Justices ruled on two cases in which police stopped cars with empty air bag compartments. During one, in Cook County in 2004, police found a BB gun. The other, a 2006 stop in Grundy County, turned up a large amount of money.

So has this law ever been used against someone who was actually transporting something that is, you know . . . illegal?

Chicago police pushed the law in 1999 because they said gang members were installing hidden compartments for as little as $1,000. Some could hold dozens of guns gangbangers could grab quickly, they said.

I'm sorry, but any compartment that is large enough to "hold dozens of guns," and is positioned so that those guns can be grabbed quickly, can't be that secret, especially if the work is being done for $1000. Does the city of Chicago have a habit of putting blind officers on patrol?

This, though, is my favorite part:

Madigan's attorney general's office, which defended the law before the court, argued that the presence of a secret compartment indicates the desire to hide something illegal.

Let me get this straight, Lisa--you want it to be a felony to desire to do something illegal?

Better lock me up for life.

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